What (you may wonder) is going to be slandered about the Church now? Some may have realised that the question mark at the end of the heading leaves doubt as to whether or not the church is as it should be, or rather as God intended it to be. The sad truth is, and we know it, that what the world as a whole sees as the church is definitely not what God intended. Yet they are also blind to see the true light when it is there and flourishing.
Let us not forget that the term church is both singular and plural. What do I mean? Let me be careful as the theologians jump in and cry foul. Scripture describes our bodies as God’s Temple. ‘Or don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God (1 Corinthians 6:19). Elsewhere it says, ‘Use your whole body as a tool to do what is right for the Glory of God (Romans 6:13).
In this regard, we should display the same attributes as the church in our personal lives. We should live in the presence of God and display His Glory. So when I describe singular and plural, it means that this title applies to both our personal lives and the church as a body of believers. This makes total sense, for if we don’t live in Christ how can the church begin to display God’s Glory to the fullest and as He intended? This is where I beg you to read through this to the end. I don’t begin to claim supreme knowledge in these things or any other such. When God calls, we answer ‘not with clever speeches and high-sounding ideas, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power’. If I did not write this or say anything, it would eat away at me like a fire until I did. I know God wants people to see this, to meditate on this and live according to how and where He calls you. Suffering refines us, truth sets us free. Even if this is only intended for one person, God’s will be done.
We can sing praises as another is set free to live by Grace. Romans 2:17-29 is an amazing passage of scripture, which I hope will encourage you to see what God intended for His Church. It describes the ‘Jews and the Law’. Life in Christ is always growth. Sometimes immediate, other times slow and other times staggered. When fruitfulness and growth are totally gone, we know that Christ is no longer our focus. As you continue to read, remember that the starting point for all of us was sin. We did not know Christ, we did not know His Grace. In this passage of scripture, we start with what is rotten and false. We then see the start of the true church and begin to be led in the direction of living in God’s presence and displaying His Glory.
So again I say, don’t be discouraged but rather read it all and let it encourage you to truly know God. Let His passion stir within you.