Church: The Unblemished Bride

‘Church’ is not only illustrated as the ‘Body’ of Christ but also as the ‘Bride’ of Christ. The ‘Church’ is the unblemished bride that is cleansed of all impurities and radiating the beauty and the glory of God.

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This is how I envisage the ‘Church’ of Christ to be:

1. A Church Without Walls – The Church is not a Building but a Community of God’s People

2. A Church Without Liturgies & Rituals – The Church is not a Temple. We don’t need the ‘forms’ because we have the ‘substance’. We have the ‘Real Thing’.

3. A Church That Is 24/7 – The Church is not on Sundays but everyday and everywhere

4. A Church That Is United & In Perfect Harmony – The Church is the Body. No one is superior or inferior. The Church is made up of different members but yet they are One in Christ. It is not divided by Denominations & Doctrines.

5. A Church That Is Victorious – Victory has be won. We don’t fight ‘for’ victory but ‘from’ victory. Satan is a defeated enemy. We are More than Conquers in Christ.

6. A Church That Is In The Marketplace – The Church is called to be the Light of the world and the Salt of the earth. The Church is commanded to ‘Go’ to the World and not for the World to ‘Come’ to the Church.

7. A Church That Seeks After The Kingdom Of God – The Church is to advance and establish His Kingdom’s Rule & Reign over the 7 Mountains in Society.

8. A Church That Is Moved and Motivated By Love and Not Governed By The Law. We are no longer under the Law but under Grace

9. A Church That Is Empowered By The Holy Spirit – ‘Spirit @ Work’  not  ‘Self @ Work’

10. A Church That Worship God in Spirit and in Truth – A Church that sees ‘Our Work’ as Worship too! The Holy Spirit is using our ‘Work’ as platforms to transform the Marketplace.

11. A Church That Is Giving & Not Receiving – The early Church was known for it’s generous giving. They shared what they have as a Community of God’s people. No one have lack or needs.

12. A Church That Is Righteous and not Religious

These are 12 Points that I envisage the Church to be … I am sure, you have other points to add. Put them in the ‘Comment Section’.

Revelation 22: 17 ” The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’. And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’. And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”

Welcoming Back Our King !

 



  • Paradigm Shift: The Church (Part 3)

    Matt 18:20  “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them”. Even the gathering of two or three, the Church comes into existence. Christians must get away from the idea that the Church is a building and a temple. The true Church of God is not limited by space or bound by denominations and doctrines.

    The Church is being described in the bible as a Body
    The Apostle Paul in I Cor 12, used the human body to described the Church. I Cor 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ and members individually”. When Christians have this Paradigm Shift,  viewing the Church not as a Temple but as a Body … we will see things differently and do things differently.

    Body

    When the Church is seen as a Body, we see ‘Unity’ & ‘Equality’ in this community of God. No one is superior or inferior to another. The ‘eye’ is not superior to the ‘ear’, neither is the ‘hand’ superior to the ‘leg’. Every member in the body is different and has different functions. There is harmony and oneness when we use the Body to illustrates the Church. There is only one head in the body and Christ is the head! The Church follows the head and thus are not pulled in different directions.
    When we sees the Church as a Body, we will view and perceive things differently. When Christians view the Church as a Temple, what they see will be hierarchical structures and orders. They will see Priest and People; they will see Clergy and Laity. Once again, ‘ranking’ in the Church is formed.  Priests, Pastors and ‘Full Time’ Workers seems to hold a higher spiritual status.
     This should not be … there is no ‘Higher’ Calling but only ‘Different’ Calling. A Pastor does not have a ‘higher’ calling than that of a Office Worker. When I hold the view that the ‘Church’ is the Body … every member is equal. I myself, honor and respect Pastors and Teachers but I do not put them on a ‘High’ Pedestal.  The Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists are just exercising their ‘Giftings’ … they are not ‘Positions’ in the Church. In fact those with ‘Leadership’  Giftings are told to ‘serve’ their flock and not to ‘lord’ over them. The greatest of all will be the servant of all. 

    Let’s take a hard look at our Churches today (Both Catholic & Protestants). Most, if not all have a ‘Temple’ Mindset … do we have the courage to ‘Shift’ ? To Transform Nations, we need to have a Paradigm Shift on how we look at the ‘Church’. The Biblical Perspective Of The ‘Church’ Is That Of The Body.

     



  • Paradigm Shift: The Church (Part 2)

    The ‘Church’ Is Not The Temple. 

    Many Christians consciously or unconsciously assumed the ‘Church’ to be the Temple. Just like the Buddhist goes to the Temple to worship, Christian goes to the ‘Church’ to worship. The Church becomes the focal point of all religious activities. Sunday Services are held in the Church, Prayer Meetings are held in Church, Evangelistic Services are held in Church. From Birth to Burial, the Church took on the responsibilities.

    In the early Church, there were no church buildings and Christians did not see themselves playing the role of the Temple. They were a community of God’s People going about praising God and preaching the Good News. Everyone touched by the Holy Spirit was a minister, a messenger of the gospel. The bible recorded in Acts 2:47 “…And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved”. It was this community of marketplace believers that “turned the world upside down”. It was this community of believers that Transformed the Marketplace.

