What’s Right About the Church (Part 2)
Because Jesus instituted the church, no matter what is wrong about her, there are some things that are inherently right about her. The first thing I noticed in this paragraph is that the church belongs to Christ. What does it mean to say the church belongs to Christ?
This means he owns her. He bought her. But he does not own her in the sense that he simply owns a piece of property. This was not simply a legal transaction like purchasing the physical church building. This is a belonging based on love and relationship.
In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul used the relationship between Christ and the church to illustrate the way husbands and wives should relate to one another. I want to look at that in reverse. The way husbands and wives should relate is a beautiful picture of the relationship between Jesus and the church.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.. he gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.
Jesus loves the church. He loves her so much he bought her with his own life. He loves her so much he wants her to be holy and clean and pure for him. The church belongs to Jesus. How incredibly moving this is to be a part of the bride of Christ! It is exciting to know that the God of the universe loved me so much he, in the person of Jesus Christ, died so that I might live; and live as part of the church that he wants to make holy!
I love the church. I believe in the church. There is a growing number of people out there who have the attitude that they claim to have a relationship with God, they claim to love Jesus, but they are openly hostile toward the church. They proclaim they do not love the church he died for and made his bride.
I love the church. It is not perfect. It is full of imperfect people. But because Jesus loves the church, I love the church.
The church belongs to Christ. This is one of the things that is right about the church.