Question: What is the church?
Now, therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone. In whom the whole building grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also being built together for a dwelling place of God in the spirit
1 Peter 2:4
Coming to him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Its not the building?
The church is not the building. Its not the physical bricks an mortar. Believers are ‘living’ stones. Its the people of God. The household or family of God.
As a side note: there were no church building projects in the early church!
We need a ‘habitation’ mentality not a visitation one. In other words, God doesn’t visit is when we meet and then leave. He permanently indwells us individually and collectively by his Holy Spirit.
Therefore, a believer who is imprisoned for their faith in solitary confinement is just as much part of the church as any believer even though they suffer.
Church or ‘ecclesia’ is defined as: “citizens called out from their homes to a public place”.
In the early church they didn’t define themselves as being part of a church organisation or denomination. Their identity wasn’t based on a name. They were addressed, for practical reasons, only as the christians meeting at Ephesus or at a persons home.
Therefore, the Roman Catholic Church is not the church. The Pentecostal church of the Spirit of Prophecy is not the church either. What we do is not our identity! That doesn’t make us church. No, its who we are in the spirit as members of the body of Christ. That is the only membership me need!
Yes, we meet, pray, worship and drink coffee in Costa but that is an outflow of who we are!
The church being a body is good analogy. Every cell in my body has my DNA. Each individual in the body of Christ has the DNA of Christ Jesus.
Therefore, the church isn’t what we do; its who we are as children of God! A family eats together, holidays and does all the things families do. Those things however don’t make us a family!
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