[CF Devotionals] 2008-12-10 -Christ's Church: 3

Song of Solomon 6:4, "You are as beautiful as Tirzah, my darling, as lovely as Jerusalem, as awesome as an army with banner."

The words of the above verse are those of Christ, Who manifests Himself to His church and tells her that He has deep love and affection for her. Tirzah signifies by its name, "a very beautiful city," and Jerusalem is beautiful to Christ for many reasons - but certainly for its housing the Temple of God. The church represented here as Christ's darling is "awesome," and like "an army with banners." We all recognize this metaphor of banners. Today a nation flies flags to show to all its identification. So Christ's church has banners as identifiers. What is the banner of the church? It is the atonement of Jesus Christ for sin. Christ is the head of the church, and His work of substitution is the central standard that the church posts as its banner. The precious doctrines of Christ's atonement are all the church's glory. The church is the home of those who are, or will be, redeemed by the shed blood of Christ for sin.

The church consists of two groups. Some distinguish between the visible church (all those who enter the building), and the invisible church (that number know only to God who are regenerate). The invisible church is the militant church, as it is Christ's active living army. Many have fought in this army before and gone to Heaven, but the church on Earth today is at war with all that would minimize or reduce its Head, Christ. It is "as awesome as an army," not because of itself, but because of Who it is that leads this army. All power comes from Christ, for the church in its war with the world and Satan. The church in battle cries to the Lord, and He hears the prayers of His saints. He gives victory to the church in the day of battle. The church has no greater weapon against wickedness than prayer guided by the Word of the Lord. This is because the Word of God is truth, and when we mingle our prayers with Scripture, we use as our weapon the one thing that cannot be destroyed. Truth is always truth, and it always will be. When we are guided in the battle by the Word, in our prayers, and rely on the Spirit's guidance - we cannot lose the fight.

This is the third of three looks at Christ's church, and so I will ask you if you are under the banner of His church? If you are not, you cannot win the victory that only can come through Christ. If you are not under this banner, you are alone, without support forces, and without Christ. You are without hope. We come into this awesome army by faith, and we fly under His banner by the same. His atonement for sin is the central standard and banner of all those in His church. It is the great fear of all those who are outside of Christ's army. Is there enough about our lives to make Christ's banner great in all we are? The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the core of all that defines the church. If we do not confess Christ as our leader, we are on the losing side of this one great battle. Christ loves His church. He loves the members of it with an everlasting love. He has purchased the church by the sacrifice of His blood, saved it by justification in His resurrection, and lives to pilot it, by His perfect rule in Heaven.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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