It's true the church has a number of issues-not the least of which is we all come from bad stock. Well, not really. We come from Jesus now but before that we came from bad stock.
Okay, so, sorry Mom and Dad. It's not that you are bad or that you were not good for me. Well, actually it is that you were bad but don't take it personally. I mean, we were all bad, right?
So, maybe my parents were absolutely perfect and I'm just a dirt bag that fell far from the tree. But, the bottom line is-I wasn't a good man. How I got there doesn't matter all that much but it seems to be the disposition (the Bible calls it flesh nature) of all people.
Since coming to Christ, Since believing and being recreated, we're better. Still, it seems like having come so far, we have so far to go. We are complete but even in our completeness we seem to find every way to emphasize our lack.
Our righteousness is found in Him alone and as the door to the sheep fold he guards us but we still have in here with us what we brought in - which is us. An old us and better- a new us but 'us' none-the-less.
The problem with the church is people. That's why we needed to be born again. Well, in all fairness it is only one of the reasons but here we are born again and fondly reminiscent sometimes of who we were. Be new, we teach. That old guy though, he wasn't so bad was he?
Your righteousness is as filthy rags. Yep, that's bad.
The church is the people among whom people are authorized to leave their old self behind. It is us cutting out the bad behaviors one at a time and if there are some we never get around to, well, so be it. It is us knowing that we are better together than alone. It is so easy to buy the lie that you are better off alone. But, it is just that. It is a lie.
We are precious living stones, flaws and all, being built into a precious temple in which He lives.
Let us mess up. Let us fall, fail, flirt with temptation when we shouldn't, and barely make it another day to do the kingdom work. Let us do all that and more as a bunch of screw ups who love God back as we have discovered He loves us. That works for me.
It's His righteousness that saves, not mine.
Thank God for the church.