Q48: What Is the Church?

New City Catechism: Question 48


Christians practice catechesis to instruct believers on the foundational truths of the Christian faith. In a question and answer format, this form of discipleship teaches the Apostle’s Creed, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, along with the basics of the Bible. The New City Catechism, created by Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, asks 52 questions, one for each week of the year, on topics such as God, creation, and salvation. Each video provides an extended answer to the question from either a pastor at Redeemer or council members of the Gospel Coalition. This video with John Yates, Rector of The Falls Church in Falls Church, Virginia, answers the question, "What is the church?”


2 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)

Stand Firm

13But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



We can respond to question forty-eight with the following answer: 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.


John said the church exists as one body, united with Christ. The church is God’s people on earth, tasked with sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the whole world. What stands out to you the most about this answer? Why?
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Christ sought out the church, saves her, and guides her through the Holy Spirit and God’s Word. We live in community with all believers as part of the global church. 


Does the answer to this question impact your Christian walk? If so, how and why?
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Read through 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Take a moment to reflect on the church. Use the space below to respond. You can write out a prayer, list the implications of the church, or brainstorm ways you can apply the principle to your life.
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The Catechism can help you remember the core beliefs of Christianity. Take time this week to learn the answer to this question and memorize 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Allow God to transform your heart, mind, and actions as you participate in the church.



 To learn more about New City Catechism or to download the app, click here