The Blood-Bought Church
“Bought with a price, not of silver or gold; Bought with a price of a value yet untold”
THE word “Church” is commonly used to represent a place where people affiliate and gather to worship God. Many people attend church out of mere form. Some join a church without ever stopping to consider what kind of church they are joining, but join because they connect the thought of church with the thought of God.
But the Church that the New Testament speaks of is a church born in the plan of God – a Church redeemed through the power of the Blood of Christ and His saving grace. Christ’s Church is a Blood-bought Church composed of holy people – not made holy by their own efforts, but washed and made holy by the Blood of Jesus.
There are a few verses of Scripture in the fifth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians regarding the Church that is Christ’s.
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave Himself for it.”
Paul is here setting forth a glorious simile, comparing the relationship between husband and wife with the relationship that exist between Christ and His Blood-bought Church. Christ “loved the Church, and gave Himself for it.” Christ literally – physically and spiritually – gave Himself for the Church. That was the proof of His love. No expression of love could be made any stronger than this of Christ for His Church.
“That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
“That he might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:26, 27).
There we have a description of Christ’s Church, the Church that he loved and died to redeem. It is a holy Church, a glorious Church, “not having spot, or wrinkle.” Are you a member of that Church? Paul, in describing this Church, speaks of no particular denomination, but of individuals anywhere on this earth who in their heart make up the true Church. Christ’s Church is not a system nor an organization set up by man or by any particular religious leaders. His Church comprises the Blood-bought, the holy hearts washed in the Blood of the Lamb.
Nominal church membership means nothing. It is worse than nothing. The Word says that the one who knows to do good and “doeth it not, to him it is sin.” The people who have affiliated themselves with a church and have the light of God’s eternal truth, knowing what God demands and what He will look for when He comes again, and yet are failing to walk in the light, will find terrible judgment awaiting them. They will not be ready to meet the Lord when He comes again.
Jesus said: “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Shall He find dynamic faith, living faith, faith that produces results, faith that makes one a living, vital, active member of Christ’s church? Think of Christ’s love for that Church. He gave Himself for it. Consider the value of membership or identification with such a Church! Can you comprehend the cost: what it took to make it possible for you and me to be identified with Christ’s Church? No other church amounts to anything. A church, or any group of people, which does not hold up the standard of the Bible from cover to cover is not a part of Christ’s Church. In the eyes of God, the only church that is worth anything is the one that maintains a standard that measures up to His Word.
In Colossians 1:14, we read:
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sin.”
Through His Blood! I like that expression. That expression, “through His blood,” is left out of the modern version of the Bible. But it is only through the Blood that we are saved; through the Blood we have redemption. We want the truth in all its purity, power and fullness; and we want the true Bible, too. We do not want a substitute. There is no version of the Bible that appeals to the man who has in his heart the Spirit of the Living God, like the dependable Authorised King James Version.
A Blood-bought Church ! Stop and think of it. Are you matching as a Christian under the Blood-stained banner of the Cross? Or are you a Christian in name only? Are you professing to be a Christian because you think Christianity is handed down by succession from father to son?
If you are not a Blood-bought Christian, you are not a Christian. If the Blood of Calvary’s Lamb has not cleansed your heart from sin – all sin, even the very root of sin – you are not what God wants you to be as a member of His Church, a Blood-bought Church.
A SANCTIFIED CHURCH
In Hebrews 13:12 we find these Words:
“Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate.”
That is speaking of a Church that has been purified, cleansed, made white, and is walking in all the light of God’s truths.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9).
Cleanse us from all unrighteousness – the very root of unrighteousness, the very sin principle! The sanctified Church is a cleansed Church. “This is the will of God, even your sanctification” (I Thessalonians 4:3).
It is well to check up on ourselves – or let God check up on us. A lot of people in this world like to go to a doctor to have a physical checkup. How about Christians, or professed Christians, coming to the Great Physician and letting Him check up on their spiritual health and welfare? He will show those who come to Him exactly where they stand in His sight. Sometimes that is not so pleasant.
Sanctification means purification; and it means being set apart to the honor and glory of God for His special purpose. Are you cleansed from all unrighteousness? Are you a member of the sanctified Church?
A SPIRIT-FILLED CHURCH
A sanctified Church is a cleansed Church – a clean Church. A sanctified heart is a cleansed heart – a clean heart. It is the dwelling place for the Triune Godhead – God the Father, Jesus the Son of God, and the Holy Ghost.
Jesus said: “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him” (John 14:23).
In speaking of sending the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, Jesus said: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”
“At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me and I in you.”
Paul said: “Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (2 Corinthians 6:16). Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Trinity, who is a part of the Godhead” (1 Corinthians 6:19).
When the power of the Holy Ghost dwells within the heart of the individuals who are identified with the Church of the Firstborn, that Church is filled with the Spirit and power of God. That makes it a glorious Church – a glorious Church! Heaven’s blessings fall upon that holy, sanctified Spirit-filled Church.
SEEK GOD’S FULLNESS AND POWER
If your heart is washed in the Blood of the Lamb, cleansed and made holy, seek God for the infilling of the Holy Spirit that you may be endued with power for service. Jesus commanded His disciples, who had been saved and sanctified, to tarry in the city of Jerusalem, until they be “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).
It is the privilege of every Blood-bought soul to enjoy the fullness of God’s provisions, to put on the “garments” that befit the man or woman who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ.
Does your life identify you with that Church? If not there is something you can do about it. There is something you must do about it if you expect to be ready to meet Christ.
May God stir men and women to prepare themselves to be members of that glorious Church without spot or wrinkle, washed in the Blood of the Lamb.