New City Catechism Question 48
What is the church?
God chooses and preserves for himself a community elected for eternal life and united by faith, who love, follow, learn from, and worship God together. God sends out this community to proclaim the gospel and prefigure Christ’s kingdom by the quality of their life together and their love for one another.
Consider this outline of "the progression in God's plan to touch a world:"
1. From eternity God purposes to use the church to reveal His wisdom.
2. All that God purposes was accomplished in Christ Jesus.
3. The church will demonstrate before a watching world the wisdom of God by the difference that Christ makes in their lives.
4. God reveals Himself by working among His people through the Holy Spirit, drawing a world to Himself.
5. God touches a world through the church and brings glory to Himself.
From Henry T. Black aby and Melvin D. Blackaby, Experiencing God Together (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman, 2002), 296.