BE THE CHURCH!!
The church today is in the midst of an identity crisis – particularly in the American church.
We have an unhealthy disassociation with what (actually who) the church really is. We’ve mentally separated ourselves from being the church and placed the idea of the church onto a building of wood and brick.
This may come as a shock to some, but these fancy buildings that we see on the sides of the road with their denominational tags and pretty steeples, these are not churches – the true church has no denomination. The people inside attending service, singing, praying, acting – they aren’t the church either (although some of them might be.)
The church is a spiritual body built only with true believers and followers of Jesus Christ! Stepping inside a “church” building no more makes you a christian than stepping on a military base makes you a soldier.
“The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”
1 Peter 2:4-5
“4 As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
We who are born again are each spiritual stones being built into a house and this house is built upon the cornerstone which is Jesus Christ – there is no other foundation on which to build – yet we’ve gotten our thinking switched around. We have detached ourselves by saying things like “I go to church on Sundays” or asking others “What church do you attend?”
We’ve created a mental disorder where we place the church outside ourselves and in the process have placed the responsibility of the church outside ourselves. We’ve changed church from something that we are into something we go to. Church has become something that we merely participate in instead of a lifestyle we actively live out every day and a core pillar of our being – but my goal is to correct your thinking.
Believers need to merge with their idea of the church being a physical building and place it within themselves as a spiritual building – and in this manner when we think of church responsibility, it falls on us. We are the church!
The mission of the church is to love, serve, build, and evangelize but until we understand the true identity of the church we will be fools who place those responsibilities on a building down the street – far outside ourselves. We are a spiritual priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God. We as individuals are in charge of loving one another, serving one another, building each other up and reaching out to the lost and broken – these are all responsibilities of the individual believer and until we step up and understand who we are, we will be unable to form a cohesive structure that is effective in it’s purpose.
Also remember that none of us are the church individually, but we are each a spiritual building block in a collective body of believers called the church – ekklesia. A building does not exist if the structural blocks are not in place to form the building – and since we are each a spiritual building block, it is only when we unite and create a structure where God can dwell that we will fulfill our purpose.
We should focus our lives around this truth and live according to love so we can unite into a building where Jesus sits on His throne.
When we come together in unity we magnify Gods presence. Like a match that has a flame, if it is brought together with another match the flame burns bigger and brighter – so God burns bigger and brighter within the church when it’s spiritual stones are placed together in unity. What an awesome thing it is to know that the very same God who dwelt in the Holy of Holies, now dwells within us. The most high God, who hovered above the ark of the covenant is sealed in our hearts and our unity together creates a spiritual building in which He lives.
There are some of you reading this who probably cringed initially upon reading the title. I hope now you understand that we can no longer continue “going” to church but we must fight the urges of our cultural upbringing and accept our identity.
We must all rejoin ourselves to the responsibilities that we have so cleverly severed ourselves from.
We are called to love, serve, build and evangelize.
We are called to be the church. We must find unity and BE THE CHURCH!