WHAT GOD SEES WHEN HE LOOKS AT HIS CHURCH by Leah Baugh for Core Christianity
The Bible is full of descriptions and metaphors of how God sees the church. Each one helps us to understand a facet of the church’s identity and God’s love, care, and communion with the body of believers.
1. A Holy Priesthood (1 Peter 2:5, 9-10)
In Israel, priests had a special relationship with God. They were the ones who interceded on behalf of the people and offered animal sacrifices, and the High Priest could enter the most sacred part of the temple once a year to stand in God’s presence. Christ came as The Sacrifice that bought entrance into God’s presence for all people.
Everyone who believes Christ is the Son of God who died and rose again is now part of a holy nation where everyone can enter God’s presence. The church, the new Israel, is God’s holy nation, his special chosen people who see him now with the eyes of faith but in the future face-to-face.
2. A Holy Temple (Ephesians 2:19-22)
The one Spirit who dwells in believers unites all believers together into the dwelling place of God. When Christians come together to worship God, they are literally forming the house of God. God’s presence is spiritual and mysterious through the power of the Holy Spirit, but it is nonetheless very real. This is why Paul tells the Corinthian church, “For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Cor. 3:17).
3. Children and Heirs (Luke 18:15-17; Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:1-7)
God sees the church as his adopted family, his precious children who will inherit his kingdom. He gives the church is Holy Spirit so they can call upon God as Father. God also cares for the church as a loving Father. As his children, the church depends upon God for his care and protection. As God’s children, the church waits eagerly to inherit the kingdom of God, their beautiful inheritance.