What a beautiful picture of the church of Jesus Christ. We are not a building, a denomination, a people group, nationality or nation...we are all part of the family of God. God the Father chose us, Jesus Christ bought us through His sacrifice on the cross and the Holy Spirit dwells is us.
"There is nothing as noble as the Church, seeing that it is the temple of God.
There is nothing so worthy of reverence, seeing God that dwells in it.
There is nothing so ancient, since the patriarchs and prophets worked to building it.
There is nothing so solid, since Jesus Christ is the foundation of it.
There is nothing so high, since it reaches as high as to the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
There is nothing so perfect and well proportioned, since the Holy Spirit is the architect.
There is nothing more beautiful, because it is adorned with building stones of every age, every place, every people; from the highest kings to the lowest peasants; with the most brilliant scientists and the simplest believers.
There is nothing more spacious, since it is spread over the whole earth, and takes in all who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
There is nothing so Divine, since it is a living building, animated and inhabited by the Holy Spirit." Adam Clarke
As I was reading this I was reminded of the beautiful hymn, The Church's One Foundation by Samuel Stone and Samuel Wesley (1800s). Here are the lyrics:
1. The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.
2. Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth;
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.
3. Though with a scornful wonder
we see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.
4. Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.
5. Yet she on earth hath union
with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.