By: Waylon Bailey ~
Sometimes when people come to a church for the first time they have preconceived notions that don’t have much to do with reality. They think church is going to be very different from what it really is.
What should a church be like?
The Apostle Peter gives us a fairly good idea of God’s plan for the church. As he wrote to the churches, he described God’s ideal for the church.
He wrote it in this way: “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another” (1 Peter 3:8). The “finally” and the “all of you” follows closely what he had given as the instructions to the entire church. He called on wives and husbands to live out their faith in the real world of marriage and family (1 Peter 3:1-7).
He then did the same thing with the whole church. He gave instructions for everybody.
The following is what he said he wanted the church to be.
First, he wanted the church to to have unity and harmony in the Spirit of Christ. Anytime a biblical writer talks about unity, he means the unity that comes from our common devotion to Christ the Lord. As we live for Him, we will be unified in purpose and unified in the Spirit of Christ.
Second, he wanted the church to have a loving, caring spirit. He called on the church to be sympathetic, a compound Greek word which means “with suffering.” Our concern for others should be “with suffering.” The apostle wanted the followers of Christ to love each other so much that they suffered as others suffered. That is God’s plan for the church.
Third, love must be at the center of the church life. Only when we love as Christ loved the church do we truly complete our mission as followers of Christ.
Finally, church must be a place where we seek the best for every person. The apostle called for the church not to return evil for evil or insult for insult but rather to bless others. As we bless others, we will be blessed.
These verses show us a church that everyone would be thrilled to join.
It is the church conceived of God and established by Jesus Christ the Lord.
Have a great week!