Thoughts On The Church


I am beginning to read a book about what it means to be a church member and after a discussion with several friends this morning, I ‘ve been giving some thought to the subject of “the church”. I will not attempt to provide a scholarly work in a simple blog. Instead, I just offer a few of my thoughts about “the church”. First, I am almost certain that the church is NOT what many in modern America think of when we hear or use the word. Often, “church” refers to the building where we attend (at least sometimes attend) worship service. “Church” can also mean the legal entity (identified by its name such as “Nice Little Church”, a fictional example) of which we are a member, having been accepted as a member by the means defined in the entity’s constitution and by-laws. Sometimes “church” can even mean the denomination to which our religious institution belongs. Of course, in our most pious moments, “church” means our understanding of what the Bible calls “the Body of Christ”.

So what IS “the church”? What should we actually understand as the meaning of the term we toss about so freely? I am not certain that we have a truly accurate, Biblically correct answer in “the church” in America today. For this blog entry, I simply refer to Ephesians 1:22,23 (English Standard Version)-

22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

I am thinking today particularly about those words in verse 23 which declare that the church is “…His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”.

I am praying that God will help me to better understand what He means when the Holy Spirit inspired writers to capture such thoughts. I understand that the Bible reveals one church, “…which is His body”. I am convinced that a person is received into the body (the one church established by the Father) when that person accepts the grace gift of salvation through Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 1:13 in the New International Version). I am equally convinced that the religious institutions and legal entities we most often mean when we use the word “church” or NOT the church. Rather, those entities are the organizations our culture requires in order to hold title to property and bestow benefits such as tax deductions for contributions and the like.

So what is the point? The point I am trying to make here is simply that when I understand “church” to be some entity that my culture requires I am more likely to be unfaithful to that entity and to treat it with some lack of genuine respect and reverence. On the other hand, when I understand “church” to mean the organism created by God and over which Christ is the Head I may be more likely to take seriously my “membership” and my “participation” and my faithfulness to that body: His body! Thoughts or feedback?

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~ by brotherfaron on May 9, 2015.

2 Responses to “Thoughts On The Church”

  1. When I speak of “The Church”, I mean the House of God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit. Regardless of which Christian group we speak, I believe “The Church” is a body of people who have chosen to worship and serve God; and that we should consider all Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ. Being a “Member of a Church” is less important than whether we have accepted God’s mercy and grace; Jesus as our Savoir; and the Holy Spirit in our hearts.

  2. Agree! Oh, if only members of our “churches” could grasp the concept of the church being the body of Christ, not just competitors for the most members, the most beautiful buildings, the most entertaining services, existing to meet “my” needs, etc., what different “churches” we would see! Reverence, respect, working together, building up the body of Christ, participation…all would be enhanced if only we looked at the church as more than a building or legal entity, but as the Bible tells us, Christ’s body.

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