I know what my church is… Awesome. But what is THE CHURCH? It is that mass of men and women who are united in brokenness, but know only triumph (2 Corinthians 1:8-10, James 5:16, Ephesians 5:8)! They have no Creed but that of the Apostles and are loyal to no nation more than to the Kingdom of God (1 Peter 2:9-10, Colossians 3:11). They carry with them everywhere upon the earth never ending springs of living water and freely offer a drink to all who thirst (John 7:38). They return frequently to that storied “fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel’s veins” , but they rarely return without bringing at least one with them who had not yet bathed in it before (Hebrews 9:12, Revelation 12:11, Exodus 12:13).
But wait, is that what the church is or just what it’s supposed to be?
The truth is that’s not what the church is even on it’s best days, at least not on it’s own. It is precisely because we are united in brokenness that we can move from victory to victory reaching other broken people and pointing them to the fixer, or The Redeemer as scripture calls Him (Colossians 1:13-14). It is precisely because the church encompasses so many denominations, nations, races, lineages, and histories that we can stand together as one worldwide kingdom and declare One Eternal King (Psalm 47:7). It is precisely because He lives in us and operates through us that we can take Him out to the whole earth and to our neighbors on our street and know that as we are faithful to do so He will be the worker of change in the lives of those we touch by His Holy Spirit (John 14:26, Romans 8:26, 1 Corinthians 6:19). And it is precisely because we are cleansed with and covered by His precious blood that, in all our failings, He still works out His undeniable will (Isaiah 55:8-9, Job 42:2).
So THE CHURCH is that mass of broken and unworthy men and women made worthy by the sacrifice of their King (John 3:16). It is the ones who have come to know their wretched selves in truth first and then by The Spirit to know themselves anew (Romans 5:8). It is the ones who show first then tell what Christ has done in them and make disciples for Him of those who listen (1 John 4:19, Matthew 28:16-20). No building will ever contain it. No organization will ever fully bring it to heel. It is revolutionary in its character and its actions. It is a living thing. It is, in a word, US.