In His blog De Stephen Crosby writes, ‘It seems to me that there is a difference in the responses of our Lord toward the blind (those who do not see), the struggling (those who see but who are in defeat), and those who profess to have sight but who are in reality purveyors of darkness. Jesus was severe with the latter to a degree that offends modern sensibilities of interpersonal politeness. While welcoming vigorous and passionate debate, I appeal that we do not respond in like kind to those who loose vicious, vitriolic, venomous, and ad hominem attacks upon us.’ Having said that let’s talk about the church Jesus builds - not with human hands.
The church of Jesus is the expression of Himself in people. It is Jesus multiplied in those who believe. Yesterday my daughter exclaimed excitedly about her friend, ‘A full-on Jesus person’ she called her. Such people make up the church that is far more than a form of godliness. They are His spirit and life - the church that is not the shadow of the real. This is the church that is real because it is Jesus manifest as you!
‘This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God’ 1 John 4.2 NIV.
The church of Jesus is never an abstract entity, not a social structure in the burocratic sense. In the Spirit, the church is the expression of Jesus in individuals who join together as the community of His person.
The church of Jesus is as simple as you being the presence of Jesus to someone.
In the new covenant you are in Christ and He in you. You are positioned in our Father as a daughter/son. Here you are mentored, shaped and tutored to be who you were created to be. Sin, death, unbelief and religious myths are driven out and replaced by the grace and truth of Jesus Himself. You become the healed manifestation of Jesus. While the church may be a hospital for cripples they do not stay that way when immersed in the grace of the trinity. They absorb God’s life and heavenly well-being. They as sons and daughters who are full of grace and truth.
The church as an institution is not a stairway to heaven. If there is no mediator other than Christ Himself, there is no mediating the life of Christ by us if we are merely the life of the building on the corner. An institution of the flesh can never mediate spirit and life. It is when Christ Himself is our life; when He has come in the flesh to manifest Himself through us that we are the church He is building.
‘The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you--they are full of the Spirit and life’ John 6.63 NIV.
The Spirit does not make us into an abstraction. We become more human because the Son of Man is expressing Himself through us. This transformed humanity is the church Jesus builds without human hands and the engine of new creation life.