I love the church of Christ. I’m talking about the universal body of believers – not a building, not a denomination, and not a man-made religion. The church is not a building. It is not a denomination, and it is not a man-made religion. The church of my Lord is a group of people. It is who He is coming back for when He returns. There are a lot of reasons why I love the Lord’s church.
As it relates to love, in general, when there are reasons for which someone loves that only solidifies that love. It does not diminish it or negate it in any way. I love God. I also love God because He saved my soul from an eternal death. Jesus said in Luke 7:47 after He was anointed for His burial by a woman that everyone called a sinner (Luke 7:39) that “her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” Sometimes love is accompanied with gratitude and with emotion, but neither of those can be equivocated with love. They are expressions of that love, which only the Lord and each individual truly knows. So, whether a person is feeling happy, anxious, discouraged, grateful, motivated, or any other emotion, their love will remain unchanged. That’s how real love works. And here are some of the reasons why I love my Lord’s church:
1. Jesus purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28). Christ obtained eternal redemption of us with His own blood (Hebrews 9:12; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
2. Jesus built it (Matthew 16:18). It is not the product of some man’s or woman’s doing. It wasn’t Peter, and it wasn’t built on Peter. It was built on the rock of Jesus being the Christ, the son of the Living God. Christ is the chief cornerstone that holds the church together (Ephesians 2:19-22).
3. It’s where Christ puts people who are saved (Acts 2:47). God is the one who adds people to His church. There’s no need for anyone to be voted into membership, like with some man-made religions. He accepts all those who obey Him and His plan of salvation. Those who do so become members of His body (Ephesians 5:29-30), and they are simply referred to as Christians (Acts 11:26).
4. Christ is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18). It belongs to Him. That’s why the church bears His name, denoting His ownership. It does not bear the name of anyone else or a specific group – not Luther, not Baptist, not Episcopalian, not Methodist, not Catholic, not Mormon, not Presbyterian, not anyone else but Christ. Just like no person can own another person, no person can own Christ’s church. We all belong to the Lord. And the church is His. It is called the house of God, the church of the living God, the Pillar and the ground of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). It is also referred to as the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12), the church of God (1 Corinthians 1:1-2), and the church of Christ (Romans 16:16). Jesus is the hierarchy; He’s the one who leads, at the top, making all decisions, governing doctrine and worship – not a pope, not one pastor, not a cardinal, not one man or woman. Christ is the head. I love that.
5. The church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-27). Jesus is the Savior of the body. As the church submits to Christ, so are wives to submit to their husbands. Christ loved the church, and He gave Himself for her. (Revelation 19:7; 21:2; Isaiah 61:10).
6. All spiritual blessings are in the Lord’s church, His body (Ephesians 1:3). When we are baptized into Christ (Romans 6:3), He adds us to His church and we become members of His body. Forgiveness is in the church (Ephesians 1:17). Redemption is in the church (Colossians 1:14). Salvation is also in Christ – in His church (2 Timothy 2:10). The church is the Lord’s body. Those who are in His church are in Him. I love that, too.
Are you a member of the Lord’s church? Or are you a member of a man-made church – a church where Christ is not the head? If you aren’t a member of Christ’s church, then you can be. It’s simple. Once you are saved, the Lord will add you to His church. You can be saved by doing what the Lord has commanded of all who desire to have eternal salvation. Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God (Mark 16:16); confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9); repent of your sins (Acts 2:38), and; be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Romans 6:3, 1 Peter 3:21; Acts 2:38). If you do those things – not one or some, but all of those things as listed in Scripture – then you will be a member of His body, the church, and you will be found in Him. That’s where all spiritual blessings are; that includes forgiveness, peace, redemption, hope, salvation, and love.
None of us are deserving of the Master’s great love for us or His amazing sacrifice. We were all deserving of death, because all have sinned and fall short of His glory (Romans 3:23), and the wages of sin are death (Romans 6:23). But thank God for His matchless gift – that while we were still in our sins, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6-11). He has reconciled us and saved us by His life. I hope that you will do what it takes to be saved, so that Christ will add you to His church which He purchased with His own blood, of which He is the Head, that is His bride, and where there are all spiritual blessings.