THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST
A question posed in response to the previous blog prompted me to re-post this, which I then entitled "The Congregation of God", At the time I was seeking to find some way of separating our modern concept of "church" from the Biblical concept of the Church.
THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST......
Is human beings, people who have been called by the Holy Spirit into a family relationship with God the Father; a relationship created by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and embraced through the unearned gift of saving faith in His finished work.
Is recognized only by that initial relationship with God the Father and the common familial relationship which result with others who are called, all having only one recognized Head, the Lord, Jesus Christ. .
Can never be initially recognized by common institutional, organizational membership.
Is led by those who have, over a period of years, gradually been recognized by virtue of their exhibiting the Scriptural gifts and qualifications of leadership, by fellow believers, with whom they are in relationship.
Is where each individual, whether male or female, is understood to have personal and spiritual worth as a brother or sister in family, under the headship of the one Head, and able to contribute according to the gifts and qualifications, which each one called inevitably has, of membership in that family;
Is where each member of the family is understood to be traveling a road of many twists and turns, which is common to all, with difficult obstacles, some of which, depending on the individual needs, all will need help to traverse, no matter how long since the journey began.
Is, because they are family, able to worship God by the way they live, work, play, and study their common faith, share, sing and pray, in Christ centered, Spirit endowed unity, regardless of differences.
Is a family who is more concerned about making disciples of others who are encouraged to form new families, rather than the original family getting larger and enriching themselves with real estate, buildings and comforts.
Is a spiritual family where it is normal for conversations to center on family matters which are for the mutual building up of each other towards spiritual maturity.
Is a family which continually devotes themselves to the teaching of the apostles, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to times of prayer, expecting God to work amongst them and those for whom they pray.
Is a family which shows the wider community that they are disciples, by their love for one another, and prove for all to witness, the Scriptural truth that because God loves them, they cannot help but love, reaching out in humility, mercy and grace, and without favor, to the non-family people around them, reflecting the Christ to whom they belong.