The Church WITH a People or The Church IN a People

Selection from Arcana Cœlestia ~ Emanuel Swedenborg

It is one thing for the church to be with a people, and another for the church to be in a people — as for example, the Christian Church is with those who have the Word, and from doctrine preach the Lord; but still there is nothing of the church in them unless they are in the marriage of good and truth, that is, unless they are in charity toward the neighbor, and thence in faith; thus unless the internals of the church are in the externals. The church is not in those who are solely in externals separate from internals; neither is it in those who are in faith separate from charity, nor in those who acknowledge the Lord from doctrine and not life. Hence it is plain that it is one thing for the church to be with a nation, and quite another to be in the nation.

… [T]he shade of the understanding is in these things may be seen from the fact that at this day scarcely anyone knows what the internal of the church is. And who knows that charity toward the neighbor consists in willing, and from willing in acting, and hence that faith consists in perceiving? … They who do not know that charity is the internal and thus the essential of the church, stand very remote from the first step toward the understanding of such things, and therefore very far from the innumerable and ineffable things that are in heaven, where the things relating to love to the Lord and love toward the neighbor are the all of life, and consequently the all of wisdom and of intelligence.

(Arcana Cœlestia 4899)
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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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