You cannot avoid having a vessel. You have a Baptist vessel, and you have a Benedictine vessel, and a Quaker vessel, and so forth. The problem comes when we mistake the vessel for the treasure, for the treasure is the life and power of Jesus Christ. . . .(Image: Wikipedia Commons)
The problem is that conducting the religious life can become an entirely cultural kind of thing. And we can idolize our religious culture. There are many, many ways of doing this. It is so important for us to remember that a culture can capture us and shut off our access to the supernatural spirituality of the Kingdom of God, as explained in John 3 and Romans 8, for example.
I’m sorry to say this, but too much of what we call Christian is not a manifestation of the supernatural life of God in our souls. Too much of what we call Christian is really just human. And now I’m going to say something really terrible, so brace yourselves or stop your ears. The church of Jesus Christ is not necessarily present when there is a correct administration o the sacrament and faithful preaching of the Word of God. The church of God is present where people gather together in the power of the resurrected life of Jesus Christ.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17