Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. (Acts 20:28)
Give Honor To The Church
The value of an object is determined by the price paid for it. In 2004, the painting Boy With A Pipe, painted by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, was sold for $104.1 million. A manuscript of Leonardo Da Vinci sold for $30,802,000 in 1994. In 1999, the 70th home run baseball by Mark McGwire sold for $3 million. When the apostle Paul met with the Ephesian elders at Miletus, he warned them to oversee the church of the Lord as watchful shepherds because of the dangers of apostasy that could creep in among them. The reason was that the church had a value on it that could not be calculated. It was not measured by the brick, mortar, or stone. The church of God was purchased with the blood of Jesus Christ. There was no higher price to be paid for the church.
Jesus had promised to build His church. He often spoke of the coming kingdom and instructed His disciples about the nature of the kingdom. After the death of Jesus, the apostles gathered in Jerusalem, where on the day of Pentecost, Peter opened the doors of the kingdom for the Jews and introduced the Gentiles to the gospel a few years later. Luke writes that God added to the church daily those who were being saved, beginning with the three thousand of Pentecost. Great fear came upon the church after Ananias and Sapphira were struck down. Saul of Tarsus persecuted the church to foreign cities. Later, Paul would be the evangelistic mission of establishing churches throughout the Roman Empire. John addresses the Revelation to the seven churches of Asia with admonitions and judgments from the mouth of God.
The church is maligned as an “organized religion” and rejected as unnecessary. The church becomes a warm blanket of security for many people when a need arises. Most people only see the inside of a church building when they are sprinkled, spoused and sorrowful. Birth, marriage and death are the three reasons people go to church. Most churches bear different names, follow conflicting doctrines, and give allegiance to a host of leaders or beliefs. Unity is not found in the world of churches, although many claim unison of purpose. The world’s general attitude is that the church is a prosthetic that is helpful when a crisis comes but otherwise is good for nothing.
Jesus Christ died for the church. The special value of the church must be found by the price paid for it. It cost the blood of God’s Son to redeem man and build the church. If the church is not essential, the blood of Christ is of no value. The church has an eternal value attached to the blood of God’s Son. It is the most valuable thing in the world without reservation. No amount of gold, silver or precious jewels can match the worth of the church. The early disciples went everywhere, establishing churches in every community. There has never been a time since the beginning of the church on the day of Pentecost the church has not existed. The church is over two thousand years old without interruption and it was bought with the blood of Jesus Christ.
When the value of the church is recognized, greater respect and honor are given. It is sad when the children of God treat the church as if it were a community organization like the Kiwanis Club or Rotary, or Boy Scouts. These are good clubs to be involved with but not the focus of life. Everything about the church is everything about the life of the Christian. The church is foremost because it was bought with the blood of Jesus. Nothing will come before the work of the church because of its worth. The value of the church is precious to the saint who wants to do everything they can to exalt the church and its work.
There are certain characteristics of the church that must remain sanctified by the word of God. When the church is viewed from a casual view and anything can distract from the obligations of the church, its value in the eyes of the person is diminished. One of the New Testament teachings is the assembly of the saints as a body of Christ on the first day of the week. Habitual absence disrespects the church, disavows the blood of Christ, and insults the Holy Spirit. Coming into worship with a carnal mind destroys the harmony of the purpose of the church. Jesus died for the church for a reason. He will present the church to Himself as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such things. The church will be holy and without blemish. Respecting the value of the church sees the worth of the church through His blood. It cost Jesus His blood. Can we consider the church any less?