Pastor Erik did a great job stating out our new sermon series I Love My Church! by helping us understand that the Church belongs to Jesus. When we ask, “Whose Church?” the answer is always “Jesus’.” Let’s look back at some of the scripture Pastor Erik referenced and then take this whole idea a step further.
(If you missed Pastor Erik’s message because of the snow, you can watch it here, download the audio here, and watch our first “I Love My Church” video testimony here.)
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
“The Church” refers to the Universal Church comprised of all local church bodies. Jesus is the head of “The Church,” and by extension, He is the head of each local church. What does this mean for the local church expression we lovingly call “Cornerstone”?
1) Our attitude toward the church can be an obstacle in our relationship with Jesus. In Ephesians 5 and throughout his epistles, Paul refers to The Church as a “bride,” representing the intimacy of the relationship between Jesus and the Church as a marriage relationship. How would your relationship with your best friend would suffer if you didn’t get along with their spouse? That’s not to say that there won’t be times when an individual has a negative experience at church. The issue is to separate one’s experiences with an imperfect person from the body of Christ, in total.
2) He’s in charge. Something we don’t often think about is God’s absolute authority in our church and in our lives. He’s in complete control of the pastors, the board, and so on. He’s in charge; He speaks to the leadership and guides them. That’s not to say that pastors and deacons never make mistakes, but it does mean that our trust in Jesus ought to extend at least a little to cover our spiritual leaders as well.
3) He’s in control. For those who were made a bit uncomfortable with the ideas of sovereignty and trust, here’s a bit of balance for you. Jesus is in charge of the church, and if we trust Him we ought to trust the leaders He’s given to us because we know that Jesus is no only in charge but also in control. The difference, in case you were wondering, is that Jesus not only has absolute authority in the church, He has the “sovereignty” as well. This means that not only does He have the right to tell the church leadership (and the people) what He wants from us, but it also means that He has the power to ensure that what He wants is what will eventually come about.
Questions to Consider
1) How should the fact that the church belongs to Jesus alter our attitude?
2) What can we do to put more of our faith in Jesus and His church?
3) Knowing that Jesus is “sovereign”—in control and in charge—what divinely guided risks are we more willing to take for His Kingdom?