The first issue of Standard Bearer volume year 92 is now available (October 1, 2015), and in it Prof.B. Gritters returns to continue his series of editorials on “What It Means to be Reformed” (WIMTBR, #8).
This time he begins to address the third “C” of the Reformed faith – “Church”, emphasizing the Reformed believer’s love for the church of Jesus Christ. This editorial is titled “The Church: My Chief Joy,” based in part on Ps.137:6 (and Psalter #379).
This is a portion of his description of that love for the church:
A Reformed believer’s love for the church reflects a profound reality: Christ, who loves the church with a profound love, lives in the believer. That is, Christ creates that love in the believer when Christ Himself comes to live in him. Christ said, ‘I will build my church’ (Matt.16:18, and now Christ in us responds: ‘Build her!’ Christ says, ‘I love her well’ (Psalter #368, from Ps.132); and Christ in us says, ‘We also love her!’
Our love grows when we read Christ’s word in Ephesians that God exalted Him over all things to, or for the sake of, the church (Eph.1:22,23). ‘From heaven he came and sought her.’ Now, in heaven, He governs all things for the church’s sake! As Ephesians teaches ecclesiology – the church’s blessedness, election, redemption, unity, holiness – it reaches one of its pinnacles when chapter four explains why Christ gave gifts to men: for the edifying of the church.
The entire Scripture teaches the importance of the church, ending in Revelation’s letters to the seven churches. And if there remains any question whether a Christian ought to love the church above his chief joy, the question will fade when he understands that, when Christ returns, He does so in order to marry this church and love her forever (Rev.19:7ff.; 21:2).
For more on what is in this Oct.1 issue, see the cover image here (click on it to enlarge). For subscription information, visit the “SB” homepage.