Jesus is the founder and the perfecter of our faith, He gives us the discipline to run the race that has been set before us. Men like Moses, Joshua, David, Job, Paul, Steven, Paul, Peter, they all blazed the way set before them, and now they are hoping we do the same.
They are the patriarchs, urging us, the church onward, praying we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, until we win the course that is ours. We the church must not stray nor quit, we must go forward, looking back only to see how far we have come!
The church is a spiritual fellowship. We must love each other, being deep-spirited, bosom friends. (2 Corinthians 13:14) We don't push our way forward or charm our way to the top no, we lay ourselves aside and help others towards the goal. This involves the indwelling of the Spirit, the unity of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit. The fellowship is to demonstrate observable love and care for one another.
The church is a spiritual ministry that serves through the use of gifts bestowed by the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:28) Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. We find ourselves fashioned into all things excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ's body. So let's just go forward and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other or trying to be something we are not!
The church is an army involved in spiritual warfare. It fights by the sword and the power of the Spirit. (Ephesians 6:13-20) The church is in a spiritual struggle against Satan and sin. The Spirit, with which the church is filled, is like a warrior wielding the living Word of God, delivering people from Satan's dominion and conquering every power of this dark world. (Acts 26:18)
The church is a people with a future hope. This hope centers in Christ's return for his people. (John 14:3) We all must die and then face the consequences of sin, however Christ's death was a sacrifice that took care of all of our sins, FOREVER! Therefore, when Jesus comes again, for each of us who is yearning to embrace Him is, absolutely, salvation.
The church is both invisible and visible. The invisible church is the body of true believers united by their living faith in Christ. (Romans 1:17) The visible church consists of local congregations containing faithful overcomers, (Revelation 2:11) as well as those professed Christians who are false teachers (Revelation 2:2 & 2 Peter 2) or the spiritually dead (Revelation 3:1) and lukewarm. (Revelation 3:16)
The church is the pillar and ground of the truth, supporting the truth as a foundation supports a building. (1 Timothy 3:15) It must uphold the truth and keep it safe, defending it against distorters and false teachers.
Sadly the enemy has infiltrated our ranks, (the scripture warns this would happen) and there are those who beneath their sanctimonious skin are shameless scoundrels. Their design is to replace the sheer grace of our God with downright license -- which means the doing away with Jesus Christ and what he has done for each of us!
My friends, this life of salvation that we have in common, implores me to say, "fight with everything you have in you -- for this faith entrusted to each of us... guard it, cherish it and most of all, love it!!
All of heaven is cheering youf, the church on... and so am I!!