|What is the Real Church, and what is its purpose?|
Scripture defines the Church and its purpose. It is the Bride of Christ, but God's purpose is that it become totally clean and without defect first. God's purpose is for total unity in the Church. God's purpose is the the Church is the Kingdom of God. It is the final holy temple of God. Without the Church that is built according to the pattern, you will never find fulfillment.
To the intent that now to the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, Ephesians 3:10
This is not speaking of the plastic, man-made, church, but the church that is being built according to the pattern. It may be incomplete, not fully assembled, and imperfect right now, but God is building a House. That House, with many "abiding places," is His Church, His Called Out Ones.
God's purpose for you is that you become conformed to the image of Jesus (Romans 8:28-29). You, of course, cannot do this. Notice that this Scripture is written in the passive voice. That means that this "being conformed to the image of Jesus" is happening to you. You are not the actor. You are the receiver. God's method to bring you to this image of Jesus is the Church. It is by that which every joint supplies (Ephesians 4:15-16). The joint is the place between the members--it is the flow of the Holy Spirit between the members. You were created to walk in a glory beyond what human beings can imagine. This glory flows from the throne of God. Your part is to receive it--not fight it--not contend with God. God has a plan to bring you into this glory. A huge part of this glory is in you knowing your place in the Church, the Body of Christ, and in you fulfilling your ministry in the Church. Yes. You have a ministry. So does every person. Some people think that their ministry is themselves. It is not. Your ministry is the Christ within you. He is the Spiritual Man. He is the One Who cannot sin. (1 Jn. 3:4-11) Your old nature is not capable of spiritual ministry. It is not capable of good works. Only Christ in you is capable of good works and ministry.
The Church and the purpose of the Church is as much a part of the free gift--that Christ has bought and paid for--as forgiveness for sin is a free gift. Rejecting the Church--I mean the real Church--does not make you un-born again, but it does stop your growth. When we speak of being conformed to the image of Jesus, we are talking about the manifestation of the sons of God. We are speaking about going from glory to glory until we come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man (that is total unity) to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. This is the unity that Jesus prayed for, a unity beyond our ability to comprehend at this point in our walk. However, God will finish the work in His own way. The Church is not only the method by which God will fulfill the purpose of the Church. When it is fully complete, the Church will be that fulfillment. It will be the Manifestation of the Sons of God.
If you never understand the Church and its purpose, then you will never find the destiny for which you were created. Your fulfillment is in Christ and in His Church. You were designed and made to fit into a specific place in Christ's Body in a specific order defined by God. Jesus is in heaven, and He has a Body here on earth. You are called to come out of the useless orders of Babylon and to come into the patterns of the Church that God established for your fulfillment. Keep in mind that the Church is a Body. It is literally the Body of Christ. It is the temple of the Living God. If it were a club, you could build it any old way. But it is the Body of Christ. It must be built according to the pattern. When it is finished and built according to the pattern, then the glory of the Lord will suddenly fill the temple. Until that day, the temple is built from glory to glory.
You have a seed, a part of Jesus in you--Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). Your completeness is in finding your place in the Body of Christ, completed and fulfilled by the Head, Jesus, and the rest of the Body. Just as with the human body, everything must be in order and connected properly. The Body of Christ is being formed, and the gifts, ministries, offices, and orders of this Body are the mechanisms by which you must find your fulfillment. When it is complete, this Body of Christ is the very manifestation of the sons of God. It is the final redemption. It is the Kingdom of God. That is why Satan makes every effort to tell Christians that the patterns of Scripture and the leading of the Holy Spirit in everything are not relevant, interesting, or important. Satan will try to attract you to entertainment organizations that call themselves churches. He will try to distract you to keep you from fulfilling. The flesh says that the Church can be put together any way and the way that the Church service is conducted makes not difference. The Scripture lays out the exact ways these things should be done in the Spirit of God. The flesh says that the Church should be governed by a one-man ministry, or an elected board of directors, or anything except what the Scripture says. There are some people who even say that that God's method in the Bible is out of date and no longer applies. For instance, some people claim that there is no place for apostles any more, but there is no other government given in Scripture of the government of the universal Church.
The more the Body of Christ follows the pattern of Scripture, the more real and meaningful it becomes. Perversions, every variation from Scripture and creative human additions to this Body frustrate the grace of God. The more that you are in unity with the Body of Christ in the place God designed for you in the Body doing what God is leading you to do as a particular ministry, the more fulfilled and meaningful your life becomes. To be separated from the Body of Christ is like your eye thinking it is the whole body. It is as useless as a brick without a building to be part of. It is as useless as your finger would be if you cut it off.
How did the Church fall into the pit of money, power, and prestige? It took centuries to fall and go into the dark ages. There was a falling away. Now, some things have been restored, and a large number of Christians have rejected or never heard about the restoration. Yet, the restoration of the Church is the only way to enter into what God has for you. You can be born again without this, but you cannot enter into the completeness.
What is God saying to the church today? God is saying, "Come out, come out of her my people that you be not partakers of her sin." God is calling the members out of the Babylon of ungodly confusion of the denominational system and all the non-denominational denominations. He is calling His people to come into the unity that can only happen in the way that He has prescribed. That means the righteousness that come by faith, holiness, and redemption.
Let the people who love God turn from the dead churches who have a form of religion but deny the power of religion. Let the people of God turn from the corrupt church and look into the Scripture and see that the thing that has been called "church" is not what the Bible calls "church." Let us build according to the pattern that God has given in Scripture.
Last updated: Sep, 2011
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