Giving credit where due… I was prompted to write this 3-part paper after seeing a brief article by the same name written by Cornelius Stam. However, I have taken only a small part of it as a springboard, altered it, and added to it substantially; expressing views of my own that do not necessarily agree entirely with Mr. Stam. Arthur Licursi
What is the True Church?
Many people have been saved and have truly come to know the Lord Jesus Christ after having been sincere, religious, denominational “church members” for years. You see, though they had been faithful supporters of some earthly church organization they had yet to know the truth and enjoy “all things new” in their life until some time much later.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Thus, it’s possible to be a member in good standing of a church
organization or denomination, even be on the church board, and yet be outside
of the one true Church, which is the
specific Church of which the Bible speaks of as being for today. This is because the true Church
of the Bible that is for today is not an organization at all, much
less a political state, such as
The question then that we should come to is this. How then do we become members of this one true invisible Church that the Bible says is for today; which Paul calls “the body of Christ?”
Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to heaven and yet, the true church is Christ’s literal incarnated “body of Christ” on earth today – Christ’s spirit lives within each member of His body, just as we each have life in our physical body members; legs and arms, etc. We must see that “the body of Christ” is a living organism, not an organization of man’s making. We must realize our membership in “the body of Christ” is not to be as members of a club or group such as a fraternity, but rather as of a family. What is the key component of every family?
There can be no family unless first there is a Father, a life-giver. Thus, we see by the very term “Father” speaks of a “life” issue – it is a matter of paternity – a progenitor, a life-giver to His offspring.
Who is the Father and life-giver according to the Bible?
Christ Himself is the life-giver; Isaiah 9:6 – tells us Jesus is the “Everlasting Father” while the same verse says refers to Him also as “unto us a child is born,” and also as a “Son given.” Paul tells us Christ is also “that spirit.” “Now the Lord is that spirit” (2Cor” 3:17). Thus, we cannot but conclude that the whole Godhead of the Father, Son, and Spirit are “one,” in Christ and Paul confirms this in Colossians 2:9 (KJV) For in him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
Paul uses the term “life-giving” to describe who Christ is to the believing members of His body.
1 Corinthians 15:45 (NIV) So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam (Christ), a life-giving spirit.
The issue then is for each person to receive the “Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2a) in order for that person to become complete. Colossians 2:10 (KJV) And ye are complete in him (in Christ)…
John wrote, But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe (trust) on his name: John 1:12 (KJV) Having received Christ, then it is no longer just you but rather you have become partaker in what Paul calls “the mystery” (the secret plan), “which is Christ in you” (Col 1:27).
The Body of Christ:
Have you noticed, John 1:12 (above) does not say those who receive Christ become a member of an organization, but rather they become “sons of God.” From this we see God’s “Fatherhood” as life-giver to us; our sonship occurs by having received the Father’s “only begotten Son,” who John tell us now is “the life” (1John 5:11-12) and Paul says Christ is “the life-giving Spirit” (1Cor 15:45). We are partaker of God’s One Son, as members of His body on earth today.
The church is a living organism, an invisible spiritual body, with a living “Head” and living members. Again and again Paul, by divine inspiration, calls the Church, “the Body of Christ.”
Ephesians 1:22-23 (AMP) And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church], 23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].
12:5 (KJV) So we, being many, are one body in
Christ, and every one members
one of another.
1 Corinthians 12:27 (KJV) Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 1 Corinthians 12:14-15 (KJV) For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
Christ is the Head of His Body:
The true Church of the Bible that is for today, “the body of Christ,” has only one Head. That head is not a human leader on the earth, but rather its head is the ascended and glorified Christ Himself.
Ephesians 1:22 (KJV) And (God) hath put all things under his feet, and gave
him (Christ) to be the head over all things to the church,
Ephesians 4:4-5 (KJV) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord (Christ), one faith, one baptism,
Ephesians 5:23 (KJV) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Colossians 1:18 (KJV) And he (Christ) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
Nowhere in Scripture do we read that any man is to act as Christ’s earthly representative as the “Head” of the Body. In fact, there are no heavenly mediators, no saints, or angels; to mediate or intervene on behalf of the members of “the church which is His body,” there is only Christ Himself as our mediator.
1 Timothy 2:5 (KJV) For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
Romans 8:34b (KJV) … It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.