The Glory of the Church
- Psalm 144:3-4 describes the incredible glory of God dealing with men.
- I Kings 8:12-20,27 describes Solomon’s dedicatory prayer before His temple.
- I Timothy 6:13-16 describes this same glorious God as our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Revelation 1:10-20 describes this same glorious God in the Man Christ Jesus.
- Revelation 2:1 and 3:20 describe this Lord Jesus Christ seeking fellowship with churches.
- Church is another word for congregation (Hebrews 2:12 cp Psalm 22:22).
- Churches also assemble formally (I Cor 14:34-35) in buildings (Ac 19:37).
- Rather than a mere building for meetings, it is a specific group of people.
- Rather than merely people, it is people God has chosen for Himself.
- The Old Testament church consisted of the nation of Israel (Acts 7:38).
- John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles reformed this church (Heb 9:10).
- It now includes Gentiles in a rebuilt tabernacle of David (Acts 15:13-18).
- Any other concepts or ideas are worthless, misleading, and dangerous.
- The LORD designed it according to His own sovereign will.
- He established the charter and rules (Law of Moses or I Tim 3:15).
- He doesn’t like alterations or innovations (Deut 12:32; Mat 28:20).
- Our Lord Jesus stated His intent to build His church (Matt 16:18).
- Loners who think they can worship God by themselves are wrong.
- The LORD chooses those whom are His church (Deut 7:6-10; Amos 3:2).
- The church has been very small at times (Gen 6:8 cp 8:15-22).
- The LORD adds to the church His members (Ac 2:47; I Co 12:18).
- It is not merely a manmade social organization for religious purposes.
- As the LORD created the family for our profit, so He designed the church.
- God designed each legitimate institution of man with His wisdom.
- Our society’s alternatives manifest the glory of the family.
- It is like a body with various members (I Corinthians 12:13-27).
- It is like a family in structure (Nu 20:29; I Tim 3:5; Gal 4:19; I The 2:11).
- It is like a temple or house as God’s place of abode (I Ti 3:15; I Co 3:16).
- It has its own rulers and teachers (I Corinthians 12:28 cp Eph 4:8-11).
- It is an organism (living thing) – not just an organization (dead structure).
- If merely an organization, it is void of the Spirit and Life of Christ.
- If filled with Christ’s Presence, it is a living body (I Peter 2:4-5).
- As the temple of God (I Cor 3:16; Eph 2:19-22; II Cor 6:16).
- As the house of God (I Tim 3:15-16; I Peter 2:4-5).
- As the body of Christ, the fullness of Himself (Eph 1:23; 5:30-32).
- All are kings and priests offering sacrifices (I Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6; 5:10).
- Bishops – the stars in His right hand (Rev 1:16,20; 2:1; 3:1).
- Chosen by Jesus Christ (Psalm 68:18 cp Eph 4:8-11).
- Ambassadors of Jesus Christ, the King of kings (II Cor 5:20).
- Servants of Jesus Christ (Rom 1:1; Col 4:12; II Tim 2:24).
- Soldiers of Jesus Christ (II Tim 2:3-4; II Cor 10:3-6).
- Deacons manage the carnal aspects of a church (Acts 6:1-4; I Tim 3:8-13).
- As Titus, who exercises his office of bishop to provide for Crete (Tit 1:5).
- Members have duties toward one another (I Thess 5:14 cp Heb 10:23-25).