Vol.XV No.X Pg.1
December 1978

The Glorious Church

Robert F. Turner

The "glorious church" of Eph. 5:27 has been subjected to much abuse by those who "glory" in the institution, while failing to see the necessary characteristics for such an appellation. The thought in this scripture is that Christ gave himself (upon the cross) so that individuals might be cleansed and set apart "with the washing of water by the word." The saved ones are grouped or collected by the word "church," which is "glorious" by virtue of "not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."

From the first of the Ephesian letter GOD'S "glory" is shown to be the eternal purpose of all things. Saints are chosen in Christ "that we should be holy and without blame before him"..."to, the praise of the glory of his grace" (1:4-6). Verse 12 says, "That we should be to the praise of his glory;" and verse 14, "unto the praise of his glory." God is called the "Father of glory" (v.17), and that which saints shall inherit has glory that is rich (v. 18). Paul's tribulations are said to be "your glory" (3:13) but the obvious reference is to their ultimate benefit, not to aggrandizement. The closing verse of chapter three says, "Unto him (GOD) be glory" and the church gives rather than receives the praise. God is glorified when His creatures are faithful unto Him; albeit such faithfulness is possible only through the forgiveness that is in Christ. Hence, the faithful church (in Christ) is the spiritual sphere for this praise giving.

The "glorious church" is a people who have gone back to thinking and acting as God intended from the beginning (Eph. 4:23-25). They have "put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him" (Col. 3:10). We were made to glorify God, but in our sin we have failed miserably. Now, in Christ, we can be renewed "in the spirit of your mind" and the change in conduct which accompanies such a renewal.

The "church" that is "glorious" is that body of people who have gone to Christ for sanctification and cleansing with the washing of water by the word; and, continue to glorify God by doing all to His glory (1 Cor. 10:31).