What is a church in the eyes of Christ?
In regard to a local church body that gets together for study and worship, Ravi’s words come to mind. He has said that unlike the believers of the OT that had to go to the physical temple to come to God’s presence, the NT believer has the indwelling presence of God inside of them. And, as such, we are the intended temples of God, temples not made of human hands but by God for Himself. And, going to church is not the same expression as the OT trek to the temple to approach God’s presence but that instead is an aggregation of temples of God jointly gathering for praise, worship, study, community, etc. Going to church is not to be viewed as a separate, distinct requirement of worship because worship is coextensive with the believer’s life. The way I treat my family on Monday and do my job on Tuesday and pay my taxes on Wednesday are necessary and more common acts of our worship to God than going to a physical place for a couple of hours a week for a community expression, although, commonly, the action of going to church for a service is given higher regard.
Maybe others will want to jump in regarding how the church catholic (universal) is the body of Christ functioning as His hands and feet in the world.
Hope that helps some!
I like NT Wright’s definition of church. It is short but to the point.
Network of worship based, ethically rigorous, egalitarian, philanthropic, fictive kinship groups, church for short.
One way to consider answering that might be: How do we see ourselves representing Christ in the Church ? Would Christ be Glorified by what we are about? Are we abiding in him or not? See John 15. That chapter makes it clear what we need to be doing and what will happen if we are not doing it. God is Good to All. Fred Proch