Friday | 01 March 2024
The ministry of lampstand churches

Peter and John described the communities of believers, who had been scattered among the nations, as ‘lampstand churches’ and ‘elect ladies’. 1Pe 1:1‑2. 2Jn 1:1. Rev 1:20. Jesus, when speaking of the churches as the kingdom of God on earth, likened these elect communities, or churches, to wise or foolish virgins. Mat 25:1‑13. Together, throughout the world, the whole community of the church is called ‘the bride of Christ’.

The bride of Christ is described as a virgin church in relation to her marriage to Christ. 2Co 11:2. However, in her relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit, as a community of believing families, the children who are conceived by procreation through human seed are also reborn, by the work of the Holy Spirit, as sons of God. Jer 1:5. The life and names of these children are then caught up to the throne of God and are hidden with Christ in God. Col 3:3. This all happens before they are brought into the world by their mothers. This reality explains how the church is spoken of as ‘a virgin’, yet is the mother of us all. Gal 4:26.

The procreative and evangelistic work of the bride, while she is still being formed from Christ’s body, flesh and bones on the earth, is bringing forth sons of God as fruit for God in all the world. We are doing this, day to day, from Yahweh’s fellowship in time and space, choosing the obedience of Christ. Fruit is being produced, because it is being manifest in our relationships, marriages, and families, and in our children who are receiving the fruit of the divine nature.

This fruitfulness is the initiative and work of the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:22-23. His work is to order and sanctify the new creation. 1Pe 1:2. Everything of the new creation is coming through and from Christ. However, the formation and begetting work is by the Holy Spirit and His power.


Further Study:
1 CORINTHIANS 12
Daily Proverb:

References:
1Pe 1:1-2
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.

2Jn 1:1
The Elder, to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not only I, but also all those who have known the truth.

Rev 1:20
The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.

Mat 25:1-13
Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

2Co 11:2
For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Jer 1:5
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.

Col 3:3
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Gal 4:26
But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all.

Gal 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
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