The Church 9

Eph 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.

Ephesians 3:10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Eph 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.

The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever, or so the Westminster Shorter Catechism says. It never gets around to saying what the chief end of the Church is, but we cannot imagine that the answer would be any different. The chief end of each man is to glorify and enjoy God forever, so surely that is the chief end of the Church. This is not just an idle point in a larger speculative type of reasoning; it is the very reason for the Church. If we look at what the Church is in light of the Scriptures, and then what the Scriptures tell us regarding what the Church is to do, it should be clear that the modern professing Church has lost its way.

The Great Commission is mentioned over and over in certain circles, but the focus is on evangelism. In other circles there is a lot of talk about discipleship, yet it seems all too human. The chief end of the Church is to glorify God and that should teach us a lot about the Great Commission. The Church is the body of Christ and that should teach us a lot about the Great Commission. This is to say that what the Church is and the chief end of the Church should drive what is done and also how it is done. The true Church is not about huge buildings and building programs, it is about building the body of Christ. The true Church should not be about great numbers and baptisms; it is about proclaiming the glory of God in Christ. The true Church should not be about programs of discipleship, it should be about men and women growing in Christ in reality and not just in outward things.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The eternal Word took human flesh and tabernacled among people. We are told that the physical body of Christ was the very tabernacle of the glory of God. Without even attempting to show that the present tabernacle of God is the Church, we can see that the dwelling place of the glory of God now is the Church. Each person is in some way a temple of the Holy Spirit and yet the Church is the dwelling place of God. There is no contradiction in saying that the Church is the very body of Christ and also the very dwelling place of God. This is a basic truth that we should and must go no further until this is driven home into our hearts. When people think of the Church (or church) in terms of a business model, they are far from the biblical truth. The buildings can be filled with religious people who are deceived about being a church, but that is not what it means to be a church at all.

Jesus Christ has really and truly been resurrected. Jesus Christ really and truly dwells in His people and the people are His body. Jesus Christ is alive and will be alive forevermore. Jesus Christ is the Lord of His Church and they are to follow Him as Lord and as their life. The Church must follow Christ in all ways AND have His intents, motives, and loves. It must not turn to humanistic methods in order to reach humanistic goals, but it must follow Christ regardless of all those other things. The hands and the feet must follow the head or the person is thought to be spastic at best. The body of Christ (the true Church) must follow Christ at all points. His glory is the true goal of the Church and we cannot make up ways to glorify Him and pretend to glorify Him when all we are doing in reality is to seek self.

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