For A Church To Exist

Selection from New Jerusalem and Heavenly Doctrine ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

What makes heaven in the case of a person, also makes the church. For as love and faith make heaven, so too love and faith make the church. So from what has already been said about heaven it is plain what the church is.

The name of church is given where the Lord is acknowledged and where the Word is known. For the essential elements of the church are love and faith directed to the Lord and coming from the Lord; and the Word teaches how a person must live, in order to receive love and faith from the Lord.

For a church to exist, there must be teaching from the Word, since the Word is not intelligible without teaching. But it is not teaching alone that makes the church in the case of a person, but living in accordance with that teaching. From this it follows that it is not faith alone which makes the church, but the life of faith, which is charity. The true teaching is the teaching of charity and faith together, not faith without charity. For the teaching of charity and faith together is teaching how to live one’s life; but the teaching of faith without charity is not.

Those outside the church who acknowledge one God and who in accordance with their religion live in some sort of charity towards the neighbour are in communion with those who belong to the church. For no one is damned who believes in God and lives a good life. From this it is plain that the Lord’s church exists throughout the whole world, although it is especially located where the Lord is acknowledged and the Word is known.

Everyone who has the church present with him is saved; but everyone who does not have it present is condemned.

(NJHD 241-245)

About mike

Finding out that the Lord is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last, and from the human race the angelic heaven would be formed, my entire focus on life changed. The reason for my creation was to perform Divine uses - The Divine Providence looks to eternal ends. My gain, honor or reputation no longer could be the focal point of what drives the engine. One day I will lay aside this material body and will wake up in the spiritual world never to return; there will be a continuation of life, and my ruling love will be what guides me to my final situation. 'Where a tree falls, there will it lay' (Ecc 11:3) We only have a few years in these bodies compared to eternity. What is fossilized on our souls in this short period is important to how we spend eternity. We are not left to blind faith, The Lord has come in His Word to reveal rationally how we can be made 'a vessel of honor, able for the master's use.' I truly hope the post create a thirst. If I can be of service, please do not hesitate to email me. --Mike
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