The Authority of Christ
Almighty God, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead and set him above all rule and authority, has given to him all power in heaven and on earth, not only in this age but also in the age to come. (a) God has put all things under the Lordship of Jesus Christ and has made Christ Head of the Church, which is his body. (b) The Church’s life and mission are a joyful participation in Christ’s ongoing life and work. (PC(USA) Book of Order F-1.0201)
The Church Is the Body of Christ
The Church is the body of Christ. Christ gives to the Church all the gifts necessary to be his body. The Church strives to demonstrate these gifts in its life as a community in the world (1 Cor. 12:27–28):
The Church is to be a community of faith, entrusting itself to God alone, even at the risk of losing its life.
The Church is to be a community of hope, rejoicing in the sure and certain knowledge that, in Christ, God is making a new creation. This new creation is a new beginning for human life and for all things. The Church lives in the present on the strength of that promised new creation.
The Church is to be a community of love, where sin is forgiven, reconciliation is accomplished, and the dividing walls of hostility are torn down.
The Church is to be a community of witness, pointing beyond itself through word and work to the good news of God’s transforming grace in Christ Jesus its Lord. (PC(USA) Book of Order F-1.0301)
There’s an element of aspiration in this theology … maybe in the way that we look at infants or small children and say “he’s just like his mom” or “she’s just like her dad,” when they’re obviously not just like them … but still, from time to time, we get a glimpse of something promising …