Good Afternoon Church Family!
I hope and pray that you are having a wonderful week! Today, as I was preparing for our Wed Night Bible Study (at 6 PM!!), I was thinking about the Church. Now, this might be a little strange, because we are studying Proverbs 31 tonight. Now, Proverbs 31 is a relatively well known ode to Godly women (thank God for them!). Listen to a couple of things that Godly women ought to be praised for:
1) "She is far more precious than jewels" (31:10)
2) "She opens her mouth with wisdom" (31:26)
3) "She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy" (31:20)
4) "She does him (her husband) good, and not harm, all the days of her life" (31:12)
5) "Strength and dignity are her clothing" (31:25)
But most importantly, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." (31:30)
I am thankful that in our church and in my life there are many Godly women like that! (I am married to one of them)
Now, all this made me think of the Church. That may seem odd. After all, the Church has many faults. Lots of imperfect people are there. Lots of nobodies. People get into arguments about insignificant things. People are sometimes cruel and mean. People don't always keep their word. Sometimes the pastor preaches too long, sometimes too short. He almost always says a joke that nobody understands. The Church is far from the woman of Proverbs 31. Or is she?
Actually, here is how Paul speaks of the Church, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." (Eph 5:25-27)
Not dirty, but cleansed. Not profane, but holy. Not worthless, but having "splendor." Not foolish, but wise. How does this happen? Through the gospel and through the Word. Through the gospel the Church is positionally pure. And through the Word, she is progressively pure. It is through the preaching of the gospel from the Word that Christ purifies his bride to make her as she already is in Him. Some people say they can be Christian without Church. I'm not sure how that makes any sense. Instead, we ought to love the Church and give ourselves up for her just like Jesus did. Contrary to all expectations, the Church is the ultimate "Proverbs 31" Woman.
So Christians, let us love the Church. She is, and one day will be, the embodiment of wisdom, the fulfillment of Proverbs 31. After all, she is the bride of Christ. And if we love Christ, we better love his bride.
Southern Heights Christian Church
Come here for thoughts on how to follow Jesus in our every day life!