The Church

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“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness.  Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.  God is known in her palaces for a refuge.”  –Psalm 48:1-3

What a privilege it is to be part of this great Church: the body of Christ, the called out ones, the Bride, the Church that Jesus vowed He would build!  The Old Testament foretells its greatness in the plan of God, and the New Testament describes its conception and first stages of growth throughout the ancient world.  Though the author of the above psalm may not be known today, and though the subject when written may have been the city of Jerusalem, this psalm stands as a prophetic description of the glorious assembly of the faithful.  Jesus had told His disciples in John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”  No wonder then that this Church is called the body of Christ in Paul’s writing in Ephesians 1:22-23, “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”  The Phillips Translation of the New Testament in Modern English puts the last part of verse 23 as “…which is his body, and in that body lives fully the one who fills the whole universe.”  The One who fills the universe is the very One who is the Head of the body!  And in Colossians 1:26-27 Paul wrote, “Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: to whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  Indeed it is a privilege to be part of the culmination of God’s plan that has been the same from before the foundation of the world. 

Jesus is building His Church.  The very best that we, the body, can do is to cooperate with Him in this great task.  To the disciples in John 14:12 Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”  The last part of the statement, “because I go unto my Father,” speaks of the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh after the resurrection of the Lord.  Because Jesus made the sacrifice described in Philippians 2:7-8, we are now able to be partakers of the promise of Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”  In other words, Jesus is building His Church by working in and through the members of that body.  As we saw in Chapter Two, each member of the Church is destined by God to be fitted perfectly into his special place in the body, and in turn, each contributes to the health and growth of the same.  It is clear, therefore, that the first reality of the Church is that it will be instrumental in the revival that God wants to bring.  After all, Jesus is the Head of that body, and He knows perfectly how to build this Church.  His timing is perfect, His wisdom is without end, and His power is limitless.  And, as Paul wrote in Ephesians 5:25-27, “…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”  It will be a perfect Church, constructed by a perfect Builder. 

 

 

About Jim Poitras

Enlisiting, educating, equipping, empowering, and encouraging members, ministers, and missionaries in apostolic global missions. Director of Education/AIM