2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Many of us are troubled by the church. Exactly how does God see His church? What does it take for us to see the church as God sees her? We have to begin by admitting that we have trouble with the church. We have been hurt by christians. We have not always seen the church at her best. In fact, we have seen her at her least attractive.
What is the solution for us?
It begins with the acceptance that the church will never be perfect.
Christians and the world have always struggled to see the church as a redemptive society. The Scriptures are the story of God’s unending patience with a flawed and broken society. God is the primary actor in the story of His redemptive purpose: His patience and mercy.
What will we choose to see when we look at the church? What does God see?
“And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”
We are called by an act of faith in the Lord Himself to be given “…eyes to see…” what He sees. The glorious church that God is constructing will always be difficult for us to see.
His instruction is to trust Him as He brings His purpose to fruition.
Alec R. Vidler made this statement:
“The Church has a demand upon your allegiance because it is an essential part of Christ’s gospel. Christ wills through His members, that is through the Christians, to create a new community in the world…a community which in its corporate life and action expresses and bears witness to those eternal values and ends which constitute God’s purpose for the world…This is what the Church is for, and this is in fact what the Church has been doing all through history, though with lamentable apostasies and capitulations. But in spite of those, and in spite of that mortal tendency to corruption and decay which besets all human institutions in the world, the Church has shown a power of vitality and a renewal of its first love which, in spite of everything that may appear to the contrary, is as marked today as ever. It is the Church of the saints and martyrs and prophets, who have been the light of the world in their several generations, that has the demand upon your allegiance – not the Church which has been corrupted by wealth and worldly power. But the true Church is embedded in the existing churches — you will not find it elsewhere, though I agree that it is tempting to look for it elsewhere. Across the churches there is happening a real renewal of faith and insight and courage, which I believe holds more promise for the future than anything else in the world. It may be that a lot of superstition, it may be that a lot of conservative prejudice, clings to the historic Churches; but superstition and prejudice are the grime upon the pavement of what is still a sacred building; and he who would wash that pavement clean must get down on his knees to his work inside the Church.”