People have generally been wondering which church, or more precisely, which denomination of Christianity, is the real, “true church”? Which is the one that God intended and loves, cherishes, and for which he died for? The answer to this complex question is that actually, no visible church or its denomination is the one true church. The bride of Christ, the common name for this church, is not simply an institution. Instead, however, it is a spiritual entity that is comprised of those people who have brought together by faith into a close and intimate relationship with Lord Jesus Christ. These followers, no matter which country, building, or denomination of Christianity they belong to, are what truly constitutes the one true church.
The Word “Church”
In the Bible, it is said that the local, visible church is simply a gathering of the professing believers and a place of religion. In the letters of Paul, the word “church” has two different meanings. There are examples of it simply referring to a group of believers who regularly meet. We also see his concerns in these letters for the individual churches in the cities that he goes to on the missionary journey. The other use of the word is for that which is invisible, a spiritual entity and a relationship with Christ, as close as a bride and her husband share. This second meaning of the church is reserved to that, and it is made up of an unnamed and unspecified group of individuals who view Christ the same and have him in common.
“Church” is actually a translation of the Greek word “ekklesia”, which means “a called–out assembly.” So you see, even the original word describes a group of people who are called out and set apart for the Lord. It is also worth noting that it is always in its singular form, and as such it describes a universal group of people who are familiar with Christ. On the other hand, the word “ekklesia” in plural describes groups of believers who meet together. Here we must remember that the word “church” is never used in the Bible to talk of a building or an organization.
The True Church
The idea that one particular denomination within the Christian faith is “the true church” is an old one, and it is easy to understand why. However, this is a major misunderstanding of Scripture. When one chooses a church to attend, remember that a gathering of true believers has to be at a place where those feel connected to the spiritual entity of church feel at home. So, a good local church will support the Word of God, honors it and preaches it faithfully while proclaiming the gospels. The actual building is, therefore, a place of gathering of the spiritual church, something not physical. A church that deals with heresy or engages in sin will not be attended by the people of faith, meaning those who really people belong to the true church.
The members of the true church enjoy their agreement and fellowship with Jesus Christ, and this is called Christian unity. But make no mistake, a simple agreement just for the sake of the agreement is not the truth. It actually encourages the believers to stay away from speaking the difficult truths. This practice sacrifices a true understanding of God and favors false unities based on fake love and understanding. It is nothing more than a selfish tolerance of sin.
Lastly, it is essential to know that the true church is the bride of Christ and the body of Christ. Nobody can contain it, wall it in, or define differently than the love for Christ and its dedication to Him. According to C. S. Lewis, it is “spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners.”