Be encouraged to excel in building up the Church
Jesus, speaking in Matthew 16:18 of building as the architect of the Church stated; “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it”. The Lord of Lords informed that His full measure of divinity is committed to the unstoppable project of establishing His kingdom through His church. No earthly or spiritual powers of opposition are capable of prevailing against Him. Scripture records this unchangeable fact, history proves it to be true, and the future shall see it brought to completion.
Just as Christ is unmovable, so in Him, we too can be unmovable as we endure in the faith. It’s with this heavenly confidence the apostle Paul affirms “that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Not only will the entire structure of the Church be finalised, but the individual stones used in construction of the Church shall be brought to mature Christ-like perfection in the final assembly. Praise God for the forgone conclusion of glorification in Christ!
The personal nature to building
In spite of personal struggles and external opposition, believers align themselves with the Lord Jesus Christ and “strive to excel in building up the church” (1 Corinthians 14:12). We recognise our fellow believers are far more than inconsequential joy-riders in life. They, like us, are the children of God. Together in Christ we are the product of divine election, the working out of God’s perfect will through redemption (Eph 1:5-7).
As Christians, it’s our privilege to join the Lord, being energised by His Spirit and equipped with His Word to “encourage one another and build one another up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). There is no place for cutting each other down or moaning of imperfections that simply reflect our own imperfections. There is no time for sitting on the side-line of church life consumed with self, while runners in the race of faith pass us by. Instead, lets “lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
When our relationships fail in reflecting Christ’s character, those watching on soon become aware of the work still required within us, and the gospel testimony of His church is damaged. The power of the Church’s testimony is not in theological perfection, although unity in truth is extremely important. No, the power of our testimony is that “all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).
May Christ’s prayer for His disciples be fulfilled in our lives, where He prayed; “that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21). The Lord’s credibility before the unbelieving world is greatly determined by believer’s willingness to surrender to oneness in Christ.
What a humbling privilege; being entrusted with building fellow believers up while securing a favourable testimony for Christ before a dying world. The renown of Christ’s name is to be our consuming passion, and the replication of Christ’s character in fellow believers is to be our motivation for service. “For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building” (1 Corinthians 3:9). Let’s strive as one person in excelling at building up the Church.
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz