The Apostle Paul calls us in Ephesians 2:15 to be “one new humanity”. This is something that he says Jesus is “creating in himself”. We must emphasise three things here:
We are to live in unity with everyone
Being ‘one’ or living in unity is at the heart of Christianity. We read that it was Jesus’ purpose to bring us together and end the hostility between us (Eph 2:14). This has two aspects to it: firstly, we are to be united internally as a church community, but perhaps even more importantly, we must not close ourselves to those outside the church community. We are to live in unity with everyone. For this reason we believe that a divided or closed church is no church at all, for the very purpose of the church is to be a place where we are all one in Jesus Christ.
We are to let God change us
Paul calls us to put off the old self and put on the new self; we are to be like God (Eph 4:22-24). Paul also says, “we all used to follow the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will” (Eph 2:1-3). We did whatever we felt was best with our lives and in so doing closed the door to God. For this reason we believe that a church that does not show repentance is no church at all, for the very basis of our new life with God is a decision on our behalf to submit our will to the will of God.
We are to have God’s Spirit live in us
We are to be ‘in Jesus Christ’. What this means is that we mustn’t simply believe something about Jesus, instead we must experience all of our life in him. We read that “Christ is building us into a place where God lives through the Spirit” (Eph 2:22). Thus, to live in Christ is to have his Spirit live in us; that is how we become like God, how we become new, and how we unite with one another over a shared experience of God’s transforming power within us. For this reason we believe that a church that shows no evidence of God’s Spirit among it is no church at all, for it was Christ’s purpose not simply to come to us, but to be in us.