It is common for people to think of a ‘Church’ as a building where religious services are held, but that is not the biblical meaning of a ‘Church’.
The TRUE CHURCH is an assembly of believers that worship the TRUE GOD, JESUS CHRIST, ONE WITH GOD THE FATHER AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
In this reflection, let’s reflect on God’s Holy Word and consider our calling to be the TRUE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, also known as the TRUE BRIDE OF JESUS CHRIST.
Who do we worship?
Let’s ask ourselves do we truly worship and serve God on a day-to-day basis or do we serve ourselves, seeking primarily our own well-being?
The True Church or the True Bride must selflessly worship the Saviour of the World, Jesus Christ.
We must consider:
Is our life fully dedicated to Jesus or are we focused on self-fulfillment, pursuing things like power, money, entertainment etc. Fame and fortune are false gods. We can say we belong to Jesus but spend most of our time worrying about our wealth and pleasure.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24
How do we worship?
Jesus said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24
God is seeking an authenticity and sincerity that requires that we look deep into ourselves reflecting on what is our true identity and purpose in this life.
Jesus calls out hypocrisy and worship that amounts to ‘going through the motions’ with no real love and desire:
“These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’” Matthew 15: 8-9
THE TRUE CHURCH IS HUMBLE AND PENITENT
Let us bow down to God acknowledging His greatness and our sinfulness, praying for His mercy.
“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
The Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6
THE TRUE CHURCH LOOKS TO JESUS FOR SALVATION, BELIEVING IN HIM, TRUSTING IN HIM AND FOLLOWING HIM WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH
Jesus is the Head of the Church. The True Church or The True Bride of Jesus Christ has FAITH IN JESUS, TRUSTS IN JESUS, HOPES IN JESUS AND STRIVES TO IMITATE JESUS IN HIS LOVE AND COMPASSION FOR ALL PEOPLE.
Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him (Jesus) to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:22-23
THE TRUE CHURCH IS BAPTIZED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND REDEEMED BY THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
The True Church is typically referred to as the Body of Christ. This body of believers is anointed to enter into a Holy Communion with God. Through the shedding of the Blood of Christ we are cleansed of our sins and through the power of the Holy Spirit we are blessed, filled with God’s love and power.
Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:14
“ For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
THE TRUE CHURCH IS INCLUSIVE AND DIVERSE: IT IS GOD’S FAMILY
God welcomes all people to enter into an intimate, personal holy communion with Him. All are welcome; there are no gender restrictions or racial restrictions, all human beings are invited to believe in Jesus and come to Him for redemption and sanctification.
“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12:13
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” Ephesians 2:19
THE TRUE CHURCH PRAYS, CONTEMPLATES GOD’S WORD AND OBEYS GOD WORD
The True Church is the True Bride of Christ and the True Bride is faithful to Her Bridegroom Jesus.
Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:14
To obey the Word of God we must first seek to read it and to understand it. As an assembly of believers we come together to read the Scripture and to reflect on it.
The Word of God will challenge us to go beyond what we may feel is natural.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:43-45
Now you may think ‘I don’t have any enemies’ but in truth you do if you are the True Church.
If we are the True Church or the True Bride of Jesus then whoever stands as an enemy of God is an enemy of the Church. That would include child abusers, murderers, rapists, drug dealers, terrorists etc. We are called to pray for everyone that is offending God in the hope that God will silence the power of the evil one in them and bring them to repentance and to redemption. In the institution we commonly refer to as ‘The Church’ there are true believers, but there are also people who have been corrupted by the power of the evil one. Evil has a way of finding its way into the upper echelons of most organizations, yet the Words of Christ remain true:
Jesus said to St. Peter: “Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” Matthew 16:18
The True Church is the assembly of true believers that are faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the True Church will never be destroyed for it is sustained by God’s love and power. We must do more than ‘talk the talk’ we must ‘walk the talk’. To know the Scriptures and to cite the Scriptures is good, but to live the Scriptures is paramount.
THE TRUE CHURCH TEACHES GOD’S WORD AND MAKES DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS: IT IS CHARITABLE
Before Jesus ascended into Heaven following His Resurrection from the dead, He gave His apostles this commandment:
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
We must do more than rejoice in God’s love; we must share it and help others to come to the salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son. Now not everyone is going to be an evangelist, but all of us are called to witness to the love of Jesus by being charitable, kind, patient and forgiving.
