Today we see so many different churches, in shape, form, color, liturgy, buildings, programs, and in doctrine. We are sometimes confused with all of this. And I believe that this is one of the reasons that so many people are leaving the church nowadays. They just cannot agree with one or more of those differences. They read the Scriptures, principally the book of Acts, and try to translate them to our times and cultures. Unfortunately, that does not work well. Because of that they just leave, and some of them consider what we call church, a fraud.
1. The Church Was Born In the Heart of God
In other words: The Church is God’s Idea. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 that He would build His church. Throughout the New Testament the church many times is called God’s church. But one of the best texts that I find about the church in the New Testament is the one in Ephesians 3:10-11. Here it is: “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The first lesson that we learn here is that church is not a human invention, nor an invention of religious leaders, etc. The church was part of God’s eternal purpose. That means, before the world was created, the church was in God’s heart. Of course we see many people starting religious groups, social clubs, and social service agencies, and call them church. It is important for us to understand that it is not the name that defines the church.
The second lesson that we learn is that the church was planned by God. Even though He counted on human participation, the planning was established by Him. That includes format, mission, leadership, functions, etc. God planned and revealed in His Word the main aspects. Of course some details will change depending on culture, space, leadership, financial support, etc. But it is important for us to understand that the main aspects and structures, doctrines, and lifestyle, must remain the same.
The final lesson that I would like to share with you is that the church is where God wants us to be. God not only calls us to be with Him, and to be in the church, but He also calls us, as a church to be in a specific place, in a location. This is why we have that saying: “Think globally, act locally.” God wants to reach the whole world, and His plan is to do that through His church. This is why He has churches all over the world. You are part of a church that was planned by God. He wants you to know that you should be involved in that church’s life and mission. God wants that particular church there. And wants you as part of that church.
Have a blessed week,