How is Christ outside of the Church?
by Bill Naugle
(Mansfield, Ohio USA)
How is Christ outside of the Church? What is the doctrine of "Christ Outside the Church"? How will the individual and Body Of Christ manifest their lives when Christ is Outside? What will your life look like individual and corporate when Christ is outside? Let me answer these questions.
First, let me show you the doctrine of Christ outside of the Church. Please remember that we are living in the Last Days and the Last Church mentioned in the Book of Revelation is our present condition. Read:
Rev 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." Christ states clearly that He is on the outside. He is also wanting to get in because He is knocking and asking us to open the door to let Him in.
Our response is to Listen to His voice and open the door so He can come in and have a love relationship with us. See: John 10:27 "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." We as Christians can hear the voice of God ONLY when we know Him in an intimate relationship. We will always respond to Him in love. You can be born-again and Not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. A relationship requires us to relate and converse with God and learn what He desires and He will give you your desires.
Hearing God's voice is imperative and those who will listen to God will know Him. Rev 3:22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches." The Holy Spirit brings to us the Words of Christ and we Listen to Him. Mar 9:7 And a cloud came and overshadowed them; and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My beloved Son. Hear Him! God the Father wants us to listen to Christ and read His Word in order to know the voice of God better. This basically is the doctrine of Christ outside of the Church. There is much more but you get the idea. The answer to the rest of the questions will be given below.
1. Legalism takes us outside of a relationship with Christ and puts Him outside of the Church. Gal 2:16 "knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified." Many in the Church are living under a performance based religion. They are praying, studying God's Word and doing ministry with many other works only to get favor with God and this is legalism. They are trying to earn something they want from God and are living outside of a real relationship where you can share with Him your needs and He gives everything to you as a gift which could never be bought. This is living in the flesh and not the Spirit. It is only when we are in the Spirit that we can relate to God. It would be good to read the whole Book of Galatians concerning being under the law and the freedom God will give those who hear His voice.
2. Your relationship with Christ is carnal when not in the Spirit and that puts Christ outside. Rom 8:2-4 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."
Walking in the Spirit is the way to overcome sin, the flesh, the law and the devil. When we live in the flesh we will automatically sin and be in the flesh under the law. We must know that God has given us power over sin and for us to not yield to the lusts of the world. This was accomplished at the Cross when Christ died and poured out His blood and gave us a new nature that lives righteous and this new nature we yield to.
This is our victory when we know who Christ made us to be. 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." Everything in your life is new because you have a new nature now. You are blessed of God, you have good health and healing, you have financial provision with joy and peace in your heart when you live in the Spirit out of the new person that you are.
See: Eph 4:24 "and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness." The new nature that God has given you is righteous so Be who you are and not anyone else. This will bring Christ back into the Church when all of His saints live this way and we become one like The Father, Son and The Holy Spirit Who are one. God has only one body and that is the way we would live. We need each other in order for us to connect with God in a relationship.
3. The preaching of Christ with human wisdom makes the work of the Cross of NO effect in the Church and individually. This puts Christ outside because it is another Gospel and not the true Gospel of Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:17 "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect."
How can there be true conversions to God without a true Gospel that is preached in the Spirit and not with human words of wisdom which gives us stories instead of just preaching Christ died on the Cross, buried and was resurrected and all of what this means. Get rid of programs and systems of 3 steps to success and just Preach The Word.
Preaching the Gospel must be done in the Spirit or else Christ is outside of the Church. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 "And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God." See that we leave out all human wisdom and Listen to the voice of The Spirit and let Him do the preaching thru us and we will see real results. We will also see miracles and signs in the Church.
The only thing or I should say Who we need to know is: 1 Corinthians 2:2 "For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified." All other preaching about the Old Testament saints and the new with the many Bible stories are not really necessary because the Only that we need is to speak of Jesus Christ and His Work at the Cross and this will bring Christ back into the Church. The Holy Spirit loves and is in agreement with the Preaching of the complete Gospel message concerning Jesus Christ and His death. This kind of Preaching will be anointed by the Holy Spirit. Let us get back to basics of the Word and prayer like the Apostles and we will have the same success.
You can be saved, born-again by the Spirit of God and serve Him faithfully and yet not have a relationship with Him. 1 Corinthians 3:15 "If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire." Your works may burn up because you did them in the flesh under law to try to obtain your own righteousness before God but you will still be saved, have eternal life and go to heaven. Your reward for the works you have done will be gone but Thank God that you will have eternal life. This is why we need to listen to God by walking in The Spirit and allow Christ to do the good works thru us. Let us bring Christ back in our lives and the Church and we will see God at work.