Monday, February 6, 2012

Why I Love the Church (and you should too) Part 2

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. ~1 Corinthians 12:12

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.  ~John 15:13
In the first installment of this series I introduced the idea that our relationship to Christ's church goes beyond those kinds of relationships one might have with other organizations. Mostly because the church is much more than an organization. We, who are God's people, are one body...

Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. ~1 Corinthians 12:27

So, we have this one body made up of many individual members, joined and united together in Christ by God's Holy Spirit. How should these members relate to one another? The Apostle Paul likens this relationship to one human body made up of individual parts like feet, hands, eyes, and ears. As you ponder that for a minute I want you to ask yourself this question:

How do I relate and interact with these other members of Christ's body to whom God has joined me to?

If you are the hand, how should you relate to the foot? If you are the foot, how should you relate to the hand? If you are a Christian, how should you relate to the church (read other Christians here)? As a member of the body of Christ you should love the rest of the body. I should love you and you should love me and the most convincing (convicting?) reason for doing this is because Jesus loves us.

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 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.   ~Ephesians 5:25-27

In the fifth chapter, of his letter to the Ephesian church, the Apostle Paul calls on husbands to love their wives; note the example he gives them. The epitome of love and the lofty peak of selfless sacrifice is the love Christ displayed for His church. The reason I love the church, and the reason you should too, is because Jesus Christ loves the church and died for it. What more compelling reason could there be? Maybe if Jesus commanded us to... oh wait...

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. ~John 13:34,35

And again...

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. ~John 15:12

Our Lord and Savior loves the church, He suffered, bled, and died for it. He also calls on us to love each other (remember we are the church) as He loves us. In fact, it is the love we have for one another by which the world will recognize we are followers of Jesus! think about that one... If our love for the rest of the church is how the world might recognize we are his disciples, then there must be some visible outworking of that love to recognize... yep.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. ~Galatians 6:10

Next time we will look at how we can give some legs to our love for the church.

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