4. What is the Church?

Last updated 18 May '98

A controversial article defining the real Church as the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ .........as opposed to the common concept promoted by Constructed and Organised Christianity

We get a better understanding of what the Church really is, by first seeing what it is not. It is not a coming together of people who believe in the Lord and are saved. The word 'Church' has many meanings that describe what it does, but they do not tell us what it is. Paul states that the Church is the Body of Christ, and that only those who have the 'Spirit of Christ' are in it. See 1 Corinthians 12:27 Colossians 1:18,24; Romans 8:9.

We are wrong then to presume that the church is a group of Gods people assembled together here or assembled together there. That's what at times we may mean, but once again that is what the Church does, it is not what it is. Let us look further back in history for an illustration that describes what the church really is.

In Genesis we see Eve as an illustration of the church. We know that Adam was created out of the dust of the earth, but not so Eve. God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, and while he was a sleep, God took a rib out of Adam and formed it into Eve. Please notice that only that which was taken out of Adam became Eve, nothing else did. Whatever was taken out of Adam became Eve. Adam exclaimed that Eve was, 'bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh'; she was taken out of him, yet she was his body in another form. Eve was another form of Adam. Now let us look at the Church as the body of Christ.

Our word Church comes from the original Greek word Ekklesia meaning ...."Called out or taken out ones" Therefore only that which "comes out of Christ" can be His body, nothing else can. Therefore only that which comes out of Christ can be the Church, nothing else can. We need to discern today between Assemblies and His Church, so as to avoid being confused and disillusioned. The Church is the body of Christ plus nothing; and nothing but the body of Christ is the Church. We have received something from out of Christ that makes us Christian and makes us the Church. The word Christian means 'of Christ'. The word Church means 'out of '. Only that which is 'of Christ' is the Christian part of us. Only that which is 'out of Christ ' can be the Church, nothing else is or can be.

That which comes out of Christ is our new 'Born Again' spirit. This, and this alone constitutes us as His body, because it is this in us, and only this in us that has been born of God and does not sin. God's way with us is to give us a new spirit, and then to put His Spirit within our spirit and cause us to walk in His ways and obey His laws. It is this Life of Christ in us that walks in His ways and obeys His laws, not us! Never us!! This is the Spirit of the Life of Christ Jesus, delivering us from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2) The Church is that which God has made by using Christ as the material.

The Church comes out of Christ. It is another form of Christ. When we see a fresh what His Church really is, then it is that which is of Christ in me, and that which is of Christ in you, ...that is the real Church! This new spirit from out of Christ is the body of Christ and it alone is the temple of the Holy Spirit within us. God brought forth the Church out of the death of Christ to be a body for His Son. And it is in our new spirit, as the temple, that Jesus resides in the person of His Holy Spirit. It is this new spirit that comes out of Christ that is the spirit of Christ in me that cries out Abba Father. It is through this new spirit that I now know God intuitively and spontaneously. It is this spirit that is united to the Lord Jesus. It is this spirit that constitutes us as the body of Christ. This also unites us with all other Christians everywhere and throughout all time. It is by this part in me, that I am related to God as His son, and to Jesus as the second Adam and the Head of the Church. It is this same spirit that relates me to you as your brother.

We Christians are all related one to another by this same spirit of Christ, now this spirit is His Church and it will be presented without spot or wrinkle because Christ has never been spotted with sin; neither does it age or wrinkle because Christ has eternal life. Allow me to explain. Continuing with our example of Eve as a type of the Church, we need to see that Eve came out of Adam, not out of a redeemed sinner. Eve was formed out of Adam, before sin ever entered the human race. Now in the same manner the Church is formed out of Christ. Christ is not a redeemed sinner; therefore His Body has no history of sin. The Church is not a bunch of redeemed sinners that are trying to please God. The Church is the Body of Christ that proceeds out of Christ who is its head. Therefore it has no history of sin and has never known sin. Its a relief to know that His Church has never sinned.

