We can’t do church until we truly become the church. You can be in church without being in Christ. Just as you cannot join a family without being born into it, so you can’t become a member of the Body of Christ without being born of God (John 1:13; 1 Peter 2:3). You may be able to join a church and get your name on their roll, but it’s quite something else to belong to the mystical Body of Christ. To belong to Christ, you must be baptized into His Body.
In 1 Corinthians 12:13, the apostle Paul describes the real constitution and construction of the Church— “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” The true Church of Christ is a living organism and not an inanimate organization. While many belong to organizations, few and I must say, very few belong to this organism. Jesus once said; “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
Absolutely no one can belong to the mystical Body of Christ if they don’t belong to Christ Himself (Eph. 2:13-15), acknowledging Him as their personal Savior and confessing Him as Lord (Rom.10:9), possessing His Spirit (Rom. 8:9), controlled by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), becoming sons of God (Jn. 1:12), and living life by the faith of the Son of God (Gal.2:20).
Because the Church is the Body of Christ, it takes it’s identity from Christ. The Body must resemble the Head— it must represent Him, and exist for Him. There can be no understanding of Church until there is an understanding of Christ— who He is, what His mission is, what His passion is, what His desire is. The truth about the Church is the revelation of who Jesus is (Matthew 16:16-18).
The Church is built on the revelation and foundation of Christ. The purpose of the Church is Christ; the mission of the Church is Christ. Thus, we must know our Messiah, understand His message and be driven by His mission.
The Church is the new man of God in Christ. Just as God created the man in His image and after His likeness (Gen. 1:26), so the Church, the organic whole of all born-again believers in Christ and disciples of Christ, is the new man createdin the image of Christ.
There‘s no doing church without being the Church, without being in Christ. The Church as His Body is connected to Him. The Church is an extension of Him, the fulfillment of His earthly mission.
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16)