Living Branches – John 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Living Epistles – 2 Cor 3:2-3 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
Living Ambassadors – 2 Cor 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
Living Lights – Eph 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…
Salt and Light – Matt. 5:13-14 You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world… Let your light so shine before men, that they see your good works and glorify your father in Heaven
The above verses that define and describe the church have one thing in common. The statement “you are” or “we are.” God says the church is salt and light; living lights, ambassadors, epistles, and branches. Beloved, buildings are not these things; buildings do not define or describe the church.
I do not believe we will ever get away from the phrase “going to church” some have made it their life’s goal to get this out of their vocabulary and demand that others do the same. It does without question hurt the concept of what the term means. And there should be some instruction and training concerning this wonderful word and concept – church. But I for one think it’s time to quit arguing over the term and be the church. Once we as the church are the definition and description of the church then the phrase “going to church” will not carry such confusion.
My friend, if you are a believer God says you are salt of the earth and light of the world, you are a living light in the Lord shining in a world of darkness, you are an ambassador representing the lord Jesus Christ to those around you, you are epistles of Christ read by those around you seeing the life changing power of the gospel, and believers are branches off the vine who is Jesus Christ, realizing that we can do nothing and really we are nothing apart from Jesus living His life through us.
Notice also with the term “you are” or “we are” – God says as believers we are these things when we are saved. Of course through discipleship and the ministry of His Word in our lives; these things become more and more acute in our lives. But it is God the Holy Spirit Who is making these definitions and descriptions of the church our lives. There is not some kind of waiting period or time of moratorium waiting for us to be mature enough to be the church. It is the Holy Spirit who makes us the church and it comes with salvation.
Here is the challenge – Is my lie truly defining or describing the church?