Ah, the wonder of metaphors and illustrations, yes?
In one illustration, Jesus said, “I am the door.” (John 10) He also mentions a doorkeeper who opens the door so the shepherd can come in to care for the sheep.
There are many in our society today who have adopted a
“Jesus and thee, no need for three, the institution of the Church, just ain’t for me” attitude.
That’s one ditch.
The other ditch is…
“It’s only the Church, the pillar of truth, but encounter the Trinity is too deep for me.”
In Scripture, we see Jesus working through His Church that He institutionalized. He proclaimed, “I will build my Church…!” (Note: People sometimes have a knee-jerk reaction when their hear “institutionalized Church” because of the stories they have heard as well as their own personal encounters with so-called “leaders” in the Church.) Nevertheless, the Church was visible and recognizable as an institution with structure, officers, policies, organizations, and even property and buildings. A person was either IN the Church or not.
Leaders of the Church, such as the Apostles, gave themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer, while others, also full of the Holy Spirit, managed and did the work of the ministry, such as the deacons.
This living institution made judgment calls, commissioned evangelistic activities, the ministry to the poor and suffering, and managed property and finances.
The Holy Spirit worked with, in, and through the Church and many miracles were done by the Church confirming the Word which was spoken.
Sometimes, Jesus would make special appearances as he did to a persecutor of the Church named Saul. Yet Jesus sent him (Saul) to the Church, specifically a leader in the Church named Ananias to completely fling the door wide open. (Acts 9)
Jesus gave the commission to His Church, gave them responsibilities and authority to act in His Name.