|Volume 17 Number 1 January 2015||
Mark N. Posey
One of the greatest descriptions of the church of Christ is found in Ephesians 5:27 (i.e., “glorious church”). The church is blood-bought, rock-bottomed, Christ-built and hell proof. Thank God for the blood of Christ that purchased the church (Acts 20:28). May we live in such a way to always honor Christ’s Church!
Glorious Servant-Leadership (Ephesians 5:23)
The word “head” means, “authority” (F.F. Bruce). What kind of authoritarian is Christ? He exercises Headship with a Savior-style, servant-leadership; He leads with sacrificial love.
Glorious Savior (Ephesians 5: 23)
The greatest act of love known to humanity is the love of God in giving His Son on the Cross! In doing so, Jesus became the Savior of the World (1 John 2:1-2). Thus, His name is above every name in regard to salvation (Acts 4:12). Jesus is the only way to be saved (John 14:6).
Glorious Submission (Ephesians 5:24)
Worldly submission says, “You must submit to me, so here are the things I want you to do for me.” Godly submission says, “You must submit to me, so I am accountable before God for you. I must care for you and serve you.” True submission is agape love in action and it’s needed in the church!
Glorious Sacrifice (Ephesians 5:25)
Christ, like the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7), was sacrificed so the judgment of God might pass over us; however, when Christ was crucified, He became the supreme and final sacrifice for God’s people (Hebrews 9:26). He removed the sin of the world (Isaiah 53:5-6; John 1:29; 1 John 2:2). We should remove the sin in our midst (i.e., “purge out the old leaven [yeast]”). Thus, Paul exclaimed, “Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15). The “gift” of which Paul spoke is Christ. Amen!
Glorious Sanctification (vs. 26-27)
Sanctify is from the Greek “hagios” meaning, “a separation” and is often rendered “holy.” Christ wants His church to be separate from worldly living! Remember the song? “In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine, a wondrous beauty I see, for ‘twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died, to pardon and sanctify me.” Christ’s church is sanctified!
Glorious Self-Love (Ephesians 5:28-30)
Christ loves the church and gave Himself for it – that’s true love. Thus, He wants a relationship that eclipses a superficial relationship; He wants a dwelling that is deep, wide, high and long. The love He demonstrates to us is the kind of love He wants in return. What a privilege to be a part of Christ’s glorious church!
Mark N. Posey
The church is Christ’s body of which He is the Head (Ephesians 1:21-23). It is made up of all baptized believers. “Church” comes from the Greek word “ekklesia,” which means “assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. Sometimes people disparage the church and say awful things about it; however, our thoughts and words should reflect respect, honor and appreciation. The church is right, and we must communicate the blessings and benefits of it; therefore, what is right with the church?
The Foundation Is Right
Everything must have a proper foundation, whether it is a marriage, a building or the church. Jesus built His church upon the foundation of faith (Matthew 16:13-19). The church has the right foundation because Jesus is that foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:20-21). The foundation of Jesus is solid as rock (Matthew 7:24-27).
The Faith Is Right
Doctrine is simply that which we teach. Some teach truth while some teach falsehood. Those who teach falsehood pervert the Word of God. Those who teach truth affirm the Word of God. It is the truth for which we should “earnestly contend” (Jude 3). The church has the right doctrine because Jesus is that doctrine (Acts 8:35)!
The Fellowship Is Right
Fellowship is the lifeblood of the church (Philippians 1:3-6; Acts 2:42). The early church spent time together in new family relationships in Christ. Over and over came the instructions: suffer together (1 Corinthians 12:26), rejoice together (Romans 12:15), carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), restore each other (Galatians 6:1), pray for each other (Romans 15:30), encourage each other (Romans 1:12), forgive each other (Ephesians 4:32), confess to each other (James 5:16), be truthful with each other (Ephesians 4:25), spur each other on to good deeds (Hebrews 10:24) and give to each other (Philippians 4:14-15).
The Focus Is Right
The soul is infinite in value (Matthew 16:24); therefore, the church’s fixation is souls (Mark 16:15). In fact, Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the mass of lost souls (Matthew 9:35-36; 14:14; 15:32). Such compassion motivated Him to do two things. First, He asked His disciples to pray that God might “send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38). Then, to do something about it Himself, that is, to select and to send out His apostles (Matthew 10:1, 5-7). Do we ever find ourselves filled with compassion for the lost and doing something about it? If we can only have this same compassion for lost souls, we will not rest till we are striving to bring them to Jesus (Romans 10:1)!
The Future Is Right
When Jesus returns, He’s coming for His church (1 Corinthians 15:24). Paul said, “The dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Each day we should live for the One Who died for us (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Therefore, heaven will surely be worth it all!
The church is so right it cannot be wrong! We see the faults of its members, but the beauty of the church is the glory of Christ. He shines like the morning sun!