243. VIII. THE CHURCH IS FROM THE WORD, AND WITH MAN IT IS SUCH AS HIS UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD IS.
That the church is from the Word no one can doubt, since it has been shown above, that the Word is Divine truth (n. 189-192); that the doctrine of the church is from the Word (n. 225-233); and that by means of the Word there is conjunction with the Lord (n. 234-239). But that the understanding of the Word constitutes the church, may be called in question; for there are those who believe themselves to be of the church by virtue of their having the Word and reading it, or hearing preaching from it, and knowing something of the sense of its letter. But how this or that in the Word is to be understood they do not know; and some do not regard it as of much importance. Therefore it shall now be established that it is not the Word that constitutes the church, but the understanding of it, and that the church is such as is the understanding of the Word with those who are in the church.