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August 25, 2022

The Two Aspects of the Church

1Cor 1:2 To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus… 1Tim 3:15 But if I delay, I write that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and base of the truth. Acts 13:1 Now there were in Antioch, in the local church, prophets and teachers…

The church of God! What an expression! It is not the church of Cephas [Peter] , of Apollos, of Paul, nor of any practice or doctrine, but of God. In spite of all the division, sin, confusion, abuse of gifts, and heretical teaching in the church in Corinth, the apostle still called it the church of God, because the divine and spiritual essence which makes the assembled believers the church of God was actually there. Such a spiritual address by the apostle was based on his spiritual view in looking upon the church in Christ. Such a simple address alone should eliminate all division and confusion both in practice and in doctrine. In verse 2 Paul speaks of "the church of God which is in Corinth." The church was constituted of the universal God, but existed in Corinth, a definite locality on this earth. In nature the church is universal in God, but in practice the church is local in a definite place. Hence, the church has two aspects: the universal and the local. In this one verse we see both the universal aspect and the local aspect of the church. The universal aspect refers to the constitution, nature, and content of the church, and the local aspect refers to the expression and practicality of the church. If we have only the local aspect, but not the aspect of the church being of God, we shall have only an outward formality. We shall be lacking the inward reality. But if we have only the universal aspect, but not the local aspect of the church in a particular locality, we shall have the reality but not the practicality. On the one hand, the church is constituted of God; on the other hand, the church is expressed in a particular locality. (c) Living Stream Ministry.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Life-study of 1 Corinthians, pp. 8-9. Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA. Please visit us at www.emanna.com. Send comments to: comment@emanna.com.

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Life-study of 1 Corinthians