OceanSide church of Christ
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THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS PRECIOUS
Victor M. Eskew
When in the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the church. He said: “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). This church was built on Pentecost Day following our Lord’s resurrection (Acts 2:1-47). This church is extremely precious. By precious, we mean it is extremely valuable. Let’s show why this divine body is so precious.
The first reason the church is precious is because it was purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul teaches us this in his farewell address to the elders of Ephesus. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Jesus’ blood was precious because it was pure, holy, human, and divine. It was costly because it belonged to the Son of God. As the Lord’s blood flowed from His body during the passion, it was given to purchase the church. If Jesus’ blood is valuable, so is the church. Remember, the purchase price of anything reflects the value of the price paid for it.
The second reason the church is precious is because it is composed of the saved. Brother Guy N. Woods defined the church as: “the body of baptized believers who have been called out of the world, over which Christ reigns as Head, and in which the Spirit of God dwells.” If you have believed and have been baptized, you are saved (Mark 16:16). If you have been called out of the world, you are saved (John 17:14). If Christ reigns over you as Head, you are saved (Eph. 5:23). If the Spirit of God dwells in you, you are saved (Rom. 8:9). On the day of Pentecost, the Lord added “the saved” to the church (Acts 2:47). Saved people have been redeemed by Jesus blood. Their value rests in the blood of the Lamb that redeemed them (I Pet. 1:18-19).
The third reason the church is precious is because of the hope that it has in the hereafter. There is coming a time when the Lord will come again to receive His bride (Eph. 5:32), the church, unto Himself. “And I John say the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2). All faithful members of the church are waiting, waiting for the Lord’s return. They yearn for the day when they hear the words: “Behold, the bridegroom cometh.” They will then be united with Him throughout eternity.
There are at least three things that make the church of Christ precious. She was purchased with the precious blood of Christ. She contains all those who have been saved by Jesus’ blood. She will one day be united with her bridegroom, Jesus Christ, to live forever in heaven. No other group can boast such things. Thus, all other groups pale in their value. Dear reader, the Lord’s church is not priceless, but it certainly is PRECIOUS!