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The Symbols of the Church

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SIH STSTA ICONOne of the most interesting areas of Bible study is the area of Bible symbolism.  Symbols are used in the Bible to help illustrate many differing Bible doctrines.  Symbols are used throughout the Bible, both in the Old and New Testaments, covering most of the major teachings of Scripture.

The symbols of the Bible have come to us by the grace of God.  Our Lord understood our need to understand Bible teachings. Because He loved us, has made it easier for each of us to understand these teachings through use of symbolism.

As an example, within the pages of the Scriptures we find the Lord uses everyday objects to help us understand spiritual truths.


Christ used everyday objects to teach the truth about Himself:

John 6:35 – I am the BREAD of Life – By this He was teaching us that we must partake of His work for spiritual life, satisfaction for our spiritual hunger and the basis of our eternal salvation.

John 10:9 – I am the DOOR – By this He is saying that He is the entryway into salvation, which leads to an eternity in God’s presence.

John 15:5 – I am the true VINE – By this symbol He was expressing that He is the source of our strength, our life, and the bearing of our spiritual fruit


In this lesson we will be looking at the symbols that Christ used to help us understand truths about His local churches on earth.


1Tim 3:15 (KJV)  – But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.


Here is a listing of 10 different items in the NT believers lives that helped them (and us) understand His church on earth.

  1. The Salt of the Earth – Matt 5:13
    1. Preserving influence in the earth
    2. Flavor, better earthly existence
  2. The Light of the World – Matt 5:14
    1. Reveals the Truth
    2. Removes Darkness
  3. The Inn – Luke 10:34
    1. Place to Care and Nurture God’s People Once They Are Saved
  4. The Flock of God – Acts 20:28
    1. Led by the Lord
    2. Fed by the Lord
    3. Protected by the Lord
  5. The Body of Christ – 1 Cor 12:27
    1. Unity of Many Differing Members
    2. Follows Instructions Given by the Head (Christ)
    3. Works for Each Others Benefit
  6. The Temple of the Living God – 2 Cor 6:16
    1. Lives Within The Church
    2. Worshipped Within the Church
    3. Taught Of Him
  7. The Virgin Bride of Christ – 2 Cor 11:2
    1. Moral Purity
    2. Commitment Made Based upon Love
    3. Submission Given Based upon Reciprocal Love, Respect and Honor
  8. The Household of God – 1 Tim 3:15
    1. Where God and His Family Meet Together
  9. The Pillar and Ground of the Truth – 1 Tim 3:15
    1. To Support Truth
    2. To Elevate the Truth
  10. Candlestick – Rev 1:20
    1. To Shine Light of Christ To World
    2. To Possess His Authority Thru Spirit’s Workings


For those who are saved …

The importance of coming to an understanding of Bible doctrine cannot be overemphasized. Our loving heavenly Father has seen fit to make this understanding a bit easier for each of us through the use of many, varied Bible symbols.

For those who have yet to be saved…

The most important Bible truths for anyone to understand are truths about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the introductory portion of this blog entry, we find that Christ is declared as the gateway (door) to forgiveness, salvation and an eternity with the Heavenly Father.  It is through the application of His work to our lives that we are given salvation from our sins, much like the partaking of bread brings about satisfaction from the spiritual hunger in which we all share. And finally, our source of spiritual life and divine supplies comes from Him also.

Won’t you come to Christ today, realizing He is the only source of forgiveness for your sins and an eternal relationship with the heavenly Father?


To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog

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May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”



  1. The symbols of the Christian life I appreciate most (or maybe I should say am challenged by the most) are SALT and LIGHT.

    Salt penetrates, preserves, creates a thirst.
    Light attracts, illuminates, banishes darkness.

    If we Christians exhibited these qualities at ALL times, we might see a change in the way Christianity is accepted.

    • Rob Barkman says:


      Being the salt and light of this world are very important ministries for each and every one of us. Especially, now that Christ has ascended to be with the Father, Christians alone are the source of salt and light in the midst of the world in which we live. My only prayer is that the Lord would constantly remind us of this great responsibility.

      May the Lord continue to bless you,

  2. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hey Rob! AWESOME POST! I wish I could think of things like that to write about! I never thought about how important the symbolism is, as many times as I have read it, you would think it would soak in. I understood them, I guess I just didn’t put them into perspective. (I should be flogged!) I use the term “being fed” all the time, but didn’t think of “the bread of life”. DUH! Thank you so much for reminding me how important the symbols are and how I need to get back in touch with them so that when I read them, I will not only see words, but feel them as well. (I hope that makes sense). God Bless!

    • Rob Barkman says:


      The symbols used in the Bible are one of my favorite themes to teach on. I know from personal experience, we can learn ALOT from the symbolism of the Bible. But I am with you, I thnk there is no limit as to what different symbols can teach us. I may see certain truths that you may miss and then you may see things that I miss. It is just another example of the endless teachings we can find from His Word. By the way, thanks for your blog entries as well… especially your Feb 22, 2011 entry on Abortion was one of the best I’ve ever read. Abortion is an issue that is of utmost importance in today’s time. I really appreciate all the info that you supplied. I agree with your stand 100%.

      May the Lord continue to bless you

  3. pbus1 says:

    Hello Rob,

    I enjoyed this lesson. The use of symbolism in the Bible is practical and necessary! Our loving Savior, has laid out biblical teachings, and the path to eternal life, so beautifully and simply! It is not His will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. So, as you said, “Because He loved us, has made it easier for each of us to understand these teachings through to use of symbolism.” He wants us to have a relationship with Him, and reading and understanding His word, are vehicles by which we come to know Him better!

    Thanks for sharing, and God bless!


    • Rob Barkman says:


      The Lord is a gracious, kind and loving Lord… one way He showed that to us by giving us His Word in an understandable fashion.

      I really aprreciate your comments. Thanks again,
      May the Lord continue to bless you.

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