There is a certain richness to the Scriptures that we don’t often consider because we glance over the terms that are familiar and so we lose the wonder that ought to amaze us.
Just think about some of the word-pictures used in the Bible to describe the Church.
Paul is unique in referring to the church as the ‘body of Christ’. Christ is the head of the church and each member in the church is a part of the body of Christ. Paul expounds on this metaphor in 1 Cor 12 and draws implications of it on the distribution of diverse gifts in the unified church.
Like Israel in the Old Testament, the church in the New Testament is also called by the term ‘People of God’. The church is therefore a group of people in an unique relationship with God who has chosen her, is currently sanctifying her, and will one day glorify and exalt her. The church is therefore much more than the mere ‘gathering’ of the saints, and is more accurately the ‘saints’ or ‘people’ who are gathered.
Believers in the NT are also included in the metaphor of the ‘temple’ of God or the Holy Spirit. Those that comprise the church are the dwelling place of God and the place of worship for believers and intercession for unbelievers.
In a much more personal way as with Israel in the OT, the church is also referred to as a ‘priesthood’. The church has open and limitless communication with God and enjoys God’s presence in both personal and corporate worship.
Indeed a word-picture does speak a thousand words!