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How Can The Christian Church Become What Jesus Intended?

This commentary comes from my NIV Essentials Study Bible (Good investment!). I want to share this commentary with you all because of the several controversies regarding the Christian Church. Share your thoughts about it by commenting below!


John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”

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

On the one hand, we Christians still live with our own version of the flesh, not realizing that we are angry, envious, competitive, entitled, ignorant, jealous, and self-righteous, which are all barriers to communication. On the other hand, we tend to see the sin of others so much more clearly than our own. We each have our own set of expectations as to what the church should be. We go from church to church in search of this ideal, which gets in the way of living dynamic, loving lives in the imperfect church we are in. In the book “Life Together,” Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, “He who loves his dream of a 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.”

In other words, the Church will become what Jesus intended it to be when we receive one another with grace and forgiveness instead of measuring one another by our own faulty expectations.

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

And by connecting ourselves in the church, we place ourselves in the position of receiving from others the very same grace and mercy needed most to help us work through the issues of our hearts.


Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International VersionⓇ NIVⓇ

Copyright Ⓒ 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. ™

Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide

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