- Rivers of the Heart, Part II
Psalm 46:4 "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God"
More reasons why the church should be compared to a city in this verse.
A city is a place of where people band together under like grounds. There
is unity in the city. Each city has its claim to fame. Each city has something
that is supposed to attract visitors and every person that lives in that
city knows what those attractions are. This unifies the city. So it is also
in the church. The church is a holy fraternity. The church has one undivided
interest. Eph 4:4-6 "There is one body, one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
one advocate, one God and Father of all".
The church is compared to a city because a city is a place of traffic and
commerce. There is a lot of buying and selling in a city. So it is with the
Church but in a different manner. The transactions and trades that have taken
place in the church have been done upon us. What we brought to the transactions
was sin. What Christ brought was righteousness. Christ took our sin and gave
us His righteousness. This is the transaction that brought us into Christ's
city as members of His church.
A city is a place of privileges. So also the church is a place of privileges
both for the visible church and the invisible church.
A. The visible church has the right to the sacraments of baptism and the
Lord's Supper. They have the advantage of the Word of God to be a guide to
them and to lead them in the proper course in this life. The members of the
visible church have ministers and leaders in the church to be guides as well.
Just as a city has leaders, ordinances, and rules for the members of the
city, so also the church has these as well.
B. The invisible church has all the advantages of the visible church but
also has many spiritual privileges as well. They have complete peace with
the ruler of the city of God, they have pardon and reconciliation for the
offenses that they have committed against the ruler of this city. They have
peace of conscience, sanctification, and eternal life. In fact, they have
a residence in the city and a title to the residence.
Why is the church called the city of God?
Because God dwells in the midst of the church.
Because God founded the city and built it
Because the city gets all its privileges and benefits from God.
Because God is the ruler of the city.
Because the city is His city, He owns it. He not only possesses it, founded
it, governs it, and grants it its privileges, but He also owns the city.
It belongs to Him.
Because He gets rent from His city. Rent might be the wrong word, but the
people of God praise Him, serve Him and follow Him.
Soli Deo Gloria,