A Glorious Church
We glory in our American citizenship. We glory in our families.
We need to glory in the church. Jesus died for the church that he might “present her to Himself a glorious church” (Eph 5:27). Tonight, let’s examine why the church is glorious.
The Church is Glorious in Her Origin
Christ established his church (Matthew 16:18).
It cost him his life to establish it (Acts 20:28).
Men established the other churches, but it cost them comparatively nothing to do so.
The church of Christ is the oldest church in existence.
The Church is Glorious in Her Head
Different denominations have men or women as heads of their respective churches.
Christ is the head of the church. “He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church” (Eph 1:22). “He is the head of the body, the church” (Col 1:18).
Men receive their appointments from men and as a rule are subject to them. Christ received his appointment from the Father and is subject to him. “The Father who sent Me gave Me a command, that I should say and what I should speak” (Jn 12:49). “The Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (Jn 5:22).
The heads of different denominations die and new ones are elected. Christ, the head of his church, will never die. “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Rev 1:18). “He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood” (Heb 7:24).
Men make the laws of their respective churches, but the laws of this church are made in heaven.
The Church is Glorious in Her History
She has always been glorious in defeat—“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Rom 8:37).
She has always been glorious in victory—You “have not denied my name” (Rev 3:8).
She has always been glorious in her moral achievements. Philemon tells the story of a runaway slave; there is reason to believe that Onesimus, the slave, returned to Philemon, his owner. The duties of husbands and wives is told in Ephesians 5:22-33.
The Church is Glorious in Her Ministry
The Commission and the invitations. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mk 16:15).
In temporal things (Matt 25:31-46).
The Church is Glorious in Her Ideal
The salvation of lost men and women. “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Rom 1:16).
Peace on earth and good will to men (1 Tim 2:1-4).
The Church Will be Glorious in Her Future
May this congregation be!
She will be glorious in this world.
She will be glorious in the world to come. “I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day” (2 Tim 1:12). 1 John 3:1-2.
The Church is Glorious in the Privileges of Her Members
They are not voted on by man to see if they can enter—Anyone who wants may come.
They are not bound by the creeds of men, but may read and interpret the Scriptures the way the Lord meant them to be understood. “When you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph 3:4). Romans 16:25-26.
The members have the privilege of eating the Lord’s Supper every Sunday, and wherever they go they are in full fellowship (1 Cor 11:23-29).
She is glorious in her Divine kinship. God is our Father and Christ is our brother (Rom 8:12-17).
She is glorious in her inheritance. Heirs of God and joint-heirs of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:17-25).
Are you a member of that church?
This sermon was originally preached by Dr. Justin Imel, Sr., at the Owingsville church of Christ in Owingsville, Kentucky.