    When did the ‘Church’ became the Temple?
    Right from the very beginning … “The Empire” (Satan) strikes back. Acts 5, we see deception creeping into the Church through Ananias and Sapphira. Judaism infiltrated into the Church from the very beginning and Paul had to rebuke the Apostle Peter for his hypocrisy (Gal 2:11-15). When the Gospel spread throughout the Roman Empire, the Church was also influenced by Greek philosophies and all other forms of religious rituals and practices. When we read the letters of Paul to Churches in Ephesus, Corinth, Galatia …we see Paul defending the “Faith” from all these infiltration and influences. Jesus foresee all these happenings when He told the parable of “the Wheat and the Weed”. (Matt 13: 24-30) “The Kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way …”  It is in the End Time, that the Wheat will be separated from the Weed.

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    The Institutionalize Church
    When king Constantine became a Christian, Christianity was made to be the State’s Religion. This was when “Christianity Became A Religion”! This, I believe was when ‘Church’ became the Temple! Magnificent Cathedrals were built … people went to the ‘Church’ to worship. Elaborate rituals and religious practices were introduced  into the ‘Church’. The ‘Church’ of God became the Temple of God … like the Temple of Solomon.

    Be Warned ! The Nation of Israel in the Old Testament was Removed from the Promised Land because of the Temple.
    Solomon Temple in the days of the Old Testament was the center of the Jewish Community. Offerings of worship and sacrifices were being done in the Temple. Tithes were collected through the Temple system. Sadly, the ‘Temple’ became the confidence of the Jewish people instead of God Himself. Elaborate and exuberant sacrifices were offered … But God was not please with their Religious Activities.
    When Temple Worship was at its highest point …God sent His prophets to warn them of their unrighteous, immoral living. To the Priests and the People, the Prophets sounded the warnings of God … but they were fallen on deaf ears. “We are God’s Chosen People”, “God Is With Us”, “We have the Temple”, “We will not be destroyed”, such was the confidence the Jewish People  had on the Temple.
    When the Spirit of God and the Glory of God left the Temple, the elaborate rituals and ceremonies continued to be performed. God was not interested in their Religious Activities but interested in their Righteous Living. When the Jewish People did not listen and repent … God removed them from the Land and destroyed the Temple!
    Even, in the land of Exile (Babylon), the Jewish People long for the glory days of Solomon Temple.
    In the book of Era and Nehemiah, it was recorded that a remnant of the Jewish people returned and started building the Temple. When Jesus came into the scene, the Temple was rebuilt but not as glorious as the Temple built by King Solomon. To the minds of the Jews, God is raising up a Messiah who will rule over Israel and the Temple will be restored to its former glory. Temple Worship was still the focal point of the Jewish Community. Elaborate laws and rituals were once again established in the Jewish religious system. The Jewish religious leaders questioned Jesus’ teachings because they did not conform to their  laws and practices.
    Jesus said “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up” John 2:19 . To Jesus, He was referring to His own body. To God, the Temple is not make up of bricks and stones … it’s people that makes up the True Temple that God is please to dwell.
    I Cor 3:16 “Do you not know that you are God’s Temple and God’s Spirit dwells in you”.
    I Pet 2:5 “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”.

    Present day lesson: The ‘Church’ should not be a Place where Religious Activities are performed but the ‘Church’ should be a People  in the Marketplace living Righteously – Paradigm Shift.

    Stop being Religious …Start being Righteous

    to be continued

     



  • Paradigm Shift : The Church (Part 1)

    The Oxford Dictionary’s definition of the Church : “Building For Christian Public Worship”.
    The majority of Christians have accepted this definition. Church is the place where Christian go for service, worship and ministry. Many have accepted the ‘Church’ to be a ‘Building’, a ‘Place’ where Christian go for their religious activities. This definition is not Biblical ! For Transformation Of The Marketplace to take place we need to have a Paradigm Shift concerning the ‘Church’.

    ‘Church’ Is Not A ‘Building’ But ‘People’
    We don’t ‘Go’ to Church … ‘We Are’ the Church! The Church is not a ‘Building’; the ‘Church’ is a ‘People’. Just as Israel is the People of God in the Old Testament; the Church is the New Covenant People of God. We are People of the Kingdom. In this community of God’s People there is No Denomination, there is No Division. We are One! ‘One People’ under Christ. We are united ‘As One’ under the Banner of Christ.

    Occupation 3

    The Church is not a Place or a Building where people are gathered together involving in Religious Activities … but the Church is ‘People’ in the Marketplace involving in their various Vocations. The ‘Church’ was birthed in the Marketplace and not in a Religious Place. The 12 disciples of Jesus were from the Marketplace, they were not from the religious establishment.

    The word ‘Church’ is a translation of the Greek word ‘Ekklesia’ which means ‘A Called-Out People’. Whenever the word ‘Church’ is mentioned in the Bible, it does not refer to a Building but to a People. In the early church, there were no Church Buildings. We need to get back to the original perspective of ‘Church’.

    Church is not a Static Building but a Powerful Movement of God’s People
     The ‘Church’ is 24/7 and not on Sunday Services. Matt 16:18 “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it”. The name Peter is a small ‘stone’ or ‘pebble’ but Jesus is the ‘Rock’. Jesus is building His Church on the ‘Rock’. The interesting point is that the ‘gates of Hades’ shall not prevail against it. Here we see a picture of the Church as a moving army attacking the gates of Hell. The ‘Church’ is Mobile where as ‘Hell’ is Static. Christian have got it all wrong! Often we see the ‘Church’ as a Static Building on a defensive mode, fearing the attacks of Satan. But the Bible depicts the ‘Church’ as the victorious army storming and plundering the gates of Hell.

    To see Transformation In The Marketplace, we need to have Major Paradigm Shifts in our Beliefs …. to be continued