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The Christ-as-Life Church

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

Dr. Stephen Phinney



For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (Rom 12:4-5)

This article is one of hope and renewal, aimed at equipping individuals and families to stand, walk free, and complete in the indwelling Life of Jesus Christ by the miraculous mystery of the Holy Spirit in us. This is the key to renewal in the Church as well.


The Misnomer of Church


The organic term ‘Church’ is not what the masses refer to as church today. In our church culture, we reference ‘church’ as denominations; a church building, church house, or a church building used for “Christian” worship services that adhere to a set of collective doctrines. The challenge is that these doctrines are hand-picked by leaders through divisive disagreements and self-interpretive views OF the Bible. Most exaggerate selective passages, build a denomination and propagate portions of the Holy Word while deleting, minimally de-emphasizing portions of the Bible that leaders deem offensive or unnecessary.



The original label of ‘Church’ came from a description of individuals who became members of the Body of Christ – born-again & graphed into Jesus Christ as His earthly representative of His body. It is the reason we are told that we are the temple (body) of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19). Thus, the Church is the global representative of all those receiving Jesus Christ into their mortal bodies. In the Scriptures, all references of the Church are directly connected to believers who have been indwelt by Christ - gathering in separate communities. As in the church at Ephesus, the Seven Churches stated in Revelation, etc.


The transition of the Church going from a collective group of indwelt Christians to denominational types that devolved into independent “churches” took place due to the division of beliefs and interpretations of the written Word. It began during Biblical Paul’s time, about 67 AD, and the Church then morphed into churches. Within a few generations after Christ’s ascension, the term Body of Christ faded into the misnomer of “churches.”


While it is acceptable to use the term churches, we need to keep the context of the initial logic of this label. That of a group of indwelt Christians meeting in a community, i.e., the church at Ephesus. Originally it was to communicate a group of born-again believers that gather at a particular location. Today it is used as a group of “believers” gathering under a structure of selective doctrines.


However, each time I use the term Church, I am referencing the Body of Jesus Christ as a whole. Since you cannot lead a nation or church into the saving Life of Christ, we shift our focus to the individuals within the nations or churches. For example, America has been known as a Christian Nation. The irony is, nations cannot be born-again – only people. Churches cannot be born-again, and only their people can. Thus our emphasis is on the doctrinal ideologies of the Body of Christ.


The Christ-as-Life Church


When I use the phrase “Christ-as-Life Church,” I am addres