The Universal Body of Christ – Greg Albrecht
The teaching ministry of Christianity Without the Religion (CWR) offers weekly online sermons, with Christ-centered teaching, fellowship, prayers and communion. We minister modestly, without religious embellishments, primarily to individuals and small groups who are part of the body of Christ, rather than overflowing crowds in warehouse-like sanctuaries or in majestic, stained glass cathedrals.
We minister in the name of Jesus, remembering his promise in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” We insist that the church is who YOU are, in Christ,
far more than it is a physical location to which you travel or a building you attend.
We are a different kind of a church—because we have no specific building on a piece of land where we offer services. We do not offer to officiate at baptisms, marriages or funerals. We believe that the body of Christ is seen and unseen, dead in Christ and alive in Christ, on earth now and on the other side of eternity.
We are a different kind of a church—we have no connection whatsoever with any denomination. In fact, we believe in religion-less Christianity. While we embrace Christ-followers who choose to attend a brick-and-mortar church as well as listen to and read our messages, we reject any religious requirement that one must physically attend a building.
We remember the powerful, soaring and compelling last words of Stephen, recorded in Acts 7:48-50: However, the Most High does not live in houses made by men. As the prophet says, “Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be? Has not my hand made all these things?”
We believe and know, as we rest in Christ, that our relationship with God is not governed or enhanced or improved by how hard we work, how long we pray or how much we give. God loves you and me right now as much as he ever has or ever will. Therefore, we reject the necessity and the presumed effectiveness of religious pills, prescriptions, potions, programs and performances.
Because we are members of the universal body of Christ, we join with our brothers and sisters around this world in coming to the Table of the Lord on the first Sunday of each month, as well as other special times of spiritual focus and feasting during the year. We come to his table (variously called communion, the Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper and the mass) to remember Jesus, as he instructed us.
Imagine a huge banquet table that stretches as far as our eyes can see—then it disappears into the horizon. You and I and billions of people (dead and alive) are seated at that table. Let’s imagine this huge gathering of the children of God, Christ-followers who are seated in the heavenly realms.
Can you see them? You might be surprised to see some who are seated near you—and as a matter of fact, some of them might be surprised to see you or me!
Can you see your fellow members in the universal body of Christ? Here, at this most majestic and beautiful Table, are the rich and the famous, the poor and the unknown.
Here are those whom we might dignify as saints and definitely those we might regard as sinners. Old and young, lost and found, striving, thriving and grieving, addicted and sober, crippled and maimed, sick and oppressed. Our fellow guests at this table are male and female—black, yellow, white and brown.
Can you see these—the redeemed of Christ, for whom he died, whom he loves now and forever? Look, there are victims of abuse and those who have abused them. Murderers and their victims, crooks and con-artists and thieves alongside of pastors and teachers and yes…even politicians.
Here we are—the human family, together at the Table of the Lord. God shows no partiality—he does not respect those who have resumes filled with impressive deeds and achievements more than he does the poor, the homeless, the refugees and the disadvantaged.
Our presence at this table is not predicated on our perfect Sunday school attendance record—nor does it depend on how long and frequent our prayers are. Our presence at this table is by the grace of God. There will be no bill to pay for this magnificent feast, because the bill has already been paid.