Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
Acting School (Part 7)
The Student Body
He put all things under His Feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all.
Ephesians 1:22-23 (NKJV)
Christ is Head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body... that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.
Ephesians 5:23,26-27 (NKJV)
God considers His church to be the body of Christ. We walk the earth on His behalf, and He directs our actions from Heaven. But some of us have lost our Head. We ride around earth like headless horsemen on a holy crusade--but is it?
Are we a glorious church, without spots, wrinkles or blemishes? At best, we have acne. We've bought some expensive concealers, but the embarrassing outbreaks cannot be hidden. At worst, we are lepers: unclean, unclean.
'But Jesus cleanses us,' you might argue. 'We are made perfect by Him.' True enough. Neither can I judge anyone's sanctification, cleansing or salvation.
That being said, I believe our appearance to the non-believing world is urgently important. If we look like headless horsemen with avenging swords, if we're fighting each other and the unwashed heathens, if we look juvenile, old or unhealthy, who will want to join us? How do we look like Christ?
'I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in you all' (Ephesians 4:1-6).
I propose that part of our lowliness be a qualification of our status. Our church is a student body: 'A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master' (Matthew 10:24). We have much to learn, and we will never learn it all. Our PhD's, pastors, elders and leaders must forget their heady titles and remember the roles that Jesus assumed: a humble Carpenter from a tiny town, a poor Evangelist with a small circuit and a convicted Prisoner on a Cross.
As a church, have we humbled ourselves or exalted ourselves? I hope the former. I rue the latter.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Acting School series.