After today’s sermon, I am grieved at the amount of ignorance among American Christians. Today’s sermon was titled “There is No Salvation Outside the Church”. The backlash is astounding. And from those claiming to know and love Jesus. How do you say you love Him, but do not love the Church?

For reference, my husband did not come up with this phrase. The Latin phrase “extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” meaning “there is no salvation outside the church” is a phrase referring to a Christian doctrine about who is to receive salvation.

The expression comes from the writings of Saint Cyprian of Carthage, a Christian bishop of the 3rd century. Cyprian wrote this sometime between 240-260 AD. Notice the date. We have 2000+ YEARS of church history and church fathers who went before us. This generation did not invent church doctrine neither Scripture. This is not the first generation to receive the Holy Spirit. He has been alive and active in the church for 2000 years, adding to the CHURCH those who are saved.

The phrase, “Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus” means that there is no salvation outside the Body of Christ. Those who are not in the body and connected to the body (as Jesus is the head of the church and we are members of His Body, the church) are not saved. This is theologically sound, Biblical doctrine. We are only saved by the blood of Christ. We are born again by the Holy Spirit. We are then translated into His Body- the church. Therefore, there is no salvation outside the church.

The church is the saved and committed community of Christ’s body. It is shameful how many “Christians” attack those preaching the love of Christ’s church. It is Gnosticism. Go and learn what this means. There are many, many Scriptures referring to the church being the Body and Bride of Christ. You cannot live disconnected from the Body (the church) of Christ and be connected to the Head. This is spiritually, physically and intellectually dishonest.

If you are interested, you may go and listen to today’s sermon. Some people’s pride will keep them from this very thing. I can see how one comment taken out of context can be misconstrued by the unlearned and the ignorant. The cardinal rule of communication is to “seek first to understand before being understood”. But alas, it’s Facebook and the trolls are in full force today. YOU are not the church. This is again Gnosticism.

We are the church as we gather, love, serve, forgive, mourn with those who mourn, take care of the widows and orphans, house those who have been abandoned, worship the risen Savior and much much more. “Where two or three are gathered” is also not the church. It is a reference to the OT witness to judge an offender. Yes. The church has order. She is not in confusion and chaos. You cannot do as you will and say you are apart of the church.

The church has pastors, elders and deacons. She has prophets and teachers. And yes. The church has a building. This fallacy “the church is not a building” (and it is not, but we need a building to house and take care of God’s people) is also Gnosticism. Go and learn what this means. Why shouldn’t the church have a building? Do you have a house?

If you do not believe in a literal building, then go live in the forest without even a tent, no shelter. You do not need a house. YOU are not the pillar of truth. The church, who is the called out and gathered saints who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, living in community and unity with one another, doing the will of God and obeying the Scriptures breathed by the Spirit; is the pillar of truth. If she is a metaphysical concept and you are the church, then why did Paul tell us how to conduct ourselves in the church?

Go and learn what this means. “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.”‭‭I Timothy‬ ‭3:14-16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

To Learn More About Pastor Crystal please visit the Leadership Page

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