Any uncertainty about the vital and intimate relationship between Christ and the church is not the fault of the inspired writers. The apostle Paul alone, in just one epistle (i.e., Ephesians) enunciates a most endearing and essential relationship of these two primary components of God’s eternal purpose.
In the last post, we considered these three facts stated in Ephesians: Christ is the benefactor of the church (Ephesians 1:3); Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23); Christ is the unifier of the church (Ephesians 2:14-18).
Ponder thoughtfully on three more:
Christ is the chief cornerstone of the church (Ephesians 2:21-22). By divine intention, the church is to be a holy temple, fitted and built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. Essential to its foundation and thus its duration is Jesus, the chief cornerstone.
Christ is the equipper of the church (Ephesians 4:11-16). For the church to minister to others, edify itself, and speak the truth in love it needed to be adequately equipped for these strenuous activities. Therefore, Jesus Himself “gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11). Because He has outfitted the church in this manner, it is thoroughly equipped for every good work.
Christ is the Savior of the church (Ephesians 5:22-23). Like a knight in shining armor, Jesus came to rescue the perishing, saving them from their sins (Matthew 1:21). To those who obey His gospel, He exercises His loving authority as a godly husband does with his wife. The sacred institution of marriage with its intended intimacy and unselfishness is patterned after the passionate, sanctifying, nourishing, and cherishing love of Jesus for His bride. The high calling of a Christian husband is to love his wife “just as Christ loved the church”. The high calling of a Christian wife is to submit to her husband “just as the church is subject to Christ”.
Considering these six facts alone, it ought to be obvious that it is impossible, Biblically speaking, to separate Christ and His church.
Because it clearly contradicts the Scriptures, the slogan “Jesus, yes! The church, no!” is patently false.