The church’s spiritual malaise cannot be cured by resort to the resources of idolatrous society on which…Christians have been too dependent, or to their own resources. Their illness can be remedied only by a renewed relationship with Christ.
The local church enables the world to look upon the canvas of God’s people and see an authentic painting of Christ’s love and holiness, not a forgery.
The Church of God apart from the Person of Christ is a useless structure. However ornate it may be in its organization, however perfect in all its arrangements, however rich and increased with goods, if the Church is not revealing the Person, lifting Him to the height where all men can see Him, then the Church becomes an impertinence and a sham, a blasphemy and a fraud, and the sooner the world is rid of it, the better.
If we go to church just to be with one another, one another is all we will get. And it isn’t enough. Eventually, our deepest unmet needs will explode in anger at one another. Putting community first destroys community. We must put Christ Himself first and keep Him first and treat Him as first and come to Him first and again and again.
Christ will establish and build His church by causing the church to accept just this canon and, by means of the assistance and witness of the Holy Spirit, to recognize it as His.
This “personal walk with Jesus” makes a good point, but it has also caused great harm to the body of Christ as it fuels self-centeredness and a consumer mentality. We have a corporate walk with Jesus.
The church is not perfect, but woe to the man who finds pleasure in pointing out her imperfections! Christ loved his church, and let us do the same. I have no doubt that the Lord can see more fault in his church than I can; and I have equal confidence that he sees no fault at all. Because he covers her faults with his own love-that love which covers a multitude of sins; and he removes all her defilement with that precious blood which washes away all the transgressions of his people.