25. What is the Church?The Church of Jesus Christ is a great mystery, as Paul said. What is she and who is she? What is her purpose?
I am convinced that the answers to these questions as given by Nicene Christianity are woefully inadequate on the one hand or just plain wrong on the other.
Always, we must begin with Purpose. Apart from God's pro-thesis, God made known to all through you and me, nothing in the Bible can make sense. At the same time the framework, the primary metaphor, upon which the entire Bible is constructed is the metaphor of the reproduction of life.
The Church is the Lord Jesus Christ in plant form, in-between Seed on the one hand and many seeds on the other.
The Church is that body of people who bring forth into the universe the full knowledge of God Revealed.
Lesson 25.1 Clothed with the Sun shows that the woman clothed with the sun can be none other than the Jerusalem above, clothed with the Lord Jesus Christ. The lesson then lays out the definitions by which we must know the Church.
Lesson 25.2 The Bondwoman demands that Paul's gospel be regarded in all fullness, that the bondwoman, the Old Covenant, and her son, the natural Jew, are cast out of any claim to the inheritance. The lesson also raises the incredible question - what is the dragon doing in the birthing room?
Lesson 25.3 To Give Birth explores the real purpose of the Church and how she brings forth all the life of God into outward appearance - Father, seen and known by all.