Man’s view versus God’s view of the church

Man’s view of the church is basically outward and physical. Man views the church in regard to what he can see — the size of its building, the size of its membership and its programs of work. He sees it in regard to its weaknesses and sins, its rituals of worship and its leadership and staff.

God has a different view of the church. God’s view of the church is basically inward and spiritual. He sees the church as timeless. It is the avenue through which His grace flows. It is in Christ, it is holy and without blemish.

He sees the church as unique and unrivaled. It is the avenue of His redemption, unified by its exclusive doctrines and equipped to conduct its mission. It is where peace exists.

God sees the church as the glorious bride of Christ. It is the only acceptable source of worship of the Godhead, and it is glorious because of what God has done for it. God sees the church as the direct object of satanic opposition, but it is equipped to stand against enemy attacks. He sees it as an institution, not to be confused with cheap imitations. It cannot be improved by man.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” (Ephesians 1:3-10)

We see in this small paragraph several important teachings. We see that all spiritual blessings are in Christ. We must be in Christ to receive those blessings, and Galatians 3:27 tells us how to get into Christ.

We understand that he predestined us to be His sons even before the foundation of the world. In other words, those who believed and obeyed him were those He chose to be His.

We see that redemption comes through the blood of Christ and the forgiveness of our trespasses. We see in Romans 6:3-4 how we come in contact with that blood.

Those who obey God are in Christ and are added to His church. Jesus has promised to save His body — the church. The church does not save; it is composed of the saved. It is, therefore, imperative to be in the church. Read through the books of Acts to see how to obey God and be added by Him to the church.

Don Fischer3 Posts

Don Fischer is pastor at Church of Christ in Sabetha.

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