How Can the Church Become What Jesus Intended?

The church is at the same time a spiritual organism and a human organization. We become members of the organism by new birth and baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13) and of the organization by covenant. Most of the controversy about the church failing to become what Jesus intended is focused on its organizational form. The real issue, however, is not with organization, but with people who run it (pulpit and pew).

We Christians still live with our own version of the flesh. We see the sin of others so clearly. We carry with us our own set of expectations as to what the church should be. We go from church to church in search of this ideal. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book “Life Together,” writes, “He who loves his dream of community more than the Christian community itself becomes a destroyer of the latter.”

We all have our own dream of what the church should be like and when we cannot find it, we grow disillusioned. However, true fellowship is based upon faith and not dreams; upon truth and not emotions. Bonhoeffer boldly suggests that the sooner disillusionment comes, the better. “Therefore the very hour of disillusionment is instructive because it teaches me that neither I nor my brother can live to ourselves, but only through the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ.”

The church (organizational) will become what Jesus intended it to be when we receive one another with grace and forgiveness and not measure one another by our own faulty expectations.

Thus for me to make a statement that the church has no relevance in my life, speaks more to my own unconnectedness and selfishness than to the nature of the church.

And by staying in the church, I place myself in the position of receiving from others the very grace and mercy needed most to help me work through the issues of my heart.

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