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Christ himself said that He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). It is inevitable that the church will continue to march forward as an unstoppable force upon the sure foundation stone of the Lord Jesus Christ. The church, (that is all believers from Pentecost when the church began in Acts 2 until the Rapture when the Lord returns in the air to catch the church away as found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18), as a whole is referred to often in picturesque language. Those pictures or metaphors beautifully describe the wonderful relationship that the church has with her Lord, and the intimacy of our Lord with His church.  

Take, for instance, the Lord as our Shepherd, and not just any Shepherd, but the Good Shepherd. By Christ’s willingness to give His all for us, His very life, while yet reconstituting that life; we who follow Him in faith have come to an eternal and abundant life as part of His flock (John 10:1-5, 11-18, 27-30; note v. 16). How reassuring to know that our ever-living Shepherd is also our ever-loving Shepherd who knows us by name (v. 3)!

Jesus also provides a vitality to His church as ones connected to the True Vine. In Christ and by Christ, the branches are able to bear fruit, more fruit, and much fruit (John 15:1-11). Truly, without Christ we have nothing and can do nothing (v. 5)!

Our Great High Priest, Jesus, has passed into the heavens, but is continuing by faith His blood to establish an holy priesthood and a royal nation (1 Peter 2:9)! The church has become a kingdom of priests in order to follow the Lord Jesus as separated and pure servants in a world of sin (Revelation 1:5-6). He that has called us is also sanctifying us for His service (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)!

Christ, as the Head of the Church, continues to lend us wisdom and clear direction as the all-knowing and ever-present Savior of the Body of believers. Christ’s mind can be known through His teachings so that we grow up into Him, and build each other up in the truth with love (Ephesians 4:13, 15). What a privilege to share in the Lord’s work as His hands and feet, as it were, while being one with Christ and with each other (1 Corinthians 12:4-6, 12)! We look to Christ and look out for one another while working together to promote our Head (1 Corinthians 12:25-27).

Thank the Lord for a very special and enduring closeness, connection, and care He has provided for this blessed age of the Church!

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