By Bill Brandstatte
My wife and I enjoy watching a television program where a young lady
restores old houses. She says she restores them “to their former
glory.” We today need to restore the church to its former glory. When
the Lord comes back He wants the church to be glorious. (Eph. 5:27)
Paul wrote, “To Him be glory in the church by Jesus Christ.” (Eph.
3:21) What about the church today? Does it look like what it did in
the glorious days of the New Testament? Let us consider some ways to
restore the church to its former glory.
We need to get back to the name and identity of the church as the
New Testament records. There are thousands of churches across our great
land. These all have a variety of names, and have different teachings
and ways of worship. The early church bore the name of Christ. It was
glorious because, He was its head. All that was done was to glorify
Him. In Eph. 1:22, 23, Paul declares that Jesus is the head of the body,
His church. Then in Eph. 4:4, 5 Paul states there is one body. Paul
wrote that there should be no divisions. (1 Cor. 1:10) He taught and
ordained the same thing in every church he visited. (1 Cor. 4:17; 1 Cor.
Does this kind of unity exist today? Does the name the church wears
really make a difference? In New Testament times the name pointed to God
and Christ. Often it was identified by location.
For example, Paul wrote to the “church of God which is at Corinth”.
(1 Cor. 1:2). Paul mentions in Rom. 16:16; “The churches of Christ
salute you.” The early church never wore the name of a man (Jn. 20:28).
We see an amazing unity in passages that identify the church with God
In Acts 20:28, the church is referred to as the “church of God”.
This passage also tells us that the church was purchased with the blood
of Jesus. When He died, the church got its start. Jesus was God before
He was in the manger. (Jn. 1:1) He was also God when He came. (Matt.
1:23) He stated in John 10:30, “I and my Father are one.” Thomas
confessed Jesus as, “My Lord, and My God”. (Jn. 20:28) We see an
amazing unity in passages that identify the church with God and Christ.
The Lord wants His church to be glorious. Let’s do all we can to make it
– Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church
of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the
congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/