The Reason why we have both the True Church and the Institution among us
Sin is the outworking of rebellion against God. To commit sin is to walk in rebellion. The unregenerate soul has no choice but to be a slave to sin. The regenerate soul has been set free from having the power of sin over them, though they must exercise restraint daily. Though they understand that because they live in flesh, they will sin but that they no longer let it rule them and instead serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is confusion among Christian circles because many, if not most, have not yet received a new heart in Christ; that is, they have yet to been born again to contain the Spirit of God inside them. What is mistaken for the Holy Spirit new birth experience is a religious conversion.
The religious soul may be a law abiding man or woman of God, and will faithfully serve in their churches but will remained unchanged in their view and relationship with sin.
Anyone who does not realize that sin is an issue or if they do not feel the need to separate themselves from the world(ly) indicates they do not contain the Spirit of God inside. For this is what the Spirit does; He will convict us of sin, righteousness and the judgement against sin. To say we are Christian and not be conscience of sin is not to have the heart of God regarding what He hates most, which is sin. To not appreciate the righteousness of God and want to walk in right-ness by abiding in the Word reveals we do not contain His Righteousness in us. To not understand and give careful observance to sin and righteousness is to be oblivious to the judgement of God.
The new birth awakens us to God’s heart, which alters our entire way of relating to sin, His righteousness and judgement so that we are significantly changed. To say we are Christian and not have such an impact only reveals we are yet dead in our sins.
The sad truth is that those of us who have the Spirit of God will be an offense to such people. understanding that it is the Spirit of God that defines the Church of Christ is essential to understand the day we are in.
Definition of Church Fellowship
Though we may be born again we may still not be living in the fullness and power God has for His Church. In fact, we each should be operating in spiritual gifts by the power of the Holy Spirit! The Church, when under full unhindered operation, should be displaying the glory of Christ, as we function according to the biblical model. Sadly, because of how institutional church is constructed, will stunt and worse yet not even encourage such operation of spiritual gifts to take place at all.
True fellowship in the Lord is where we come together based on WHO is inside of us and not by the name of the denomination and church building. It is where we share (spiritual gifts and personal studies) one with another of the Lord Jesus Christ– in freedom and where we will give, receive, be encouraged and yes even be rebuked – in His name and love. The Lord organizes us and it is He that teaches as we submit to Him and to one another as we participate in His Word together.
The contrast of the true with the false
The world has created systems and doctrines that sound good but have also created walls of separation to exclude other believers. The early Church names were only to reveal the location of the church body, today the names reveal the particular belief. We must become a member, that is to sign on the dotted line if we want to join the particular fellowship. The church has become an institution and prevents us from operating as a living organism where we have (only) one Head and we are connected to Him.
The Lord prayed for us that we would be one with Him and one with each other – this is His heart; John 17. As we walk in these dark days, our goal is to be one with Him and that is it. As we walk one with the Lord we are able to be one with one another. Out of this supernatural union that Jesus has provided us, we will walk in love and in truth enjoying the fellowship that is the result.
The Wrong Battle
There is much confusion today where it has become about the fight to keep our rights so we may resume gathering together in our sacred buildings. I ask how many know and seek out fellowship beyond the sacred meetings with these buildings? The early church faced challenges greater than today, and we read nowhere that they protested, but they secretly met one another and assembled together quietly. I can say by my own experience that when taken out of the church building, or even while in it and after the service, the chatter is more likely to be about everything but the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a compartmentalize kind of Christianity that the Lord quite frankly hates.
What we Must Contend For
The battle we must fight is to learn how to gather together, one with another, secretly and openly and to be the church of Christ. To seek the Lord to fill us by His Word so we may take what He gives us to offer it to our brothers and sisters. I believe the Lord is asking us not to save the buildings or the structures but to come out of them and begin to BE His Church. The real battle is not ours but His, and He has already told us that the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church. He wants us to join Him, and I believe He is removing the walls that have prevented this. All that is needed is for us to wake up and disjoin ourselves from the system so we may join the Body and Church of Jesus Christ.