What is the function of the Church?
One function as living stones is to learn to love God. Our function is practical. It is not “pie in the sky”. Our function is priestly. God always wanted Israel to be a nation of priests. Every single Israelite was called to be one of His priests. He wanted a nation of priests. He did not want priests like the heathen nations did. These priests carried great power and influence over the people. God did not want a hierarchy of powerful controlling priests. He wanted a family of priests. The word family implies a loving group of people connected to each other and their parents. He wanted His priestly family to be powerful in the ways of love.
Peter the Apostle writes that we must come to Christ as living stones. Jesus is the Cornerstone of His spiritual house of temple (1 Peter 2). We are the living stones of that spiritual house. His temple is His body on earth. His spiritual temple now has become a global temple that reaches around the world. Jesus lives in the hearts of every born again believer. His Spirit empowers us to follow Him in this life. His Spirit empowers us to be joined together for a wonderful function. We are to function as a holy nation of priests! But check out what that actually means.
One aspect of God’s nature is that He is holy. He has perfect love or holy love. We are blessed to be empowered by His love. Love is like the gasoline in an engine. The function of the engine is to power the vehicle to move. Without gasoline, the power of the engine is off. So in a similar way, if we lose our love, we lose the power of our function to operate as priests.
Another function of a living stone is to learn to love people.
If we can see ourselves set in a stone wall, we can see other stones around us that touch us. They are as imperfect as we are. They all have their own unique beauty. But if they could talk, would they be happy with the other stones they are next to in the wall? We must ask ourselves if we are happy with the people close to us. They may be in our church or at our workplace. They may be a neighbor or complete stranger. They may be in our family. Life tells us that we have difficult people in our lives at times. Some of the time we have difficult people around us and wonderful people as well.
Jesus is building His spiritual temple out of imperfect people. But as we are set together, we can function regardless of our imperfections. The way we touch other living stones and communicate with them is important. The way we either react or respond to other rough stones is important. They are there because the Stonemason, Jesus has set them there. We are to function from the place of love. We need to learn how to love them correctly. Love is also like the cement mortar we use in modern masonry. When the mortar dries, it connects the stones together to be stronger than if they were laid “dry” upon each other.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not rude and it is not easily offended. If we practiced these attributes more and more, we could learn to harness the power of God’s love.
To function as a priest sounds so spiritual. But it really is as simple as living like David did. David continually praised the Lord. He was so thankful for God’s lovingkindness to him. David kept his heart on fire for God by thanking and praising God for all His miracles. David loved God with all his heart.
Jesus taught us to pray…”as it is in Heaven, let it be on earth”. Jesus wants us to release the atmosphere of love from Heaven to earth. That love is our energy and our power. Our function is to be loving priests who love God and people!
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