THE GREATNESS OF THE CHURCH

 The church of Christ is the greatest institution that the world has ever known. It is a divine institution, and we should never think of it in ordinary terms as we do other things. 

The church is Christ’s Kingdom on earth over which He reigns now. One cannot be loyal to Christ without being loyal to His kingdom, the church. I am convinced that humanity needs to appreciate the Lord’s church more. With a better understanding of the greatness of the church, we will surely appreciate it more. This article will simply be concerned with the greatness of the church.

 ‍THE CHURCH IS GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS FOUNDER – With any organization in mind, one readily realizes that the founder is of utmost importance. He is the one who sets in order as to its functions. He is the one who gives it a code or standard of operation. His wealth and mentality furnish the life-blood of the institution. An organization will usually reflect the spirit and ideals of its founder. Therefore, it is with the Lord’s church.

Jesus founded the church (Matthew 16:18).  He did all of these things for His church. It is now our obligation to reflect His divine spirit and ideals in the life and conduct of the church (1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 2:5).

THE CHURCH IS GREAT BECAUSE OF THE PRICE THAT WAS PAID FOR IT – As we look about us, we quickly realize that the majority of worldly concerns were founded to enrich the founder. There are many “churches” that have come into existence, since Christ’s did, for the purpose of enriching of their founder or founders. However, the Lord’s church was not founded or established for financial gain of any sort. Realistically looking at this, what could the Creator want to extract from the work of His own hands? (John 1: 3). The Lord’s purpose for bringing the church into existence was not for financial gain, but for the spiritual benefit of humanity. If anything, rather than taking from the church, the Lord gave, more than we sometimes realize (Acts 20:28).

 In order to give us the church, Jesus humbled himself and emptied himself of His equality with the Father, becoming a servant of men, willing even to die for humanity  (Philippians 2:5-9). Jesus, in doing what He did for the church, taught humanity that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). If for no other reason than this one, we should be able to see the great value of the church.  The sinless Son of God gave His life for it, and that says it is of great value. Yea, even value beyond compare.

 THE CHURCH IS GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS RELATION TO CHRIST – Within the Bible, one finds several ways of comparing or describing the church. First, we see that it is the spiritual body of which Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22, 23). Second, it is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22, 23).  Third, we see that the church is the kingdom of Christ, and He reigns, as the only King and Lawgiver (Matthew 16:16-19).

Fourth, we see that it is His army and He is our Captain and leader (Hebrews 2:10; 2 Timothy 2:3, 4). Fifthly, we see the church pictured as Christ’s family, for they do the will of the Father in heaven (Matthew 12:50).

There is certain honor that comes from intimate association with great people. How much more honor is there to the church to be so wonderfully associated with Jesus? As we ponder this point, ask yourself, “Can I be saved out of Christ’s kingdom; out of His army; out of His family?” The obvious answer, of course, is no. Those who are saved are members of the church, which we have just considered, having been added to it by the Lord (Acts 2:47).

‍THE CHURCH IS GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS MISSION – No matter what man may say, the mission of the Lord’s church is to save the lost. This is why it was brought into existence, and this is why it will remain in existence until judgment. If the church were composed of sticks and stones then, of course, the mission would be something else, but it is not. The Lord’s church is composed of people who have been commissioned to preach the gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world (Mark 16:15, 16). 

In the previous article, we saw that the founder of an institution sets the pattern of which the institution follows. Jesus set the pattern by which the church was to follow when He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Christ’s church is not a political or economic power but, rather, it is that institution that evangelizes the world. The Lord’s church is the greatest institution that will ever be known, and with it the greatest mission that has ever been given.

THE CHURCH IS GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS BLESSINGS – We, sometimes, sing, “Count your blessings, name them one by one,” but have we ever realized the greatness of the church by these blessings? James tells us that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). These blessings are available to those who compose the church.

We are all aware that there are certain “blessings” that are available to those who are in America. We also are aware of the fact that only those in America will receive these blessings. So it is with the church. In order to receive all the blessings of the land of the free, you must be an American. In order to receive the many blessings that are in the church, you must be a member. Every spiritual blessing is available in Christ, but only in Christ, and to be in Christ necessitates being in the church (Ephesians 1:3-7). Although there is no way to adequately explain or measure the blessings that are in Christ, they are the greatest blessings because they are in the greatest institution.

‍THE CHURCH IS GREAT BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE WHO COMPOSE IT – These people are called Christians, because they strive to be Christ like. They are called saints, because they are the ones who are dedicated to God’s service (1 Corinthians 1:2).

They are in the world, yet they do not live like the sinful world (John 17:14). Many people will point to an individual and say, “Look how he lives, or acts, and he is a member of the church. Really, I am just as good as he is.” However, if that person has gone back into the world, he is no longer a faithful member of the church that belongs to Christ. His name might be on some book that we have in our possession, but it won’t be on the one that God has in His possession, and that is the one that counts (2 Peter 2:20-22; Revelation 3:5).The church is great because it is composed of great Christ-like people.

THE CHURCH IS GREAT BECAUSE OF ITS ULTIMATE GOAL – Paul taught that Christ is the savior of the body, and that He would some day present that body to himself in glory (Ephesians 5:23, 27). He also stated that some day He would deliver up the kingdom (1 Corinthians 15:24). Contrary to the belief of many, the church will reign in triumph with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, for eternity. The church is great because of that ultimate goal. There is no other institution that has a goal such as this that will be met.

There is no doubt, the church is the greatest institution in the world and should be treated as such. Perhaps it will not be treated that way by those of the world, but we who are members should do so.

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