Christ and the Church. I’ve read countless endless debates on Facebook and other outlets concerning one or the other. Why? Because we’ve been deceived. We think we can separate the two. We can’t have one without the other; it’s impossible. Christ is the Church, and the Church is Christ. It’s a mystery – a glorious mystery hidden from the past ages and generations. So hidden is it, in fact, that we humans tend to overlook it. We can’t comprehend it, so we belittle it. We make it void. We focus on one or the other – not the two together, but each one separately.
Focus on the Church
This isn’t how you’re supposed to do church. This is the right way to do church. How do you do church? You go to church on Sundays, Wednesdays, and any other days it has its doors open. Do you go to church? You don’t go to church, you are the church. That’s a beautiful church. That’s an old church. That’s a young church. That’s a charismatic church. That’s a spirit-filled church. That’s a conservative church. That’s an evangelistic church. That church is growing. That church is dying. What do you think of the church? Has the church hurt you? Have you hurt the church? What’s your experience of the church? That pastor has led that church really well. That board has really run that church into the ground. Where is that church going? What is that church doing? Does that church have anything for the kids? Or youth? Or seniors? Or singles? Or marrieds? I have lots of thoughts on the church. The church is this. The church is that. The church isn’t this. The church isn’t that. The church is for healing. The church is for forgiveness. The church is for the lost. The church is for the found. There are no perfect people allowed in the church. This church is like one, big family. This church is mission-minded. This church is fundamentally sound. This church is full of hypocrites.
Focus on Christ
Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus came to save people. Jesus came to save everyone. Jesus saves. Jesus loves me. Jesus loves you. I love Jesus. Do you love Jesus? Jesus is love. Jesus made me special. Jesus gives me my identity. Do you know Jesus? Have you found Jesus? Are you supposed to be looking for Jesus? Has Jesus found you? Have you given your life to Jesus? Have you confessed Jesus as your lord and savior? Jesus is my shepherd. Jesus is my shield. My joy. My strength. My hope. My peace. My homeboy. My co-pilot. My pilot. Jesus forgives sins. Jesus answers prayer. Jesus gives strength. Jesus blesses His people. Jesus helps those who help themselves. Jesus likes big bands and He cannot lie. Jesus likes cool worship. Jesus hates war. Jesus loves war. Jesus hates democrats. Jesus hates republicans. Jesus for president. Jesus wants you to be ready for the end of the world. Jesus wants you to tell everyone you meet about Him. Jesus wants you to go to church. Jesus wants you not to smoke, drink, or chew, or go with those who do. Jesus doesn’t like drugs or rock ‘n roll. Jesus doesn’t like wine. Jesus likes wine. Jesus turned water into wine. Jesus thinks wine is ok but beer is not. Jesus died for you. Jesus wants you to be a christian. Jesus wants to make you a better christian. A better mom. A better husband. A better student. A better co-worker. Jesus wants you to change your life. Jesus gives you strength to change your life. Jesus wants you to be happy.
To focus on the Church without Christ is religion. It is a system. To focus on the Church without Christ is building a house without a foundation. To have a bride without a bridegroom. To have a body without a head. To take the Church without Christ is to have the branches without the vine. It is to have the form without the life. It is to have the practice without the reason for the practice. It is to focus on the shell without the seed. It is to clip the roses off the bush. It is to debate earthly problems with no heavenly solution. It is only half of the equation. The Church without Christ is null and void. It is an empty entity bereft of purpose, vision, life. The Church without Christ is stones stacked on top of one another with nothing holding them together. The Church without Christ is dead stones. It is a mouth without a voice. It is a brain without a thought. It is a heart without a beat. You can’t have the Church without Christ.
To focus on Christ without the Church is individualism. It is independence. To focus on Christ without the Church is laying a foundation and never erecting a building on it. It is to have a bridegroom with no bride. It is to have a head with no body. To take Christ without the Church is to have a barren vine with no branches and no fruit. It is to have life without any form for expressing that life. It is to have the reason for a practice with no practice. It is the seed without the shell. It is a bush without roses. It is to debate heavenly problems with no earthly practical outworkings. It is only half the equation. Christ without the Church is null and void. He is purpose, vision, life bereft of an entity to express Him. Christ without the Church is glue with nothing to hold together. Christ without the Church is scattered, individual living stones. It is a voice without a mouth. It is a thought without a brain. It is a beat without a heart. You can’t have Christ without the Church.
The Threefold Mystery
- The mystery of God is Christ Himself (Col. 2:2).
- The mystery of Christ is the Church (Eph. 3:4-6).
- The mystery of the Church is Christ in Her, the hope of glory (Col. 1:25-27).
The Church is for manifesting the mystery (Eph. 3:9-11). Without the Church, Christ has no physical expression on the earth today. Without Christ, the Church is expressing its own life.
Saints, this is a great mystery; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.