Church Definitions

It is this complex yet essentially simple vision of the people of God, which is invoked when the Church today thinks of itself as a ‘covenant community’. That is not to say that all uses of the word ‘covenant’ in today’s discussions necessarily imply that the ‘covenants’ we enter into (for instance, those between different Christian denominations) are somehow the same as the essential covenant between God and the people who, beginning with Abraham and renewed in Jesus Christ, are called to belong to him and to take forward his mission in the world. But the use of the word in today’s church carries, and honours, the memory of the biblical covenant(s). It seeks to invoke and be faithful to the themes we have just explored: the sovereign call of God to belong to him and to work in the power of his Spirit for his purposes in the world, and the consequent call to the unity, reconciliation, and holiness which serve that mission.

NT Wright

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