The miracle of the church
Pastor Bill Wright
If someone were to ask you to define a miracle what would you say? To some, a miracle is something that happens exceptionally, like getting a raise at work when you least expect it or when Germany won the world cup over Argentina last week.
Webster defines a miracle as: “An extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all known human or natural powers and is ascribed to a supernatural cause.”
A miracle is that which is beyond human explanation.
The past three weeks we have been discussing the nature of what Jesus meant when He referred to the Church in Matthew 16:18. We have seen He was not speaking of religion or denominations, but rather He was speaking of His global family that is joined together spiritually by the means of His redeeming work at Calvary. The Bible declares that the church of Jesus Christ is a miracle in nature because there is no other explanation for it. What else would explain sinners who are transformed by the power of the gospel all united to one another, no matter their location in the world?
There are several things that cannot be explained about the Church of Jesus Christ except that God originated them. Let’s consider a few:
The church’s birth was miraculous (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2) For nearly 4,000 years God related to man through a nation, Israel. They were His chosen people and He revealed Himself to the rest of the world through her. Then Jesus came and revealed that salvation was offered and available to all men, Jew and Gentile. The church would have all the religious walls broken down and He was creating a new family called Church.
It was founded by One who showed up on the human scene by way of a miraculous birth. The birth of the church had no other explanation except divine intervention (Acts 2).
There are many things that are miraculous about the church, such as, its indwelling by the Holy Spirit, its empowerment by God to reach out to a needy world, and its future will also be miraculous when Jesus Christ comes again for His church.
Perhaps the greatest miracle of all is the good news message of the church, the gospel. It is a message that offers life to the spiritually dead (Ephesians 2:1). It is certainly a miracle that a holy God should not only desire a personal relationship with sinners but initiated salvation that would make that possible. When we were not looking for Him, He was looking for us. The Apostle Paul says it like this: “But God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8), and, “For He made Him, who knew no sin, to become sin for us, (on the cross) that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (I Corinthians 5:21).
Here is the bottom line question we all need to answer, are we a member of God’s family, “The Church” of Jesus Christ? Have we come to God with our sin and surrendered to His forgiveness and offer of a new life? The Bible is clear on this point: “Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation (II Corinthians 6:2). Becoming a member of God’s family is a matter of thanksgiving. It is when we come to God recognizing we do not deserve anything from Him but gladly receive His offer of salvation and forgiveness of sin and say thank you. Thank you for taking my sin upon yourself so that I might be free from the debt of sin, which you said was death. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family.
One final word, the local church that teaches Faith Alone, by Jesus Alone is of great value to those who are truly members of His family.
It is where we go to continue to grow up in Him. It is where we join our voices with others to praise Him. It is where we go to hear the clear teaching and application of the Word of God. It is where we enjoy fellowship with those who are also members of His Church. So remember the words of Jesus:
“I will build my church…” Have you joined yet?