What is the Church?

Straight Talk

The Question

Can you tell me any Bible verses that pertain to why we as humans need the church and the church needs us; or, does the church really need us at all?

SS from Columbus, Mississippi

The Answer
Part 1: The Church is…

The Church is… (Part 1)

Actually, I believe your thinking is a little off regarding the church. Before we define who needs who and why, we need to understand what the church is. The truth is: WE are the church. The church is not some institution, separate and apart from all its members the way organizations are composed in the world. The real church of Jesus Christ is comprised of living persons within a spiritual body (the Body of Christ) with Christ as the head.

1 Corinthians 12:27 says: “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.” This passage is part of a beautiful explanation of what the church is, how it operates, and the part each of us play through the use of our Holy Spirit given gifts.

Your question would better ask: does Jesus Christ really need us? The answer is yes. He has chosen to do his work in the world through us after he ascended back to heaven 2000 years ago. He wants us to be the expression of his love to the world; basically his hands and feet in leading our own generation to receive God’s love.

The main thing is that we need each other to get the job done fully and right. We are totally interdependent and that is a wise plan. No one of us has it all or knows it all or has the wherewithal to do it all.

Our Lord also makes it clear that each part is important and we should not look down on what we might consider lesser parts. “And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; or again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.'” (1 Corinthians 12:21)

We need Christ because without him we would be a headless body. We need each other to get our full assignment done. Christ (the Head) needs us because he has chosen to reach the world through us, his church.


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