There is a good picture of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ as it is in this world to be found in the “inn” to which the Good Samaritan (a picture of Christ) took the man he found by the wayside, beaten and bruised. He “went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.” (Luke 10:34-35) That inn became a hospital for this wounded man. This is what the Church is, a hospital for sinners! It is where sinners who have been saved by Christ (sojourners, pilgrims, not of this world) find more care from Christ through those He has also saved by His infinite grace and mercy.
There, with others of like precious faith, they worship and praise the One who rescued them and delivered them from their sins. There, they receive more of the same. They hear more about Christ and all He has done to save them. More of the love and grace which now they receive through others He has saved. The Church is not an assembly of those who are perfect in their flesh but those who have been made perfect in Christ! It is an assembly of sympathetic persons who look on and deal compassionately with sinners because they are themselves such. None are looked down upon because all are on the same ground. The only righteousness which is exalted is that of Christ. The only glory sought is the glory of God. There sometimes arises the need for forgiveness among the patients (because all still have infirmities) but all forgive for Christ's sake. The Church is a haven for the persecuted, a refuge for those weary of sin and a place where we can hear the gospel of the free and sovereign grace of God in Christ crucified. It is where Christ is all and everybody is nobody. After He had given this account of the “good Samaritan,” He asked this question, “Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:36-37) May God give us grace in each assembly to love and care for His people. When we do this unto them, we do unto Him! Gary Shepard
Gary Shepard is Pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church located at 2031 Burgaw Highway, Jacksonville, NC 28540. You may view their internet page at...