“How can that be God’s Church? It’s such a mess!”
Have you ever heard those words? Yes, they can sting. They sting even worse when whatever preceded them is true.
I was reading a Baptist’s blog article, “Thank God for the Church !”, and this jumped out at me:
The one fact that most people have at their fingertips concerning the Corinthian church is that she was in a mess – a church full of problems, division and heresy.
And yet she was in this sense no different from any modern church.
The point the author, Joachim Rieck, makes is that even though the Corinthian Church was such a mess, Paul was thankful for them — the church!
1Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
~ 1Co 1:1-9 (NIV)
Rieck further writes:
And this is particularly instructive when we consider as to how we should view the church. Most of us would want to examine the warts and lament the woeful deficiencies of the church. Most people have no vision of what God has already done in Christ in the church, because they lack perspective.
There is a lot he wrote in his article that you and I probably wouldn’t agree with, but he certainly makes a couple of good points here.