“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. … Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:13, 19–22).
The church is dear to Christ! He shed His blood and laid down His life that we might be brought near to God. He made us “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” We are “a holy temple in the Lord” with “Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” We are “being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.” In times of joy we celebrate together and lift our voices in praise. In times of sorrow we walk together and lift up each other in our prayers. We proclaim God’s Word and magnify Christ to the world: His great worth and our great need of Him.
Many in our day fail to see the value of the church. We are too quick to leave or stay away when difficulties arise. In times of disappointment we may be tempted to give up on the church. But we have reason to stay and press on. Commitment to God’s Word compels us. The magnitude of our mission convinces us. Sound theology steadies us. Troubles and trials, as we walk through them together, will teach us and anchor us more firmly in the grace and mercy of God. May God help us to love the church as He does.
How dear and treasured is the church!
“if I delay, [I write so that] you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).
How dear and treasured is the church,
With voices joined in praise and prayers,
For God has made us one in Christ,
To share our sorrows, joys and cares.
Entrusted with the truth of God,
Called out to make the gospel known,
We boldly as His church proclaim:
There’s grace and hope in Christ alone!
God fashions us as living stones;
Assembled as His dwelling place.
Though we were dead, He gives us life,
Each soul a miracle of grace.
Built as a buttress of the truth,
A pillar rising to the sky,
God sets His church before the world,
His Word and name to magnify.
To all the world we testify,
Our lives display in word and deed
The matchless worth of knowing Christ,
The boundless depth of our great need.
Brought near to God by Christ’s shed blood,
Loved and adopted as His own,
A household built upon the Word,
With Christ Himself the Cornerstone.
Built on this Rock, the church will stand,
The gates of hell shall not prevail,
All who are Christ’s shall be raised up,
The Word of God will never fail.
Words ©2017 Ken Puls
Download the lyrics and free sheet music for this hymn, including an arrangement of the tune ERHALT UNS HERR for classical guitar.
More Hymns and Songs from Ken Puls Music