“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength”
The Church is a place of rest not work. This will definitely sound like blasphemy to the self-righteous zealot. They will be quick to snap and correct at me. Let me guess their typical response : “If the Church is a place of rest, why did the Lord give us the Great Commission? Why will the Church be at rest when the world is out there perishing?
Let me guess, they will even quote Amos 6:1 at me:
“Woe unto them that are at ease in Zion”.
But excuse me Sir or Ma, the Church is not Zion.
The Church is not a place where you gather men to battle, or to prepare for one.
Indeed, clarity is sorely needed in this day and age. One reason many Christians stay enslaved to law-based religion is that they are confused about the words of Jesus. They say, “We should do everything Jesus said.” But Jesus had two distinct ministries. In his first ministry he sought to bury the Jews under the true demands of the old covenant. He did this so that the law might fulfill its purpose of silencing the self-righteous and revealing our need for a Savior. However, Jesus’ second ministry revealed a new and better covenant to come. In parable and deed, Jesus revealed a new covenant based on His Father’s grace and subsequently forged in His own blood. If you fail to distinguish between the two covenants, you’ll get confused and end up mixing grace with works.
You want to know what the Church is?
The Church is the “Pillar and ground of truth “.
1 Tim 3:15-16
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
What is Paul telling Timothy here?
I’m writing this letter so you’ll know how things ought to go in God’s household, this God-alive church, bastion of truth. This Christian life is a great mystery, far exceeding our understanding, but some things are clear enough:
“Jesus is already received up in glory”. It is a finished work. He is not soliciting your help. No, you are simply to yield yourself as an extension of Him, so that the world will see the finished work, the glory of Christ’s accomplishments.
“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the CHURCH the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Success in Christ is different from success in the world.
Build all the towers you can, set up all forms of administrations and collect all your project offerings. But, the measure of success of your Church will be how rested the flock are. Indeed how nourished and fatted. How deep the fountains of life you offer?
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
Friends, that’s the measure of true rest, and that’s what the Church is.
-Dr Nich Mbaezue-Daniel