What is the church?

The Church is not just a religious institution to facilitate moral and political change. Nor is the Church necessarily an organization of like-minded members who gain a sense of identity in belonging to such a mutually satisfying and purposeful group.

Rather, the Church is the collective expression of individuals who are receptive to the dynamic grace expression of God in Jesus Christ, and desirous of encouraging one another in the functionality of the saving life of Christ.

Christians are members of Christ, the church is the ” body of Christ.” It is His chosen dwelling place, the organism in which His fullness abides, the agency by which His truth amid grace are made known, the visible witness of His continuous presence in the world. The mission of the church is the mission of Christ. It exists to re-present Christ, to act for Him, to do what He wants it to do. It is the centre from which His re-creative saving energy is to go forth over all the earth. The salvation which is to come from Him to the world, is to come from Him through His church. In all its activities the church is simply the organ of Christ; all that it does for the uplifting of the kingdom of God on the earth is what Christ enables it to do. The outpouring of its life in the service of humanity is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which Christ has first of all in-poured. The body of Christ has millions of hands to do His work; millions of feet to run His errands; millions of tongues to sing His praise. In its manifold life He continues to express Himself; through its multitudinous activities He continues to work; by its multiplying agencies He continues to make His presence and power increasingly felt in the moral advancement of the world.

“The Church of the living God” is no failure, because Christ is for her; and she is for Christ. Her ideal has never been fully reached; but she keeps following after, endeavouring to lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of her. The measure of her power for usefulness always has been, always must be, the measure in which she experiences the indwelling of Christ. Just so far as she comes to see that in re-presenting Christ, she re-presents the inexhaustible power of that embodied righteousness and love by which the world is finally to be conquered, will she rise to the fulfilment of her high destiny.

 

 




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