What is the church? And what can i liken it to?
It is like when, Yahweh God said, “it is not good that the man is alone. I will make for him a helper as his counterpart."
Despite present day thought and structure, you cannot be the church by yourself. You are literally not in the church. You are deliberately cutting yourself off from the church. You don't ALWAYS need the church around you, Jesus got off by himself to pray but even to do the work of the church, Jesus never divided his boys up in groups of less than two. Even, as we pointed out yesterday, God refers to himself in the plural.
The church is relationship. Defined by a group of people in relationship with God through Jesus Christ who made it possible. But it doesn't end there. The first commandment is Love God. Relationship with God. The first four commandments of the ten were vertical. Love God, don't love some other god which is not a god. Don't make gods for yourself. Don't abuse or malign God's reputation. Set apart a day to remember that you are not God and who is.
But the next major commandment, the next six of the ten are all horizontal. They deal with us being naked, known, vulnerable with each other and unashamed, not fearful, not defensive, in truth. This is why we must have the first relationship. You cannot be naked with everyone. i hope i don't have to explain why. But even in the church it is dangerous and excruciatingly difficult. It is easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a camel than for two people to be in true relationship and love with each other under the best of conditions in this world. But that's the job and only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we do it and we'd better, because it's how the church will be known and therefore, how those who don't yet know God will know him.“A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another—just as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples—if you have love for one another.” John 13