Info

McGiffert, Apostolic Church, 501 ? ?Paul?s conception of the church as the body of Christ was first emphasized and developed by Ignatius. He reproduces in his writings the substance of all the Paulinism that the church at large made permanently its own. The conception is the preexistence and deity of Christ, the union of the believer with Christ without which the Christian life is impossible, the importance of Christ?s death, the church the body of Christ. Rome never fully recognized Paul?s teachings, but her system rests upon his doctrine of the church the body of Christ. The modern doctrine however makes the kingdom to be not spiritual or future but a reality of this world.? The redemption of the body, the redemption of institutions, the redemption of nations is indeed, all purposed by Christ. Christians should not only strive to rescue individual men from the slough of vice but they should devise measures for draining that slough and making that vice impossible. In other words, they should labor for the coming of the kingdom of God in society. But this is not to identify the church with polities, prohibition, libraries or athletics. The spiritual fellowship is to be the fountain from which all these activities spring, while at the same time Christ?s ?kingdom is not of this world? ( <431836>John 18:36).

A. J. Gordon, Ministry of the Spirit, 24, 25, 207 ? ?As Christ is the temple of God, so the church is the temple of the Holy Spirit. As God could be seen only through Christ, so the Holy Spirit can be seen only through the church. As Christ was the image of the invisible God, so the church is appointed to be the image of the invisible Christ, and the members of Christ, when they are glorified with him, shall be the express image of his person. The church and the kingdom are not identical terms, if we mean by the kingdom the visible reign and government of Jesus Christ on earth. In another sense they are identical. As is the king, so is the kingdom. The king is present now in the world, only invisibly and by the Holy Spirit, so the kingdom is now present invisibly and spiritually in the hearts of believers. The king is to come again visibly and gloriously, so shall the kingdom appear visibly and gloriously. In other words, the kingdom is already here in mystery; it is to be here in manifestation. Now the spiritual kingdom, which extends from Pentecost to Parousia is being administered by the Holy Spirit. At the Parousia ? the appearing of the Son of man in glory ? when he shall take unto himself his great power and reign ( <661117>Revelation 11:17), when he who has now gone into a far country to be invested with a kingdom shall return and enter upon his government ( <421915>Luke 19:15). At that time, the invisible shall give way to the visible, the kingdom in mystery shall emerge into the kingdom in

<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment