I Will Build My Church

Posted on: 
September 24, 2021

While researching materials for a church planting course we are working on, I recently had the privilege of reading Val Yoder’s book, I Will Build My Church. All seventeen chapters of this short read have something worth chewing on. However, I personally found chapters 1, 7, and 12 particularly worthy of consideration.

Brother Val selected “The Bride of Christ” as the title for his first chapter, and speaks articulately within it on the inestimable value and beauty of the church. Sometimes we think of this reality only in a mystical or universal sense, but Val doesn’t let us off that easily. No, the church that Jesus Christ is building is only global because of its local expression within individual communities. In chapter 7, when speaking of the primacy of the local church Val says, “If your local Christian church was the only one on the planet, Jesus would marry her.”

Two thousand years ago Jesus Christ left heaven and He gave up everything, including His own life, to purchase the Bride. Val challenges us to contemplate the reality that the indication of how much I love the church will be demonstrated by how much I am willing to sacrifice for her too. What am I willing to suffer, to endure, so the church that I am a member of can become all that it was designed by God to be?

The above thought takes us to the next chapter I would like to comment on: “Digging for Gold.” In chapter 12 Val tells his readers that in a similar way to those digging for hidden treasure, so we ought to be willing to endure in our relationships with our brothers and sisters. At first glance the landscape of most natural settings appears beautiful—trees, shrubs, plants, grass, and maybe even some flowers cover the ground. However, after a time of “digging beneath the surface” we often find that there’s a lot of dirt that’s not seen so quickly above ground.

Though this could seem like a crude illustration, it does exemplify a principle that’s obviously a part of many of our closest relationships. Once the “honeymoon” stage is over, how committed are we to continuing to love one another with a pure heart fervently? Val emphasizes the fact that within every brother and sister we can discover a new creation of God’s Holy Spirit that’s most certainly worthy of pursuing. Yes, maybe not completely sanctified yet, but still amazingly beautiful and created for the glory (and in the image) of God! Will you and I miss this treasure just because it’s not immediately apparent on the surface?

I am certainly glad others haven’t given up quickly on me, and by God’s grace I plan to not give up on each of the brothers and sisters in my local fellowship too. Dear friends of the Bridegroom, unless the candlestick has been removed, your church is a real part of the surpassingly beautiful Bride of Christ! Let’s love Him truly by loving her fervently. Let’s willingly lay down our lives so she can be all that He’s created her to be. May God find us faithfully pursuing this high calling, in the name of Jesus! Amen.

—Joel Martin

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10