Why and How the Church Exists

The God of the Bible is a loving God. But his love can be understood maximally only when counterpoised to his holiness because his love provides what his holiness requires. Apart from God's holiness the church need not exist. That is, if God is not set apart, his people need not be set apart. But apart from God's love the church would not exist. Only God himself can set his people apart, and why would God set them apart unless he loved.

So the whole message God brings to his people can be summarized as judgment and grace, holiness and mercy, human sin and divine forgiveness through Christ. For God loved the world in this way--"he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Mark Dever, A Theology for the Church, 781.

Ecclesiology
September 5, 2007
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