From our viewpoint the Church appears to be weak and to have failed, not so; our viewpoint is of ourselves as the Church and not the viewpoint of God. God sees the Church coming directly out of Christ as being that which is born as the spirit of Christ. Praise God for His view of the Church, not ours. God sees the day when His Son will present to Himself a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle. God wants to turn our thinking completely around, and give us an entirely new view of the Church; His view. He wants us to see that the Church is not related to sin at all. That's good news!. It means that there is something in us after all that is Holy and without sin. There is something in us that is born of God and does not sin, because it cannot sin. God has not redeemed man just to save him from going to hell when he dies. That is a 'man' centred gospel. It benefits man but it leaves God out. The purpose of God in creation was to create a man that would choose to be like Him. A man that would be whole, complete and with a harmonious will. He desired sons with the same Life as Himself. Also God's expectation for those sons, was to have dominion over God's arch enemy. Man was made to rule over all the Earth with authority to subdue it (Genesis 1:28).

The first Adam lost the plot and sinned, but the Lord Jesus as the second Adam secured the lot for God and for us. It is still God's intent to have a race of man on this Earth that will satisfy His heart, not to be as pawns or slaves or servants, but as sons, created in His likeness with a free and harmonious will to choose. This is the man that God got for Himself in Jesus Christ. This man is a corporate man. This man is the Church. God sent His only first born Son into the world as Saviour to redeem mankind to be sons of God, not just remain redeemed sinners. Jesus came to secure man for God's purpose, not to secure God for man's purpose. It is God's purpose for man to be glorified in His Son. Glorified means Exalted to Rule and Reign. Jesus was glorified when He ascended to His Father and sat down upon the throne of all power and majesty on high. God has given Christ a name that is above every other name both in Heaven and on Earth. That name is JESUS! ....and soon every tongue will confess that He is Lord.

Jesus Christ has been glorified by God to be the Exalted Lord and to reign. He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings. He is the ruling Lord of all the Earth! He is the Head of the Church and we are His Body. When Jesus achieved total Victory over the devil, He did it as a man upon the Earth, not as God. He secured for God on this Earth, a total victory over all the power of the enemy and destroyed all the works of the devil at the cross. He did it as a man. He represented us, not God. He did it in our place. He did it for His Church. Jesus died and went to hell for the Church to obtain the victory that we have now. Jesus stripped Satan of his all his power and his authority. The Lord Jesus is the one who who holds the keys of death and hell now, and He has given to us the keys of the Kingdom of God. The devil has no power and no authority over a Christians life. Satan has lost his Authority of power and dominion over the earth that he stole from Adam.

The devil was only ever commissioned to bring death on those who sinned or partook of his nature. When he caused the Lord Jesus to die on the Earth; he caused a man to die who had never sinned, never partaken of Satan's nature. He exceeded his office and relinquished his authority and power on earth to the Son of God as a man. The Lord Jesus obeyed God explicitly in the wilderness. The Lord Jesus brought Satan into subjection to His will by totally defeating him on every point of His temptations during those forty days. By His sacrificial death on the cross, the Lord Jesus has paid the full price of every sin that was committed by Man from the nature of sin. By His Resurrection, He has Justified all who have accepted His death, for the wages of their sin, by giving them New Life, His Life. The Lord Jesus victoriously took away Satan's authority over man and the Earth. Jesus received an authority bestowed upon His name when He was Glorified. That Authority is above every other authority. The Lord Jesus has a name so powerful that not only does heaven and earth bow the knee, but Satan and all his demons of hell also bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; and they bow and confess in unbelievable fear and trembling!.

Now God does not intend that the Lord Jesus should abide alone to rule and to reign. God's purpose in creation is to have a race of man that will have dominion over the earth; to rule and to reign over the enemy and so complete the task of satisfying His heart. This has been achieved already by the Victory of the Lord Jesus but it is now left up to the Church to complete the task. The Church is the one that has to enforce the Victory of Christ it and to cast Satan out. Satan has lost his power, but as yet we have not lost his presence. The Church is to proclaim the gospel of Salvation that sinners may be saved for the benefit of man. But the Church is also to proclaim the Kingdom of God over all the earth for the benefit of God! Satan needs to be cast out for God's benefit. We as the Church are to enforce this victory of the Lord Jesus upon the presence of all of Gods enemy. God desires the Church to punish Satan to the point of exclusion by enforcing the Victory of the Lord Jesus upon him. When the Church has done this work, Satan will have been cast out. When Satan is cast out by the Church, then the kingdoms of this world will have become the Kingdom of God.

