Wednesday, 30th May 2012
Biblical perspectives for living
The Nature Of The Church
Paul's letter to the Ephesians provides three different metaphors to describe the church which Jesus is building.
The church is likened to a body (Ephesians 1:22-23) of which Christ is the Head. This authority was granted by His Father, who raised Him from the dead, seated Him at His right hand, and put all things under His feet (Ephesians 1:20-21). There is just one body (Ephesians 4:4), composed of all who have by grace been saved through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), whether Jews or Gentiles. This was a surprise to early Jewish Christians, who hadn't understood God's plan to join Jew and Gentile together into one body (Ephesians 3:1-6). The risen Christ gifted his church with apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers (Ephesians 4:8-11) that the church might be strengthened, protected, united, and built up (Ephesians 4:12-16).
The church is then likened to a building (Ephesians 2:19-22). Believers are pictured as living stones (1 Peter 2:5) who are joined together as the dwelling place of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:19-22). Christ's church is built upon the teachings of the apostles and prophets (v. 20) as recorded in Holy Scripture and "become a holy temple in the Lord" (v. 21), a place where God is worshipped in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
The church is also likened to a bride (Ephesians 5:22-33). Paul is teaching husbands and wives about their relationship to one another and uses the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church, as an illustration. Just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself sacrificially for her, so husbands are to love their wives in a sacrificial manner; and just as a husband rightly expects his wife to be faithful and pure, so Christ expects His church to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives (Titus 2:12).
Using apostolic teaching as our guide, we discover that the real church of Jesus Christ is a living, growing, functioning organism composed only of true believers who seek to follow His teachings, striving to be pure and holy as they await the return of their Lord (1 John 3:1-3) and who worship God in spirit and in truth. Does this describe your church?
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Google AlertWhen a company which has it's European Headquarters here in Ireland is called 'evil' and 'immoral' by M.P.s in The House of Commons you tend to sit up and take notice. The particular company that was being referred to was Google and the reason it had enraged M.P.s in London was because even though it has a big operation there and conducts a lot of business there it pays no corporate tax. It does this by having all of its financial transactions finished here in Ireland. And the company here is …
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