The Witnessing Church
Ephesians 1:23
Which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.

The Church is called the body of Christ. Through his body a man holds communication with the outer world and works in and on that outer world. So through His Church Jesus the Christ acts upon society, upon men in general. I do not say that this is She only medium through which He works and acts, but it is the principal medium. A Church, then, must be organically fitted to express the mind and will of Christ. In inquiring as to the nature of the Church of Christ, the following ideas demand recognition:

1. Jesus Christ is its Head; its sole Head, its source of doctrine, of law and of order. He only has authority. "One is your Master even Christ, and all ye are brethren." Of course in every society there must be a head. even a mob must have a leader. There must in every society be law and order. Otherwise there can be no peace and no progress. The self-will of the individual becomes everything. And in such a state of things there can be no cooperated movement. The sole headship of Christ in the Church is the basis doctrine of all law and order.

2. The membership of the Church is a brother. hood. If we have the ability of the subordination of our own wills to the will of Christ, the practical result will be, that we shall be of the same feeling and disposition as all others dowered with the same ability. The spirit of brotherhood will be in us. For when anything of the love of God enters the heart, the love of man comes with it. And the love of man is not some sentimental feeling which is here today and gone tomorrow. It is the diametric opposite of the spirit of judgment and accusation. It is necessary to add further that the Church of Christ is not democratic, but theocratic. The people are not the fountain of law and order. This also must be added, that the Church is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit of God, which fact is evidence by these fruits of the Spirit which hang thick and threefold upon it, as upon a tree of life. We must not omit to add, that the Church is Christ's great Teacher to the nations. The last great command to the apostles runs thus: "Go ye and male disciples of all the nations, baptizing," etc. And lastly, the Church is the beginning of that permanent society which God is organizing to embody and express His will. The Book of the Revelation of St. John gives intimations of a perfected society into which there enters nothing that defileth, neither that which believeth or maketh a lie, a society of the pure and true, or rather of those who are purified and made true, men from all ages and all nations, all kindreds and all tongues, a society of men like in sympathy and disposition though various in many other ways. The Christ of God is the centre of that society; its inspiration; its archetype; a society based on inward character not on anything else, the inward character being attested by outward allegiance to this Christ of God. In that society we shall get the perfection of communion, the ideal fellowship, all lovelessness gone, no envy there, no hatred, nothing that leads to schism, no insincere man there, no unbrotherly man, the society of which the Church on earth has been, in its best estate, only the promise and prefiguration.

(Reuen Thomas.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

WEB: which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

The Head and the Body
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