By: Waylon Bailey ~
No organization in history is like the church. The church exists as the result of the cross and resurrection of Christ. God created the church and it belongs to Him.
The Bible is rich with pictures or metaphors for the church. It is called God’s field and God’s building
(1 Corinthians 3:9). It is the family of God and the people of God.
The metaphor of the body of Christ is particularly strong. Christ is the head of the church and the church is His body. Like the human body, the church has many members who have different gifts and functions.
For me, the most moving metaphor of the church is as the bride of Christ. Jesus often described Himself as the bridegroom. In response to a question of why His disciples did not fast, Jesus asked: “you cannot make the attendants of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them. can you?” (Luke 5:34). He told them “when the bridegroom is taken from them, they they will fast in those days” (Luke 5:35).
In the Revelation we read about the marriage of the lamb: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready” (Revelation 19:7). Near the conclusion of his vision, John says he “saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:2).
The picture is of a marriage and the bride made ready for her husband.
Paul also described the church as God’s temple. His temple is sacred and must be treated as sacred.
Both metaphors show the deep love Christ has for the church. It is His bride and is worthy of respect and the greatest of care. It is His temple, where God’s Spirit dwells.
Should we rethink the church? Should we see it differently? Shouldn’t we see it as God sees it, the dwelling place of His Spirit, the bride of Christ, and the body of Christ?
May we love the church as God loves it. May we nurture and protect it. May we live in His presence and give our best to serve God through His church.
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Have a great week!