Churches: Turn up the Love!
The Scripture is clear, God loves His church! Listen to how God speaks of His church in Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
I love this passage because it speaks so specifically to how much God love His bride and the lengths He has taken to redeemer her! If you are a believer, you are a part of the precious bride of Christ…the “Church”. The Greek word for “church” is ekklesia. “Ek” means “out” and klesia comes from the Greek word “kaleo” which means “to call”; so the church is essentially “those who have been called out,” or “the called out ones of God.” The Scripture teaches that there is the global ekklesia (the church at large) and the local ekklesia (the church at home). If you are a Christian, you are connected to a much larger church than just the local church that you attend. You are connected to the large and mighty church of Jesus Christ. The Scripture says that God’s church is united through the precious blood of Jesus Christ! Jesus is the One who has broken down the dividing wall between peoples and nations and offers salvation to all people “by grace through faith” in His name alone. In fact, Hebrews 12:1 tells us that as we run the race of faith, we should recognize that we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses; witnesses who are the countless believers that have gone before us, who have completed the race and have inherited the prize of eternal life with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is truly an astounding thought to think of the vastness of the global body of Christ. To think that I am connected with Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, the Apostles, and so many others is simply a humbling and incredibly powerful reality for those of us in Christ.
Knowing that we are a part of such a great and global church should cause believers to not only commit to a local body, but should also cause a tremendous amount of love to be felt and expressed for the church you feel God has called you to. After all, Jesus said, “This is how the world will know that you are my disciples, by your love for one another.” It is such a discouragement when we see churches fighting, arguing, promoting selfish agendas, living for their own glory, watering down the gospel, etc. The church, the bride of Christ, should be unified! There should be love, joy and life that flows from her, displaying to the world what real Christian love looks like. It is time that God’s people speak up and share the love they feel in their hearts for their church. A church member should be proud of their church and should not hesitate to speak up regarding such affection! This is simply one way Christians can witness to a lost world. Unbelievers should see the ekklesia (the called out ones of God) living in unity and harmony with God and one another. As you think about the church, think about why you should love it and what you love about it…and then speak up! Check back for my next post on this subject, where I will give 10 reasons why it is essential to love the church.