Today we began a most ambitious series. For the next two years in our Sunday Worship messages, we will be looking at several different texts to expose God’s purpose, structure, polity, unity, purity, and love for his church universal and local. We will be using portions of Ephesians, Acts, and the Pastoral Epistles to expose those passages and the truth about something which Christ felt so passionate about that He died for. Christ is building His church and we labor in vain if we think that it is man’s efforts that are responsible for it’s success. The church is to be the very pinnacle of God’s glory to the world. We are to reflect that glory as we find ourselves in conformity to Christ’s likeness and in submission to one another in love. This being done in the community of the local church. Our first message in this new series revealed that we are part of a new humanity and a new church. We were dead in our sins and needing of nothing but life and destined to experience the full condemnation of God’s judgment BUT GOD, in His mercy made us alive with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenlies. As a result, we are members of the church universal. Upon our belief in Christ’s finished work, we immediately are members of the church. Citizens of a new kingdom, members of a new household and as we will see next week, living stones that God is fitly joining together in a building (temple) which He is building. The church isn’t something we choose to join or not after salvation, it is immediate and as a consequence of our belief. We must always view the church as of highest eternal worth and not simply an organization which tends to man’s needs and is administered as such. It is precious to our Lord and must be so to us.