This weekend I am going to be teaching at a retreat our church is having for the young adults. Our topic is going to be the church. It is a topic that I think has been neglected by many Christians, and it is a topic that it absolutely critical for the Christian life. I am sure that many of my thoughts and notes from this weekend will find there way onto the blog, and so I wanted to give you a sneak preview of things to come. Here are just a couple of thought to challenge you on your view of the church:
In looking at just a few examples from Scripture it is clear that Christ loves the church. This love is not a fleeting, or trite love either. Christ’s love for the church is sacrificial. Out of love for His bride he paid the ultimate sacrifice for her when He gave up his own life. Additionally, Christ’s love for the church is faithful. No matter how many times His bride tries to turn away from Him He continues to protect her, and apply His cleansing blood on her behalf. Similarly, Christ’s love for the church is characterized by commitment. He is continually preparing the Church for the wedding feast, and He is committed to being with Her for all of eternity.
So here is the question for you, do you love what Christ loved? Do you love the church? Is you love for the church seen through sacrifices that you make for the church? Or, is church all about what you can get? Is your love for the church faithful? Are you faithfully attending church, faithfully fulfilling your role in church, and faithfully helping the church prepare for its wedding feast with Christ? Or, is church just another part of your already busy life? What about commitment? Is your love for the church seen in your commitment to the church? Are you committed to being a part of the church despite all of Her shortcomings? Or, is you commitment to the church contingent upon something else?
These are all questions that we need to be asking ourselves, because if we are not loving the Church then we are not like Christ. And if we are not like Christ then we are not demonstrating the fruit of salvations in our lives. Christ-like love for the church is a fruit of your salvation, and a conformation that you are truly a believer. This is why it is absolutely vital that we talk about the church, and understand it better.