This book discusses the identity, authority, mission and ecumenicity of the church. This chapter focuses on the identity of the church. The author maintains that one cannot think about the church without thinking about Christ, and one cannot confess faith in Christ without being a member of the church.
The Bible portrays the relationship of Christ and His church through the image of a shepherd and his sheep. The example of sheep points to the Christian's tendancy to stray, their vulnerability and their need for the flock. In contrast, the image of Shepherd points to Christ as one who protects, nurtures and gathers the sheep.
This article explains what it means that the Lord Jesus is present in the midst of those gathered as his church. In the explanation, the author includes describing this gathered group as an institution of God's redemptive grace. Also included are the requirements needed to constitute such a gathering and the promises that God gives to his people who are part of such a gathering.