The New Testament uses many metaphors to depict the Church – a body, bride, family, one new man, vineyard, army, etc. What do these have in common? They’re all living entities!
One reason why multiple imageries are used is because the Church is too comprehensive and rich to be represented by a single description. And, if she’s living and healthy, growth is a natural by-product – both internally (spiritually) and externally (numerically).
The Body of Christ is called to display God’s life through every believer’s ministry. Attending church doesn’t make us Christians. Rather, we need to be constantly filled with His exuberant Spirit and abounding love, infectiously outpouring His life to those around us.
God’s ultimate purpose is to reconcile the universe under the Lordship of Jesus (Colossians 1:20; Ephesians 1:10). The Church stands on earth as the masterpiece of that reconciliation.
We’re called to live and act as His ambassadors on this earth to reflect the community and unity of the Godhead. Thus, when those in the world see Christians from different cultures and races loving on one another, meeting needs, living against the current trends that give allegiance to the gods of this age, they’re watching the life of the Kingdom lived out on earth. Then they’ll proclaim, “It’s from above!”
While I was pondering these truths, I was reminded of the following words by Joy Dawson:
We’ve all got the same Father – God.
We’ve all got the same Saviour – Jesus.
We’ve all got the same Empowerer – the Holy Spirit.
We’ve all got the same Textbook – the Bible.
We’ve all got the same enemy – the devil.
We’ve all got the same orders – the Great Commission.
We’ve all got the same promise – “I am with you always.”
We’ve all got the same destination – heaven.
We’ve all got the same assignment – to bring heaven’s blessings to earth.
Truly, we’ve got more in common than what divides us. And, as we unite with our local and global Cornerstone family this week at the Combined Service, may we remember to cheer one another on with this – “We’re on the same team!”