The Church, the Body of Christ
by: Verlyn Verbrugge
Many followers of Jesus Christ today claim to have a strong faith in Jesus, but they reject any association with the church. “My faith is a private thing,” they say, “and my personal relationship with Jesus grows stronger every day apart from the church.”
This thinking is heresy. If heresy can be defined as a teaching contrary to what the Bible teaches, then the notion that you can have a growing, intimate relationship with Jesus but reject the church is heresy.
Why? Because the church is the body of Jesus Christ (see Eph. 1:22-23), and you cannot belong to Jesus Christ and not also belong to his body. Christ and his body are one. If you want to be connected to the Head, you have to be part of the body. To use Paul’s analogy, no part of the body can say, “I don’t belong to the body.” The main issue is whether you are fostering that relationship to Christ through associating with the church.
Or let’s use another analogy. The church is the family of God. No one would say that a family is healthy if some of the members never attended a family reunion, if they resist all contact with their brothers and sisters. No, the church is not perfect, but it is still God’s gift for your spiritual growth and development. Use it!