What’s Right With the Church (Part 5)
Beside the church, is there any institution on earth that remains, multiplies, duplicates, or reinvents itself successfully over the span of more than two thousand years? Certainly not that I am aware of. This requires real strength. In fact, it requires a strength that other organizations and institutions should be envious of.
I think the most obvious question should be: Where does this strength come from? What is the source of this strength. Clearly, the answer to this question is that God is the source of the church’s strength. The paragraph we have been looking at in 1 Corinthians tells us clearly that “he [God] will keep you strong”. That’s pretty comforting, isn’t it? In spite of the church’s faults and failings, there is an underlying strength who’s source is God, alone.
In your house and in mine, the foundation of the house will make or break its overall strength. This is no less true for the church. Matthew 16:18 tells us that Jesus and our understanding of who he is as the son of God and the Messiah is the foundation of the church. Jesus illustrates this principle at the end of his Sermon on the Mount. He reminds us that if we follow his commands, if we live by the principles he gave us, it is comparable to building our house on a foundation of solid rock. When things come along that should rock our world, they don’t because of our foundation. This is contrasted with those whose foundation is the shifting sands of this world. They come apart when tough times come.
The church is not perfect. But it does belong to Christ. The church is enriched by God. It has everything it needs, including spiritual gifts. God will keep the church strong. Even with everything that is wrong with the church, this is what’s right with the church.