NT Tuesday: The Church, The Body of Christ [part 3]
We continue to explore what the Bible says about the Body of Christ, the Church.
We have been using Ephesians 5:25-28 – “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” as our theme verse.
And last week we reviewed some of the names that William MacDonald listed in his book “Christ Loved the Church.” Last week we looked at the terms flock, building temple, husbandry, and body.
The first term we will look at this week is the “Habitation of God” or “dwelling place for God.” This speaks to us of a permanency and closeness in proximity. God has routinely dwelt with man in various ways – in the Tabernacle, in the Word made flesh, in believers, and in a very special way in the Church. This speaks of fellowship – the fact that God wants to have a relationship with us! Praise His name!
In a similar way, the church is referred to as the House of God (1 Timothy 3:15). This speaks of order and discipline. The term “house” isn’t referring to the structure, but rather to the functions contained within the house. Think of the writer to the Hebrew’s comparison of Moses and Jesus Christ. The writer states that Moses was faithful “in God’s entire house” but that Jesus Christ was faithful “over the house of God as a Son.” The writer is referring to the functions of the house, not the structure.
This reminds us that we are part of what God is accomplishing here on earth – the functions, the work, the order is all part of the house of God, and as members of the Body, we are part of what God is accomplishing. It also speaks to us of an order as well. God, with all due respect, gets to call the shots. He is in charge. It’s His house! We would do well to submit to His revealed instructions and directions.
In the same passage in Timothy, the writer mentions that the church is the Pillar and Ground of Truth. William MacDonald brings out some amazing insights to explain the significance of this phrase. Pillars, in biblical times, were used to post announcements and proclamations. They were also used to support the structure. So, the church is the instrument used by God to proclaim, support and defend the truth. Sadly, it would seem that some who profess to be the church, have done a terrible job of fulfilling this role. Much truth has been watered down or simply changed to make it more palatable to itching ears.
Next week, we will look at one more phrase. Until then, think about the magnitude of God’s love for the Church based on the phrases we have looked at thus far.
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