Nancy Taylor: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Recently, I was proofreading a story (that I may have written myself) before printing it, and I caught an error in the text. The phrase “If you’re church has …” had been used, and grammar-check thought the phrase was grammatically correct.
Now, let me give you some background information about me. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English, and I taught school for 18 years. Over half of that time was spent as a middle school and high school English instructor. I was even given a badge as a grammar policeman. “You’re is a contraction (combination) of ‘you are.’”
Getting back to my point – I corrected the word on that particular document, but I kept thinking about the phrase… “if you’re church….” The thought/phrase just wouldn’t leave me, so I began to pray and ask God to show me what it was all about. God is faithful; and when we lack wisdom, He tells us to ask (James 1:5).
As I continued to think, He began to bring scriptures to my mind: 1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”
I went on to read the next few verses, and verse 28 begins with “and God hath set some in the church….”
Now, getting back to my English degree, I was taught that in correctly written documents (which I believe the bible is correctly written, because God gave us the gift of language in the first place, and Jesus is the ultimate Word) pronouns should refer to the most recently mentioned noun. In this case, the most recent noun that “some” could refer to because of context is “body.” The more I pondered this, I decided, “you’re” is the correct word. If you have asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”(Romans 10:9) Once you’re saved you are part of God’s church.
Now, the other part of this revelation involved the word, “your.” “Your” is a possessive form, showing ownership. You know, like your car, your house, etc. Guess what… the church is not “your church.” The church is the collective body of believers, and the bible tells us, “Christ is the head of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23).
The point of all of this is quite simple; we need to stop acting like it’s “your” church and my church. We need to go out into the world and just be the church because truly, YOU’RE THE CHURCH. (See Matthew 28:18-20).