Please note that the Lord Jesus did not come to the earth to be God, but to be man. Jesus was not born to prove Himself God but to be proven as a man! Hebrews 2 shows us that the Lord Jesus did not come to receive glory as God, but to obtain glory as man. Today a Glorified man sits on the throne in heaven having finished His work on earth, having won us the victory over sin, self and Satan. And today, just as it was in Gods original purpose in creation; God intends for man to have dominion over the earth and to rule. Gods purpose is that His creation of man will deal with the creature that is His enemy. God's method is for His Creature to deal with the Satanic creature. God intends that His new creation will deal with the previous creation. To be glorified is to rule and to reign. God intends the Church to succeed His son in the exercise of His Son's authority on the earth and to rule and reign with Him. It is the task of the Church to not only preach the gospel of redemption, but also to achieve God's original purpose of creation by proclaiming the Kingdom of God towards ruling and reigning over Satan. The Church is to expel Satan by casting him out.

Once we have been saved and are redeemed, we should offer ourselves to God to attain the goal for which He first created us. Man was made to have Dominion over all the Earth and to rule out the Devil., Man was not made to sin. However man did sin and God has restored him by redemption and satisfied our heart with His Son, but now that we are restored let us get back to the creative purpose of God and satisfy His heart by reigning and ruling with Jesus and cast Satan out. Gods purpose with the Church is that she will be the helpmeet of Christ. God is not satisfied to have just Christ alone. God's plan and purpose includes Christ and the Church. We are to be His co-workers, seated in Him on the throne in heavenly places, to rule over the whole earth for the expulsion of Satan. The glory of the Church is to rule with Christ as His co-worker and have dominion over the whole earth. This is the corporate man that God purposed from the beginning, a corporate man who subdues the earth and rules out the enemy of God.

The Church as the body of Christ, is the 'man' God intends to use to finish the job, by executing the authority and power of the Lord Jesus as it's Head. It is the Church as the 'new man' that is to have dominion over all the earth. It is because of the Work of the Church that Satan will be subdued and cast out. This will lead to the final exclusion of God's enemy from having any access to Heaven or Earth, and that will herald in the Kingdom of God over all the Earth. The Church as His Body is the prelude to His Kingdom. May we just stop for a moment and consider the awesome responsibility the Church has as Christ's helpmeet and co-worker. The Church is of Christ and is of nothing else but that which is Christ. The Church on Earth is the Life of Christ in every Born Again Believer. The Church is propelled by success due to the victory of the Lord Jesus Himself. The Church is not moving from defeat to victory. The Church is not defeated, the Church is already Victorious, yet She awaits to be Glorified in Her present experience. She is operating from the place of victory, and moving towards Glorification by allowing the Lord Jesus to rule and reign on Earth through Her. The Church is the vehicle of God on Earth. The Church is the instrument God is using to remove Satan from His Presence. When Satan is cast out the Church will have ruled, reigned and been Glorified. The Church is the 'Police Force of Christ', which means that she is empowered to enforce the Victory of the Lord Jesus over all the Earth!

Do we now see what the Church really is from Gods point of view. How different from ours!. The way the Church does all this is through the overcomers. These are the chosen and elect of God, who have chosen and elected the Lord Jesus to live out His Life in them and to be the Lord of their life. These are they who have not loved their own soul lives (self life), but have consigned them to death on the cross, in preference to gaining and expressing the Life of Christ. These are they who stand for the whole Body of Christ. The subject of the Overcomers is vast and will therefore have to be the context of a future discussion. But do we not see just a little more of what the Church really is in God's eyes!



Bible References

 © 2019 Christian Life - Frankston     /     Telephone: 0458 037 878

bible Christian Life Bible School Frankston