Learning from Jesus about church

What can we learn from Christ Jesus, the master Christian, about church? What did he teach that is helpful to us today as church members? Or, if we are hesitant about committing ourselves to church membership, what is there in the teachings of Jesus that might encourage us to make this important decision?

Interestingly enough, we have only a few specific words about church from Christ Jesus. When he asked his disciples who they believed him to be, Peter answered: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus, strongly approving Peter's answer, replied: "Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Matt. 16:16-18.

Centuries after Jesus uttered these words, Mrs. Eddy, the Founder of Christian Science, commented on them: "In other words, Jesus purposed founding his society, not on the personal Peter as a mortal, but on the God-power which lay behind Peter's confession of the true Messiah." Science and Health, p. 138. One's concept of church, then, should be based not on mortals and their personal opinions but on God's power, the Christ, Truth, and on the inspired thoughts that come from spiritual communion with God, as Peter illustrated when he recognized Jesus as the Messiah.

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Blessing and salvation
April 1, 1985

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