NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 2]

 

dont go to church - be the church

 

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-28

 

Last Week I began a new series of posts to take a closer look at what the Bible teaches us about the Church. After all, if “Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her” then this must be an important subject to Him! Therefore we must focus our thoughts on His Word to gain an accurate understanding of what the Church is.

In his book, Christ Loved the Church, William MacDonald listed many ways in which the Church is referenced in Scripture. For the careful reader, each of these references provides a different vantage point of God’s manifold love for His church.

Let’s take a look at a few of these.

In John 10:16, the Lord refers to the church as a flock. The term “flock” brings before us a sense of care, feeding, protection, and guidance! And our Father certainly performs many shepherd like functions for His flock.

We are also referred to as His husbandry (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV). He expects fruit from us! Are we a fruitful garden/field/orchard? Or are we dead, fallow ground? God expects fruit from us – let’s work to meet His expectations.

Paul uses the term “building” to describe the church (1 Corinthians 3:9 KJV). This provides us with two view points as to God’s love. The first is ownership – God owns us. He created us, He purchased us. He owns us.

Secondly, sticking with the building theme, we are also referred to as the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16 KJV). This implies worship. As a corporate body we worship the Living God. The Holy Spirit is the one and only Worship Leader – there are no others. Just as we would never tolerate a man/woman filling the role of Head of the Church, we should be equally diligent in preserving the role of the Holy Spirit, as well.

We are the Body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23). This has a ton of implications, but the most significant implication is that Christ (the Head) uses the Church (the Body) to express His thoughts and intentions via our actions. What we do reflects on the Lord Jesus Christ. Every action we take, or every failure to act is perceived by others as a manifestation of the expression of the Head.

Is it any wonder why so few people are attracted to Christianity? We, as a church, have failed in properly expressing Christ to those watching. We have failed to be His hands and feet. We have failed to be His voice and His heart. But, the end has not yet been written! As we grasp this truth, we can, by God’s grace and help, die to self and seek to manifest the life of the Lord Jesus through our actions. The church ought to be His hands and feet! Let’s get busy, folks.

There are several more terms that we will review next week. Until then, let’s be the Church!

————————

Jump back to the first post in this series…

Jump to the next post in this series…

[Graphic Credit]

————————

2 comments

  1. I’ve been interested to read your posts in this series. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of them. In fact, I’ve enjoyed these little mini-series you’ve done on this site. Keep up the good work!

    I did want to comment on this statement:

    The Holy Spirit is the one and only Worship Leader – there are no others.

    I think Hebrews 2:10–13 is pretty clear that Christ takes the role as Worship Leader:

    10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make perfect the leader of their salvation through sufferings.
    11 For both he that sanctifies and those sanctified are all of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
    12 saying, I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly will I sing thy praises.
    13 And again, I will trust in him. And again, Behold, I and the children which God has given me.

    The quote is from Psalm 22. Both the context of Hebrews 2 and Psalm 22 are clear it is Christ, rather than the Holy Spirit, who is speaking. This seems to answer to the “Chief Musician” in the psalms and prophets.

    • Very interesting insight… this is providing me with some food for thought. Thanks Mark for sharing those verses.

      I find it interesting how quickly christendom has adopted the term “Worship Leader.” It was only a few years ago that I heard the term for the first time. Now it isn’t unusual to meet someone who either says that they are the Worship Leader of their church or how much they really like their Worship Leader, etc.

      While I understand what they mean (or, at least I think I understand– it’s the new in term for song leader or music pastor) the term seems to put too much emphasis on the ‘Leader’ at the expense of the One who is to receive the worship.