THE TRUE CHURCH COMES TO THE LORD’S TABLE FOR NOURISHMENT
On the night before Jesus died, Jesus shared a final meal with His chosen apostles. At this Last Supper Jesus “took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
Every time we come to the Lord’s Table we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, a miracle made possible by the Holy Spirit of God that changes ordinary bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus. The Sacrament of the Eucharist was instituted by Jesus Himself and we are called as the True Church to honour His wishes just as the first Church did.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2:42
St. Paul reminded the followers of Christ to receive the Eucharist with reverence and awe, mindful of the miracle:
“For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” 1 Corinthians 11:2
THE TRUE CHURCH IS HOLY – A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“For it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16
Holiness is God’s infinite moral perfection; it is something we can become only in communion with God who is Holy. In surrendering our free will to the Holy Will of God and striving to discern and do His Holy Will we become pleasing to God as His True Church.
“That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.” Ephesians 2: 19-22
THE TRUE CHURCH IS ZEALOUS, MERCIFUL AND JUST
In the final book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, we learn a great deal about what the True Church should be and should NOT be.
Let’s reflect on a few examples and for a more complete understanding read about the seven churches in the Book of Revelation.
To the Church at Ephesus, Jesus says
“I know how many good things you are doing. I have watched your hard work and your patience; I know you don’t tolerate sin among your members, and you have carefully examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but aren’t. You have found out how they lie. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. Yet there is one thing wrong; you don’t love me as at first!” Revelation 2:2-4
Do we show by our actions that we love Jesus with our whole heart? Is our heart divided? Has our zeal for serving God changed? God wants to be loved by us with an intense, passionate desire for His glory!
One of the key messages to the Churches in the Book of Revelation is God wants people to repent of their sin. Repentance is the door to divine forgiveness. We must repent to access God’s mercy.
To the Church of Thyatira we learn about the sexual immorality of Jezebel and her refusal to repent. Today we live in our world where sexual immorality is more and more accepted. The devil wants to desensitize us to it by portraying it in entertainment of all sorts (video games, movies, advertisements etc.) BUT It is God’s Holy Will that His True Church, His True Bride be PURE AND DETACHED FROM ALL FORMS OF IMMORALITY.
To the Church at Laodicea, Jesus says
“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.” Revelation 3:16-17
THE TRUE CHURCH MUST BE FULL OF ZEAL TO LOVE AND SERVE JESUS CHRIST.
Jesus can make us into His True Church is we CONSENT TO HIS WILL and TRUST IN HIM.
Have you ever noticed how ‘people in love’ have a much easier time ‘sacrificing for the one they love’ than people who are not ‘in love’.
FALL IN LOVE WITH JESUS!
To fall ‘in love’ with Jesus is to enter into His Sacred Heart and be fully immersed in His love, an infinite, unstoppable love that holds and fulfills the soul in its tender embrace. It is a love that is ‘jealous’; it is ‘passionate’; it is ‘intimate’; it is ‘vulnerable’ and it is ‘selfless’. It is a love that inspires sacrifice and generosity; it is a love that never stops giving.
God is a ‘Jealous Lover’
His True Church belongs to Him NOT to false God’s.
To be ‘passionate’ is to be ‘ready to suffer’ for the one you love. Jesus gave His life for us, will we not give all for Him, selflessly surrendering to His Holy Will, living intimately united to Him, listening attentively to His voice speaking to our soul? Let God be exalted as we give Him the highest place of honour in our life.
TRUE BRIDE OF CHRIST COME TO THE FOOT OF THE CROSS TO REMEMBER HIS LOVE
Anyone who journeys to Calvary, to the place where Christ was crucified, cannot help but be changed. It is there that I fell in love with Jesus. It is there that temptation died. It is there that I realized that my true identity was rooted in Him and in His service. Every day, I stop at 3pm, the Time Jesus died for us, to remember Him walking up the hill to lie down on the wood of the Cross to be nailed to it, FOR US, FOR OUR SALVATION! That kind of sacrifice, requires remembrance and total dedication. I know I don’t know how to love the way He loves, but I believe that if I give myself to Jesus He will transform me day-by-day into the person He wants me to be. Will that be without pain or suffering or struggle, NO! But I believe in Jesus and that His love doesn’t give up. So I keep trusting and I keep persevering trying to become the TRUE CHURCH that He is worthy of.
Please join me and Christians all over the world that are stopping every day at the Time Jesus died for us, 3pm, to REMEMBER THE GREATEST LOVE THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN AND WILL EVER KNOW, THE LOVE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. GIVE HIM YOUR HEART, GIVE HIM YOUR LIFE AND KEEP PRAYING FOR THE SALVATION AND HEALING OF OUR BROKEN, SUFFERING WORLD.
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