In 2004 John Piper wrote the following in his article, “How God and Christians Treasure Christ”:
The central experience of the universe and the Christian life — namely, treasuring Christ — is sustained in churches.
God has ordained that when people find the “treasure hidden in the field [Christ!]” (Matthew 13:44) and are converted from world-treasuring to Christ-treasuring, they are sustained and strengthened and matured and transformed and refined and guided and mobilized in organisms of Christians called churches.
When Paul says, concerning the church, “Let all things be done for building up” (1 Corinthians 14:26), he means for deepening and intensifying and strengthening the experience of treasuring Christ. That is what the church is for.
The church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:25–32). Therefore the local expressions of the universal church (called churches) are to sustain the affections proper to a bride for her infinitely precious husband. By the ministry of the Word (John 15:11) in the power of the Spirit (John 16:14), the church sustains the experience of treasuring Christ — for her members and for the world.
Therefore, let us pray and work for this great cause of savoring and sustaining and spreading and showing the deepest experience of treasuring Christ. And, to that end, let us love the multiplying and growing of churches where this is sustained.
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