Dustin Benge is an Associate Professor of Biblical Spirituality and Historical Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
1. The church is the focused domain where all God’s presence, promises, and purposes are unveiled and eternally realized. (pg. 15)
2. The church is beautiful because the lens through which Christ regards her is his cross – the focal point of blood, righteousness, forgiveness, union, justification, regeneration, and grace. (pg. 19)
3. God has chosen to display his perfect beauty in his beloved bride by giving her to Christ as a majestic reward for his suffering. (pg. 28)
4. The church isn’t lovely because she warrants love from God. The church is lovely because the Father loves her through Christ, who is her mediator (1 Tim. 2:5). (pg. 43)
5. The supremacy of Jesus was firmly established before creation, was exhibited during his incarnation, reigns now over his church, and will be eternally established upon his return. (pg. 56)
6. This fruit-blossoming, fruit-bearing, and fruit-maturing work of the Spirit in every believer’s life results in an abundant harvest within the church. One cherry doesn’t make a delicious cherry pie. It takes a harvest to produce a pie worth savoring. The fruit of the Spirit comes together to create a church that satisfies every taste bud of our Lord. (pg. 67)
7. Worship is the conscious recognition of God’s sovereign greatness and resplendent, holy beauty and our ascribing honor, adoration, reverence, and glory to him. (pg. 89)
8. The pastoral ministry beautifies the church only when it looks beyond all the ego-boosting devices within ministry and beholds helpless lambs. (pg. 103)
9. All ministry is to be carried out with constant mindfulness that everything we do is under the watchful eye of God. (pg. 115)
10. Since unity of the faith is indispensable to the church’s ministries, her knowledge of Christ, her maturity in the faith, and her imaging of God to the world, we must consider it a command and duty to preserve and perfect this unity within the church. (pg. 175)
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Only what is done for Christ will last!