A basic conception of the church

"Here, then, is a basic conception of the Church. Its existence lies in its relationship to the Father, a relationship established by personal response to and confession of Christ. Provision for its community is not in an organizational structure, but in the abiding of the Holy Spirit, while the relations of its members to each other are the paradoxical reverse of institutional. Its rites emphasize not office, but fellowship and identification. It is the fulfilment of the ideal of the old covenant, and yet a new thing. Its nature is essentially eschatalogical: it is the anticipatory fulfilment of God's final act, in the present world the holder of the keys of the Kingdom, but, like the Kingdom, the seed springing up in token of the reaping to come. For this reason it is in perpetual tension with its environment: it is in the world, but it is of the world to come."
- F. Roy Coad, The Apostolic Church, p. 103 in A New Testament Commentary, Pickering & Inglis, 1969