But how does one enter into a relationship with Christ and access these divine blessings? The Bible contains the answer: Penitent believers in the Lord Jesus are immersed "into Christ" for the forgiveness of their sins and God adds them to His church where the blessings flow (cf. John 8:24; Acts 2:38; Gal. 3:27; Acts 2:47).
Perhaps you're thinking: "Wait a minute, Stephen. I'm not interested in the church. I just want a relationship with Jesus and to enjoy spiritual blessings." Dear listeners, you can't have one without the other! The Lord Jesus Christ and His church are inseparable for He is the head and the church is His body (cf. Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:18)! Would you like to have your body separated from your head or ignored as if it was unimportant? I think not. Besides, the church that belongs to Jesus is both wonderful and desirable, though it has been perverted and misunderstood by many.
All those who obey the gospel are Christians, and all Christians are members of the body of Christ--the church. Jesus cares about each member because He cares about the church (cf. I Cor. 12:12ff). In fact, Jesus cares about the church so much that He willingly gave His life for it, as Ephesians 5:25 notes - "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." Jesus shed His blood in order to buy the church - "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). Truly, if the church is Jesus' spiritual body and He died to make it a reality, it must be very special!
Although our religious landscape is dotted with hundreds of religious organizations and man-made "churches," each with differing doctrines, creed books, and humanly-devised teachings, Jesus only built one church. Jesus promised to build His church (singular) in Matthew 16:18, and that is precisely what He did. The church He created is that body of disciples who believe, teach, and implement His will (Jesus doesn't recognize or "know" anyone else spiritually; cf. Matt. 7:21-23). The church He created was planned in the mind of God, predicted by the prophets, and prepared for and made into reality in the first century. If a religious body does not believe, teach, and do the Father's will, they are most certainly not the church Jesus died for and built. Members of Jesus' church will always be united only on the basis of submitting to God and His word as supreme and casting off personal opinions and preferences.
Praise be to God for His church wherein all spiritual blessings are found! God's saving mercy and grace are not found outside His wonderful church. Think on these things, friends, and do not be ashamed to proclaim that there is no church like the Lord's church; there is just no comparison!