9. The immense potential of the church.
Ephesians 1:22 to 23 “God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.” (NLT)
The church, “made full and complete by Christ.” What a beautiful description of the Church. This passage shows the immense potential of the Church. Why then am I not seeing the fullness of God in the Church today? Why is the Church so full of discord, divisions, and failures? Even people who appear to be godly have trouble getting along with each other. I have shared the pain and confusion of many disillusioned Christians when my childhood pastor was dismissed because of sexual sin, and when close friends have been hurt by various church experiences. I recognize that the Church is made up of flawed humans, while also being the body of Christ. But if we, the followers of Christ, were experiencing Christ’s fullness, wouldn’t we be like Christ both as individuals and as organizations?
I need to remind myself that the Church will not be perfect until God completes the work He is doing in us all, and we become the spotless Bride of Christ. This reminder helps me to be optimistic, not discouraged about what I see with my earthly eyes.
What God promises is eventual purity in the Church, filled with the fullness of “Him who fills all in all.” The Greek word for fullness includes the concept of being complete and satisfied/fulfilled in every way. In Ephesians 3:19 Paul writes of the eventual fullness of each believer. When we more fully experience the love of Christ, we “will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Is this the answer to how the Church will eventually become the spotless Bride of Christ? As each individual believer becomes more and more filled with Christ and experiences His love and completeness, the Church as a whole looks and acts more and more like Christ?
Attitude readjustment for me: There are so many good things happening in and through churches (historically and currently). What are some of the evidences that God is maturing believers and loving the world through the Church?
Spirit, please open my eyes to how You are working in the church now. Help me to grow personally in the fullness of Christ. Help me to encourage other believers to take intentional steps of growth toward Christlikeness. For Your glory and for the preparation of Your Bride. Amen.