“There is no such thing as lone ranger Christianity in the New Testament; there is no suggestion that a person can be vitally united with Christ and growing spiritually apart from the church.” – Roger E. Olson.
This is a consensus among Christian groups. The church is full of people and people need the church. In today’s culture this is important to teach because there are many who love Jesus but hate his bride. They claim new alternative ways to practice Christianity and don’t hold to the sacraments of baptism, communion, and the assembly. Being a part of a church family is not a part of their sanctification.
Justo González when talking about the church says, “to be the body of Christ means to share in his life.” The church shares in life of Christ, not Christ in life of the church. If the church were not to do the work of God by his Holy Spirit then God is fully capable of doing his will without us. He doesn’t need us but he chooses to use us. We are the hands and feet of Christ but he still has his own and uses them despite our in-action and lack of faith.
Karl Barth talks of the church as people coming together with the Holy Spirit. If you believe in the Holy Spirit then you believe in the existence of the church. It is by the one Spirit that we are baptized into the one body (Ephesians 4 and 1 Corinthians 12). The church is born by the Spirit. Its origin is from above. The church is not just a coming together of people. It is divinely appointed entity of submission, power, and fellowship in Jesus name through the Spirit.
What are your thoughts about the church? Why do you think it is important to be a part of a gathered people?
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