The Preciousness of the Church
With wisdom Samuel J. Stone wrote:
The church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is His new creation
By water and the word;
From heav’n He came and sought her
To be His holy bride;
With His own blood He bought her,
And for her life He died.
Subsequent to Peter’s great proclamation, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God” came the declaration, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). This pronouncement comes so quickly from Jesus that He conveys this additional message: “Yes, Peter, I am the Christ and now I am telling you about My bride, the church, and to know Me is to know her as well.”
Understanding the identity of Christ is not complete without understanding the church and his relationship to her. The church was clearly precious to Jesus and it should be as precious to us as well.
Master builders and certified architects will tell you that planning for and building a house is a matter that is precious to the owner. It becomes even more precious to them as the house is built and changed into a home. From thought to reality that which was planned and built is that which is precious.
Would the same not be true for Jesus? He cared enough for the church to send the Holy Spirit to inaugurate it (John 14:16, 17, Acts 2:1ff). He cared enough for the church to give Peter the keys to the kingdom, to open the door, and to preach the terms of entrance into His body (Acts 2:38). He cared enough for the church to leave the precious blueprints so that in case her physical form should be corrupted by man, others could come along and build her anew (Luke 8:11; 1 Peter 1:23). The church is precious to Jesus because he thought enough to plan and build it.
A good, decent, and loving husband will tell you that there is nothing more precious in his sight than his wife. He will humble himself to serve her, make sacrifices for her, and die for her if necessary.
The church is precious to Jesus because she is His bride (Revelation 21:2, 9; 22:17). Ephesians 5:25ff says that Christ loved the church and cared for her so that she could be pure. The church is precious to Christ because he loves her and cares for her welfare as his bride.
Each person understands the role of the head in relationship to the body. When the body is hungry, the head seeks to feed it. When the body is hurt, the head seeks to care for it. The body is precious to the head.
Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22, Colossians 1:18). He loves and will provide for his body as it has needs. The church is precious to Jesus because He considers it His body.
Finally, that which is precious is that for which we give our blood. In our country, many have died to defend and protect the ideals upon which this nation was founded. Blood shed proves how precious the cause.
Jesus shed his blood for his church (Acts 20:28). “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). The church is precious to Jesus because He died and shed His blood for her.
Would to God that we all understand how precious the church is to Christ!