We come to understand that the church is beyond a building. it is not a place but the people of God. We, as believers in the risen Savior, make up the church. The church is called “the Body of Christ” as well as the “Bride of Christ.” The believers make up the body that is gathered together in His name.
- The Body of Christ: “And he is the head of the body, the church.”—Colossians 1:18. We make up the church as a singular, universal “body” of believers. The epistles to the Colossians and the Ephesians tell us that Christ is the head of this body of believers. We all- pastors, deacons, evangelists, organists, choir directors, worship leaders, youth workers, and others- fall under the head of the body, Christ our Lord. The body serves Christ and represents Christ on earth.
- The Bride of Christ: “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”-Revelation 22:17. The bride of our Lord is to be both prepared and presented to Him. The church’s members receive gifts to edify the body of Christ for the “work of the ministry” and to bring all of its members into the fullness of knowledge in Christ in order to present the bride of Christ to Christ, the bridegroom.
Have we lived up to the expectations that Christ has of us as His church? Are we making disciples who are prepared to be presented as the “bride of Christ” and the “body of Christ?” Let us examine our works and their worth. We will one day stand before our Lord and he will weigh the value of what we have done in His name and for His sake. Will burn and become consumed? Or, will it withstand the fire and come out as refined precious metals?
10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. –1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NIV)