Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Church Series: We Need Each Other

 Christ’s Church is pictured in a variety of ways to help us grasp the fullness and richness of what it means to  be a member of His Church.  All of the following word pictures show that we can’t make it alone as Christians.  We need each other.  We’re all linked together through our relationship with Christ, in spite of our differences, The Doctrine of Christ is the foundation upon which His Church is built. There can be no compromise here. The Doctrine of Christ includes, The deity of Christ, His virgin birth, His blood atonement for our sins. His bodily resurrection from the dead and His coming again to reign on this earth. However, when it comes to opinions and preferences, there is lots of room for compromise.    Let’s look at some of those word pictures of Christ’s Church. 

BECOMING A CHRISTIAN MEANS ENTERING CHRIST’S KINGDOM 

Salvation involves being translated from the kingdom of  Satan into the  Kingdom of  Christ.  Colossians 1:13  It involves not only trusting Christ for salvation, but also submission to Him as Lord.  Note, I did not say that one must make Jesus Lord to be saved.   What I am saying is that it is obvious one is not in Christ’s Kingdom who is still living in rebellion to Christ.  Being in Christ’s Kingdom involves living in love in a spiritual relationship with other Christians who are also in Christ’s Kingdom.  Romans 14  is devoted to that theme. Being in Christ’s Kingdom also involves reigning with Christ  in His future, literal, earthly Kingdom, known as the Millennium.  For more on this topic, go to my link on PROPHECY on this web site.  In James 2:5  those who love Christ are referred to as heirs of His Kingdom.  Revelation 5:8-10 promises that those who have been redeemed by Christ’s blood from every  “kindred, tongue, people group and nation will reign with Christ on this earth.  In II Peter 1:1-11 we learn that those Christians who have grown in Christian maturity will enjoy an “abundant entrance”  into Christ’s Kingdom. 

 THE CHURCH IS A NATION 

Redeemed from every nation, we have become a heavenly nation.  We have a Heavenly citizenship, Paul reminds us in Philippians 3:20  As citizens of Heaven, we are very much a part of an earthly nation. We learn  in Philippians 2:15 that we shine as lights in the midst of  crooked and perverse nations Though we are proud, loyal, obedient  citizens of our earthly nation, our loyalty to Christ and His Church supercedes our national loyalties.  It was that loyalty to Christ that brought about the Roman persecution of Christians in the first century.  In case you are wondering how our heavenly loyalties affect our earthly loyalties,  see the next  article in this CHURCH series,  “Minding Our Own Business”.  

THE CHURCH IS AN ASSEMBLY 

James speaks of local churches as assemblies in James 2:2   and again the writer of Hebrews in 12:22-23  speaks of the church as an assembly. The very name “assembly” rules out individuals or families who meet together by themselves because they want no relationship with any other Christians, from being churches. We need one another in order to edify the church.  I Corinthians 12 teaches us that we are as a Body with many members, each member different, but needing one another. 

THE CHURCH IS DESCRIBED AS A FLOCK OF SHEEP 

In John 10 Jesus refers to Himself as The Good Shepherd.  Again Hebrews 13:20 refers to Christ as the Great Shepherd of the Sheep.  As sheep need to be led to pasture and as they need the protection of their shepherd, so Christ has called His under-shepherds, better known as pastors, to feed and protect the sheep.  As under-shepherds, we take our orders from Christ, the Great Shepherd of the Sheep.  See more about this in Acts 20:28  and I Peter 5:1-4. 

THE CHURCH IS CHRIST’S DWELLING PLACE 

Here is an amazing dual truth for us to try to comprehend. Psalm 91 teaches us that Christ is our dwelling place. Romans 8:9,  II Corinthians 6:16  and Ephesians 3:17 teach us that our bodies as Christians are the dwelling place of God. Jesus announced both truths in His final conversation with His disciples in John 17:23  

THE CHURCH IS HIS TEMPLE 

Certainly our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit as is clearly taught in  I Corinthians 3:16-17,  6:19  and Ephesians 2:18-22.  This temple is built on the foundation of The Apostle’s Doctrine and Christ Himself is the Cornerstone.  Ephesians 2:20  

THE CHURCH IS A HOLY PRIESTHOOD 

Israel needed the Levitical priesthood who stood between them and God. We as Christians need no priesthood to mediate between God and us.  Revelation 1:5-8 teaches us we Christians are actually a Kingdom of priests.  As priests, I Timothy 2:5 affirms that we have direct access to God through our only Mediator, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  

THE CHURCH IS PICTURED AS BRANCHES IN A GRAPE VINE 

In John 15   Jesus pictures Himself as the vine and we His Church as the branches. As branches need to be united with the vine to bear fruit, so we need to be united with Christ to bear spiritual fruit spoken of in Galatians 5:22-23.  

THE CHURCH IS CHRIST’S BRIDE 

This amazing holy truth is taught in Ephesians 5:22-33.  Our marriage on earth is to be a picture of that heavenly relationship with Christ.  See my series on MARRIAGE for more on this. 

THE CHURCH IS THE FAMILY OF GOD 

This pictures the love, intimacy, and care that we as members of His Family have for one another.  Jesus spoke of this relationship in John 13:34-35  Paul wrote about this Heavenly Family in Ephesians 3:15. “Aren’t you glad you’re a part of the Family of God, washed in the Fountain, cleansed by His blood”, as Bill Gaither so beautiful described it in that wonderful song we sing?

FINALLY, THE CHURCH IS THE VERY BODY OF CHRIST ON EARTH. 

 Paul writes about it in I Corinthians 12:12-27.   Though Jesus lives in His glorified, resurrected Body in Heaven now;  we, His Church, are His Body on this earth today.  We have a common life,  His life flowing through us.  We are interdependent members.  We all need one another for the health and growth of His Body.   May God help us to have an increasing understanding of the wonderful privilege of being a part of Christ’s Church.  My prayer for you is Paul’s prayer for the Church in Ephesians 3:14-21 

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May 8, 2006 - Posted by | Church Series

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