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The Pattern of the Glorious Church

It is always helpful to have an example or pattern to follow when making something. Thankfully, God did not leave us up to our own devices and wisdom when creating the church. The New Testament is full of examples and commands for us to follow. We “serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things” (Heb. 8:5). We have a pattern in those that have lived faithfully before us (1 Tim. 1:16). If Christ intends to present to Himself a glorious church, then the question should be asked, “What makes it glorious?” “That He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless” (Eph. 5:26-27). The “Jerusalem church” was a glorious church and worthy of our consideration. We all share the same goal: That is, to be the church that God wants us to be!

There are several attributes of the Jerusalem church that should be named among us. The church was a learning church. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching” (Acts 2:42). It was a church that fellowshipped (Acts 2:42). It was a church that continued in prayer (Acts 2:42). They were in a sense of awe over how God was working among them (Acts 2:43). It was an active church (Acts 2:43). It was a sharing church (Acts 2:44-45). It was a unified church (Acts 2:46). It was a worshiping church (Acts 2:46). It was a happy church (Acts 2:46). It was a church admired by all (Acts 2:47). It was a growing church (Acts 2:47). It was a church comprised of only Christians. “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:42-47).

With this and other examples in place, it is clear what is expected of us. If we are to be the church that glorifies God and the One who purchased it, then we should be doing our best to adhere to that pattern. God in Christ has done everything to make His church glorious. We need to do our part in keeping the church as He intended.