I love being a part of a local church. I love investing my life in the life & health of a local church. I love getting to be with others who desire to glorify God & will sharpen me towards that same end. I want others to have this same joy & passion for the good of the local church.
But just to be clear to everyone, I do serve in a full-time position in a local church. I serve as the Young Adult Minister at Southern Hills Baptist Church in Oklahoma City. So you may think that I’m writing about the church just because of my work in ministry within a local church…and that’s partly true. But I’m not writing this post SOLELY because of my work. I’m writing about this because I believe how we view the church will impact how we treat the church.
When God opened my eyes to see the beauty of the church…it changed everything for me. This isn’t to say that everything about church from that point forward was simple & neat…but I now had a framework for working through various issues that would arise & a compass to get me back on course at different points in life. Here’s the passage that God used to shape my view of things…Ephesians 5:22-30.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church & gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy & without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes & cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”
This passage is often used in weddings & it should be used. Paul writes out a clear expectation for the relationship between a husband & a wife. But it is easy for us to miss the starting point for his expectations: Christ’s love for His Bride, the Church.
I don’t want to go into all the details in one post, so I’ll write a few posts down the road on this topic. But at least consider these questions for yourself.
-How does viewing the church as the Bride of Christ change the way you see the church?
-If the church is the Bride of Christ, how should you engage/interact/relate to the church?