2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

The Church

The new and abun­dant life giv­en by God to man through Christ and the Holy Spir­it in cre­ation and redemp­tion is the life of the Chris­t­ian Church. The life of the Church is the life orig­i­nal­ly willed for man and his world by God. It is the life of God Him­self orig­i­nal­ly giv­en in cre­ation. It is the spir­i­tu­al life.

One should not think of the spir­i­tu­al life of the Church as some par­tic­u­lar­ly spe­cial kind of “reli­gious life” dif­fer­ent from life itself as we have received it in our cre­ation by God. There are not “two lives,” one “nat­ur­al” and one “reli­gious.” There is only one life that is real, gen­uine and true. It is life with God, the life of the Church. Any oth­er life is not life at all: it is the way of death.

What dif­fer­en­ti­ates the life of the Church from the life of “this world,” also called life “accord­ing to the flesh,” is only evil and sin. Every­thing pos­i­tive is cre­at­ed life, which God has called “good… very good,” is what is saved and sanc­ti­fied in the life of the Church. Only false­hood and wicked­ness are excluded—certainly—not cre­ation itself.

In the Ortho­dox tra­di­tion, the Church is called the King­dom of God on earth, “the re-cre­ation of the world” (Saint Gre­go­ry of Nys­sa, 4th c., On the Can­ti­cles). In the New Tes­ta­ment it is also called the “new cre­ation” (2 Cor 5:17), the Body and Bride of Christ Him­self (Rom 12:5; 1 Cor 12:27; Eph 5:23ff; Rev 21:1ff).

… God has put all things under the feet of Christ and has made Him the head over all things for the Church, which is His body, the ful­ness of Him who fills all in all (Eph 1:22–23).

The Apos­tle Paul also refers to “the house­hold of God, which is the church of the liv­ing God, the pil­lar and bul­wark of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

Gen­uine life, true and real life in per­fec­tion and abun­dance, is found only in the Church of Christ. Peo­ple who are not for­mal­ly in the Church are liv­ing tru­ly and gen­uine­ly only to the extent that they fol­low the law of God “writ­ten on their hearts” by the Spir­it of God in cre­ation (Rom 1:12–16), which is the same law clear­ly revealed and giv­en in Christ and the Church. And those peo­ple who are for­mal­ly mem­bers of the Church are liv­ing tru­ly and gen­uine­ly only to the extent that they actu­al­ly live the life of the Church. For the sad fact exists that one may be for­mal­ly a mem­ber of the Church and still live accord­ing to the law of the: flesh, the law of sin and death, and not of Christ. The spir­i­tu­al life, there­fore, con­sists in actu­al­ly liv­ing the life of the Church.