“Too many chiefs and not enough Indians”, is an idiom that reflects very well the church in our day. Everybody wants to have a say in the direction and life of the church. And if they don’t get what they want, they just leave or in some cases they stay but hold the church hostage, with threats of stopping giving, stopping working. Some people think that they own the church, and the church exists to make them happy and comfortable.
2 – The Church Was Bought by the Blood of Christ
The New Testament is very clear when it states that the church does not belong to anyone but to God. The sacrifice of Jesus not only redeemed us as Peter writes: “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1Peter 1:18-19.” It also gathered us into a body, His body. He bought us with His blood to be His church. This is what Paul said to the Ephesians’ Elders: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. Acts 20:28.”
This has a few, but important implications for the life of the church and our relationship with Her.
First, Jesus is the Head of the church and her owner. He has rights that He acquired by His death on the cross. When He said to Peter, “I will build my church…” He meant it. It is His church. He is the one who dictates what we should do and how we should do it. Through His Word, He stipulates the modus operandi of the church.
Second, we are redeemed sinners. That means nobody is perfect. We are all sinners, redeemed by the blood of Christ, but redemption is a process of growing in our faith. This makes the church an imperfect organization. If you are looking for a perfect church, stop right now. Do not waste your time. You are not going to find it. My presence and your presence in the church is the proof that she is imperfect.
Third, we are members of the church. We are part of something bigger than we are. We also have designated gifts and positions in His body. Through His Spirit, Jesus calls and enables people to do specific works in the church. We do not make those decisions. We do not choose the gifts and positions. They are administered by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we want to do things that we are not called to do. The church and her leadership should help you to find your place in the body.
All those implications demand from us humility. It is a humble experience to recognize that we are redeemed sinners, that we have other people in our lives who will help us, and that we do not belong to ourselves. On the other hand, we must understand that we are together in this and we should see our brothers and sisters with different eyes.
God redeemed you and plugged you in Jesus‘ Body. That should make you praise Him, thank Him, and serve Him with everything that you have.
Have a blessed week,