This is the passage every place of worship should identify as the standard. Preachers preach it; teachers teach it. On our part it’s an imperfect church. On God’s part it is perfection. The church wasn’t built on Peter; the back of the church is the rock of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
I’ve been asked many times which is the right church. I’ll run into someone who is new to an area and they’ll ask it. There are a lot of churches around. Many have dropped the word “church” from their title or have taken on odd sounding names. I don’t know where they come up with some of them I’ve seen. It makes me think of going down the bean isle and seeing all the brands of beans. Some will be the big name brands and then you can tell they keep getting of lesser quality. You never know what you’ll get when you open some of them.
Sure! We want people to come here. They need to know that we’re not perfect but we do serve a perfect God. We must not depart from God’s standard. Things don’t suit everyone but we make the best effort. We’re all just human beings seeking God. It won’t be the church man endorses that is the right one. It will be the one that is being what God commands. That kind of church is the only one through which people can be saved and grow in Christ. The only way to cultivate our growth is living right each day.
Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. He’s the originator of the church. It’s only our church if we submit to him as his church first. We want him to be satisfied with us individually and as a church group of people. It’s not about meeting men’s approval; it’s about meeting God’s. The church is built on the love that Jesus Christ had for us. We come not just because we love the Lord but because he first loved us. Others should see our love as a response to God’s love.
Before we were saved the love of Christ reached out to you and me. We submitted to that drawing and now we have that love and desire to serve him. We can trust and have faith in this church because it is founded on the right person. That will help keep us clean and in line with Jesus. When people are hindered physically and can’t come we help them by our continued faithfulness. We pray for them. It’s the right thing to do. It shows the love of Christ.
How is the church functioning: That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. This is not talking about tap water anymore than anointing someone with oil means that oil is the Holy Spirit. The oil represents the Spirit as does this water. It’s all about Jesus. Never forget that you’re saved by the person of Jesus Christ. Grasp this now. Verse 27 says That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. You know that we cannot within ourselves be without spot or blemish. We may think we’re so good that Jesus is going to welcome us in with a well done because of what we’ve done. Don’t get self-righteous. We can’t get rid of our own spots. None of us can live perfectly. You and I need the help of the Lord. Through him we walk in the Spirit and live the Christian life. The Bible says we are crucified with Christ yet we live. Jesus is the Master of it all. In submission and surrender to him he can use us for his glory. When we slip up he can correct us so that he can present us in that day.
The right church is the church with Jesus as Savior and total Lord. When others look at us they should see the Lord. It’s about the right person and that’s not you or me. It’s about Jesus!