The Truth... What is it?

  a church...the church...or THE CHURCH?

It seems to me that Christian local church members have a hard time remembering the distinctions in this arena of some even know? How many are not yet "born again" (indwelt by the Holy Spirit), "new creation" (the saved) members of THE CHURCH (see chart, below)? And, keep in mind that Jesus is the bridegroom; and THE CHURCH is His bride [see DaVinci got it right!]. Will you do all that you are able to do..."be" The order that you reflect the love of Jesus and act as salt and light that might draw more into decisions to "join" THE CHURCH? I've listed some comparisons, prompted by a book by H. Wayne House, Charts of Christian Theology and Doctrine, Zondervan Publishing House, 1992. This (THE CHURCH) is different from that body of "the chosen of God", The Kingdom of God. Paul spoke often against disunity of the local church (II Corinthians 5:16), the spiritual THE CHURCH not being prone to disunity.

THE CHURCH...this is the entire & universal body of those believers saved (more) by their personal relationship to Jesus the Christ. It is the mystical Body of Christ of which Jesus is the head (Ephesians 1:22-23), being a "holy temple" for the habitation of God through the Holy Spirit. It began on the Day of Pentecost with the arrival of the Holy Spirit, through whom the church would be formed into one body by the baptism of the Spirit into each new true believer. All other "churches" are man's best effort to a greater or lesser degree, and you can find timelines at "tredway" (from ancient to medieval to reformation and to modern times). With these timelines, one can easily see that there were many opportunities for various church histories to bypass the Church at Rome (the Catholic Church), historically. The seven churches of the book of Revelation were all in modern day Turkey. The churches Paul speaks of were from west of Turkey (above the north-east corner of the Mediterranean Sea) all the way westward to Rome, Italy.

   a church (the building)  the (a local) church body  THE CHURCH
(bride of Christ)
1. Is there physical structure? yes, a building only people plus the building no (just true believers, both alive & deceased)
2. Is it influenced by "man"? How about Satan? yes yes, both yes to both, people; no to both, souls
3. membership composition, re: salvation? no members saved and lost (wheat & tares) saved only
4. membership duration? n/a only the living both the living and dead in Christ, eternal
5. number of distinct units? great numbers great numbers of units & denominations only a single, universal group
6. has factions, groups, denominations? n/a many only a single, universal group
7. Is it the Body of Christ? n/a partly entirely & is the Bride of Jesus
8. type of government? n/a varied Jesus the only HEAD
9. administers care and fellowship? n/a yes, partly yes, mostly
10. spreads the Gospel? n/a yes, should be chief function is the RESULT of "yes" decisions on hearing the Gospel
11. status of ordinances? n/a ministers to members fulfilled in members

***Discussion: Christ's Church***

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[posted 29 July 1998; lastest adjustment 2 Jan 2016]