“Christ… loved the church and gave himself for it.” (Eph. 5:25)

The church occupies a place of tremendous importance in the mind of Christ, and it should be extremely
important in our estimation as well.

We sense its importance by the prominent space it occupies in the New Testament. Also it claimed a
significant place in the ministry of the apostles. Paul, for instance, spoke of his twofold ministry—to preach
the Gospel and to declare the truth of the church (Eph. 3:8, 9). The apostles spoke of the church with an
enthusiasm that is strangely missing today. Everywhere they went they planted churches, whereas the
tendency today is to start Christian organizations.

The truth of the church formed the capstone of scriptural revelation (Col. 1:25, 26). It was the last major
doctrine to be revealed.

The church is an object lesson to angelic beings (Eph. 3:10). They learn lessons from it about the
multifaceted wisdom of God.

The church is the unit on earth through which God has chosen to propagate and defend the faith (1 Tim. 3:
15). He speaks of it as the pillar and ground of the truth. We are thankful for para-church organizations that
are devoted to the spread of the Gospel and the instruction of believers, but it is a mistake when they take
the place of the local church in their members’ lives. God promised that the gates of Hades would not
prevail against the church (Mt. 16:18), but He never gave that promise to Christian organizations.

Paul speaks of the church as the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph. 1:20-23). In marvelous grace, the
Head does not consider Himself complete without His members.

The church is not only the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:12, 13); it is His bride as well (Eph. 5:25-27, 31, 32). As
the body it is the vehicle through which He chooses to express Himself to the world in this era. As the bride,
it is the special object of His affection which He is preparing to share His reign and His glory.

From all the above, we are forced to conclude that the weakest assembly of believers means more to Christ
than the greatest empire in the world. He speaks of the church in terms of tender endearment and unique
dignity. We also conclude that an elder in a local assembly means more to God than a president or a king.
Few instructions are found in the New Testament on how to be a good ruler, but considerable space is
devoted to the work of an elder.

If we once see the church as the Lord sees it, it will revolutionize our life and ministry.
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Grace Bible Chapel of Springfield, Illinois
DECEMBER 7, 2014
BUD MORRIS
DECEMBER 14, 2014
P
HILIP DOSSETT
DECEMBER 21, 2014
F
LOYD PIERCE
DECEMBER 28, 2014
RICHARD COOLEY
JANUARY 4, 2015
B
UD MORRIS
SPEAKERS IN DECEMBER
Below is a meditation written, by Mr. William MacDonald. 1917-2007
FLOYD PIERCE will be our speaker at our 11 a.m. Family
Bible Hour on Sunday, D
ECEMBER 21, 2014.  Along with
his wife Helen, Floyd served the Lord as a Missionary in
Brazil for 35 years.  The Helen Leticia Pierce Christian
Schools may be seen at
www.escolacrista.com  Floyd
serves as an elder and Sunday School teacher in an
elective class that currently studies the A
CTS OF THE
APOSTLES
.  They have three grown children and many
foster children in Brazil.  They are grandparents to nine
grandchildren and s
ix great grand children. They offer
free Bible correspondence courses in English and
Portuguese at this site.
Click here