When The Church Pleases God

             As a student of the Bible, I must see all of what the Bible has to say on any subject. The “church” has many designations. Jesus said, “my church,” Matthew 16:18, “my kingdom,” Luke 22:30; John 8:38, “the Kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 16:19, and “the Kingdom of God, John 3:5; Luke 22:16. The apostles of Christ said, “the church”, Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22; 3:10; 5:23-32, “the church of God”, Acts 20:28, “the church of God”, 1 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:13, “churches of Christ”, Romans 16:16, “the house of God”, 1 Timothy 3:15, “the household of God”, Ephesians 2:19, “the household of faith”, Galatians 6:10, “the Kingdom of God”, Acts 28:23, 31, “the Kingdom of God’s dear Son”, Colossians 1;13, and “a Kingdom which cannot be shaken”, Hebrews 12:28. The church is called the “bride of Christ,” Ephesians 5:30-32, “the temple of God,” Ephesians 2:20-22, and “the body of Christ,” Ephesians 5:30. When we look at these, we should understand that when we obey the Gospel of Christ that the Lord has “added” us to the church, we have been “delivered from the power of darkness and…translated into the Kingdom of God’s dear Son.” Acts 2:47; Colossians 1:13. To be in the church is to be in the Kingdom of God’s dear Son! When one is “born again” they “see” and “enter into the Kingdom of God.” John 3:3-5. The Kingdom of God and the church being the same! Understanding all of these helps us as Christians to maintain the right attitudes that please God.    

            We should have the right attitude that there is individuality in the church. This is seen when we read 1 Corinthians 12:11-17. What we have in common is that we all believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God, we have repented – had a change of heart that has resulted in a change of life, we have confessed that Jesus is the Christ, and we have been baptized (immersed) into the one body which is the church. Ephesians 1:22-23.  When we are baptized in water for the remission of sins, we must believe the same things and do it all with the same attitude of mind. These were unified in how they got into that one body, the church. As they were to maintain that same attitude of unity in care and concern for one another so are we. The word “spirit” does not refer to the Holy Spirit but refers to the mind-set or disposition of the person who is obeying and living the Christian life. We are to have “the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16. Cf. Philippians 2:5. God is holy, and that should be our mind-set. Jesus Christ was obedient to God, and that was His mind-set.  We retain our own temperaments and personalities. We are to be “living stones” and “lively stones.” 1 Peter 2:4, 5. If we reject this truth then we become like the Corinthians in chapter 3:1, “…carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.”

            We should have the right attitude that there is no inferiority in the church. This is seen when we read 1 Corinthians 12:18-22. Note, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.” (Verse 18). We must accept ourselves as well as others. We need each other. We must realize that we are not all the same and that we complement one another just like the parts of our own personal body. We are pleasing God while serving together. Just as our own personal body has weak or feeble members so does the church. They are not to be looked down on but should be made needed! Honor is to be given to all.

            We should have the right attitude toward fellowship within the church. “That there should be no schism [tear, split, or division] in the body [the church]; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” 1 Corinthians 12:25. We are to care for one another. We are to love one another. We are to respond when another member suffers. We are to rejoice when another member is honored. We are NOT to be divided but of one accord.

            What happens when we as the church functions with the same mind-set as God and Jesus Christ being holy and obedient members? We will carry to the Gospel of Christ to the whole world, as did the first-century church! Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24. As holy and obedient members of the church, we will maintain the right “spirit” [attitude] while acting upon the “truth” of God’s Word. Bobby D. Gayton