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Monday, June 30, 2014

RESTORING THE CHURCH TO ITS FORMER GLORY

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. 7:17) 
    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 and Christ. 
    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 that way. 

– Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://marionchurchofchrist.com/




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