A friend of mine (who is also a pastor in Florida), Steve Camp, posted six images of “Why We Love the Church.” I asked permission to repost them, and he said yes. So, here are the slides along with the Scripture references as a bonus. 🙂
(All Bible quotations from the English Standard Version.)
Firstly, Jesus Christ promised to build the Church, therefore, my commitment should be to it.
And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Secondly, He purchased the Church with His own precious blood, therefore, I love those for whom He died.
1 Peter 1:19
but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
1 John 3:14–16
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16 By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
Thirdly, the Church is the predominate agency through which God’s will is manifested on earth, therefore, it is the community with whom I labor
9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
Fourthly, the Church is the earthly expression of heaven, therefore, we grow together by grace to the fullness of Christ.
2 Peter 3:10–14
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. 11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads. 5 From the throne came flashes of lightning, and rumblings and peals of thunder, and before the throne were burning seven torches of fire, which are the seven spirits of God, 6 and before the throne there was as it were a sea of glass, like crystal. And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: 7 the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight. 8 And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” 9 And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”
12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
Fifthly, in light of the assured victory through our risen Lord Jesus Christ, therefore, our worship and toil is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:54–58
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
(I just noticed that Steve’s church has an article with similar text to these five slides at the bottom.)
Now…although there is something to be said for the convenience of having the text of the verses right on the page, it is beneficial to look them up yourself in your Bible. As provide in this post, you cannot see context around the verses, and searching for that context is a commendable Berean approach:
Now these Jews [the Bereans] were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.
Finally, did you scratch your head a bit with how some of the references didn’t seem to directly support what their slide posited? I especially did with the “Fourthly” one. No, I am not saying it is wrong (for instance, 1 Timothy 3:15 refers to the church as “the household of God”), but you never want to assume the verses somebody provides as proof actually prove what they claim. Steve and his church are trustworthy (and the connection between each slide and its references would be clearer if we heard the sermon it was part of), but even then you should always “trust, but verify.”
Regardless, I hope you appreciated what Steve posted as much as I did!