What is the church? What can i liken it to?
After my last post, someone asked me to define the church. Not because they didn't think they knew the answer but so that they could find out how i defined the church. That seemed fair enough except for one thing.
i don't care how i define the church.
It literally doesn't matter what i think. It only matters what God thinks the church is. And that is a subject not only too lengthy for a blog post but far too weighty for me to even ponder at length in one sitting. It's one of those subjects, like God himself, the more i stare into it, the more i see. So what i've decided to do, because i do feel this is an important subject which merits discussion, is to see what i can see God says about His church in Scripture for the rest of Lent. i'm not giving up anything for Lent. i'm taking up something.
But where to start? Well, where does God start? In the beginning. Genesis one.
"And God said, “Let us make humankind in our image and according to our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of heaven, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every moving thing that moves upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the likeness of God he created him, male and female he created them. And God blessed them..."
The first thing i see, is God, referring to His glorious self in the plural, creating the church and blessing it for a set purpose. It is his agency for change upon the earth, the earth is good, yet God orders his people to subdue it, submit it, change it for a purpose. The church is his agent, his servant, his viceroy, his governor. Its work is blessed, not a curse. As Keller puts it, Genesis is less about HOW God made everything but WHY.
A second thing i see, is God making them diverse from the start. Male and Female. Forget races, creeds and tribes, you want diversity? Have both women and men in the group. And every creed, tribe and nation has both male and female. Built in difference in desire, methodology and value. And BOTH made in the image of God. God cannot be expressed in only one gender.
The Church is created, diverse, blessed and purpose built.