Born Out of the Spirit
The birth of the church two thousand years ago was not the result of some marketing strategy. Nor was it an attempt to introduce a new religion into the world. There was not some massive plan with a seven-step or five-point strategic vision to achieve certain programmatic objectives. There was no goal of building an institution that would vaunt some hierarchical structure and exercise power in the world.—The Rev. Rick Barger, from A New and Right Spirit
The church was born out of the Spirit of God. Its purpose was to witness to the saving activity of God, not as proffering a deal, cause, or spiritual assistance but to be a transparent sign in which and through which Jesus is encountered, experienced, known, and lives. The church's relationship to Jesus is not simply to be identified with a historical person. The church's identification with Jesus is its DNA. Jesus not only gives the church its DNA. Jesus is the church's DNA. Jesus abides or lives in the church (John 15:4 and others). Thus, Jesus can speak about his being "the vine" and the church being "the branches" (John 15:5). Vine and branch are of the same DNA, The church as the Body of Christ is more than just a metaphor. It is reality.