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BD 6010 28.07.1954
The church of Christ ....
The congregation of Jesus Christ is made up by all believers who see in Jesus Christ their Redeemer, who believe in Him as the Son of God, Who descended to earth in order to offer the sacrifice of atonement as a human being for the whole of the human race .... and therefore want to follow Him .... The 'church of Christ', which He Himself founded on earth, has to be understood to be all profound believers; all, who seriously strive to be active Christians; all, who are not just Christians observing formalities; all, who have a living faith and consciously place themselves under the cross of Christ .... Jesus Christ must be acknowledged by the members of His church, and from this acknowledgment arises their duty to live in accordance with His teaching .... thus to consciously live a life of love, as He Himself exemplified to people and requested with His call 'Come and follow Me ....' Anyone who complies with this call and acknowledges Him also belongs to the congregation which is described as the 'church of Christ' .... This is the invisible church which nevertheless can be and indeed is represented in every denomination because there are people everywhere who believe with heartfelt love in Jesus Christ, who are also absorbed by love for their fellow human beings .... who can be called true Christians, because they demonstrate by their way of life their affiliation to Him, Who crowned His activity of love with His death on the cross.
Hence this congregation exists wherever true Christians reside .... for they all belong in the church of Christ, and wherever two or three such Christians come together in His name He will be in the midst of them, the founder of the church of Christ, and will permeate them with His spirit .... Consequently their thoughts and words will also be right and even more relevant than the word of a preacher who is as yet not a living representative of the divine doctrine of love, whose words are not yet revealing his inner life, the spirit, which is the characteristic of the members of the church of Christ .... And this spirit will always express itself by plainly and clearly preaching and interpreting the Word of God .... which can also quite naturally take place in the smallest circle as a simple conversation wherever members of the church of Christ are together. For nothing of an external nature will confirm this membership except the individual person's spirit of love who strives towards Jesus Christ with a living faith in Him as the Son of God and Redeemer of the world, in Whose human shell God embodied Himself in order to redeem humanity from sin and death ....
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