Most everyone understands what it means to own something or to earn a degree or special title. These things are not typically just handed out, but rather earned with care, diligence, and hard work. However, when it comes to spiritual matters concerning Christ’s church, many people throw around the term "my church" with carelessness and thoughtlessness.
To purchase a car, most people have to obtain a car loan from a lending institution to pay for the car. Once many months of car payments are paid off, the lending institution sends the car title to the owner. It is at this point that the owner officially owns the car. When a person goes to a four-year college to obtain a bachelor’s degree, it is after four years of classes, late night studies, and hard work that the degree is awarded. In the business environment, an employee may work for many years to move up the "corporate ladder" to reach a certain title. All of these examples show that dedication and hard work is involved in any of these honorable pursuits. However, all of these individuals would be insulted if I stole a car and called it mine, printed my own college diploma, or just created a business card with a special title.
Christ is insulted the same way when we call His church, "my church". God gave Christ to be the head of the church, Ephesians 1:22, and as such He owns the church. It is His possession, Acts 20:28. According to 1 Corinthians 12:27, it is not the building that Christ owns, but the members individually. The members are saints, 1 Corinthians 1:2, not designated by some "church governing body" but designated as such when they become part of Christ’s body, the church.
Just as individuals gain possession of a car, diploma, or title, Christ had to "pay" for the church. However, His payments were much steeper than mere money or sweat equity, His payment was with His own blood, Acts 20:28b. Christ in the mediator of a new covenant or contract (Heb. 9:16) in which we can become a part of His church by accessing His blood through baptism (Rom. 6:3-4) and following His commandments (1 John 2:3).
In summary, everyone who has worked hard to obtain something can relate to what it means to own something. This same feeling can be turned into insult for that hard work when another individual obtains a similar possession under false measures. Christ feels the same way when we turn His possession into our possession by using the simple phrase, my church…. We must remember that Christ’s blood bought us out of our sins and we must work for Him.