A Glorious Church
That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. ~Ephesians 5:27
Paul makes a big emphasis on the church in his letter to the church at Ephesus. The Greek word used for church is “ecclesia,” which refers to a visible, local assembly of people. Specific to the church, it refers to the saved, baptized individuals who make up a local assembly that worships the Lord. This morning, we rejoice in seeing the identity of a glorious church.
We see the passion.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” Jesus loves His church! There is nothing that He will not do for His church. The supreme demonstration of Jesus’ love for the church is that He gave His life for it. The church is bought with His shed blood. He made reconciliation with His church through the blood of His cross. He gave Himself voluntarily to purchase our sin debt. He gave Himself vicariously as the only sufficient sin substitute. He gave Himself victoriously because He promises that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against His church.
We see the preeminence.
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Jesus Christ is the Lord of the church. It is subject to Him in everything: in doctrine, duty, and devotion. His Lordship demands that the church be subject to Him in all things. Jesus Christ is the Leader of the church. He is its Chief Shepherd and Bishop over every soul. A glorious church is in complete submission to Christ.
We see the purifying.
Paul speaks of a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, and that it should be holy and without blemish. The church is purified through its sanctification and cleansing by the washing of water by the Word. Every church is to emphasize the preaching and teaching of the Word of God. The church is cleansed and sanctified through the Word of God. Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” The members of a church that is in submission to the Word of God keep their lives clean through confession of their sin and obedience to God.
We see the preparation.
“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.” Jesus is building His church through His love for it and its labors for Him. He is building His church in the Word, in faith, in expansion, in good works, in preaching the gospel, and in sending laborers into His harvest. Jesus promised, “I will build my church.” He is preparing His church for the day He comes back for us, which we call the Rapture.
We see the presentation.
When Jesus comes for His church, He wants it to be presented to Him without spot, wrinkle, or any such thing. He wants the presentation to be holy and without blemish. Just as a groom lovingly receives his bride on their wedding day as his chaste virgin, Jesus is preparing His church so that He receives it spotless and without blame. As a local church, we must be separated from the world and be ready to present our church to Him as a bride adorned for her groom. It is a glorious church, a church that is honorable, that Jesus will one day come back for. The Lord loves His church. Let us keep the church set apart and ready for Him.
Have a church-centric God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 1-3