Lucia's Blog: WHAT MAKES THE LORD'S CHURCH UNIQUE?
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Monday, January 13, 2020

WHAT MAKES THE LORD'S CHURCH UNIQUE?

"There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." 
Ephesians 4:4-6


All that God created is unique. The church that Jesus’ purchased with His own blood is also distinct and unique. It is unique because of its design and very nature. Through the Word of God, we can prove that God only built one true church, one body of which Jesus is the Head, and we all must be subject to Him,
"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build My church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it" (Matthew 16:18). 

The Word of God also proves accurately that our Lord Jesus was NOT the builder of churches that do not conform to His pattern,
"As Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ... " (Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23-24; Romans 16:16; John 17:21; Jude 3 and Ephesians 5:25). 

Any church that has been established by any man is not the Lord’s church, for Jesus established His church 2,000 years ago on the first of Pentecost after His death, burial and resurrection 33 A.D. Thus, any church that was not established in 33 A.D. is not the Lord’s church. By God’s perfect and divine design, He has made Jesus the only Head of His church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). God has put everything under His feet and made Him the Head over all things to His church, “which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Jesus is the Head of the body, which is the church, for “He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.” So any church that has another head, governing board or body, is not the church that Jesus our Lord established.

The Lord’s church is also unique for what it represents, for it is “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). Thus, the church is commanded by God to stand on, uphold, and teach the Truth of God’s breathed Word (John 17:17). God’s Word is Truth and must be sanctified by that Truth. And since God’s Truth is narrow, its narrowness must distinguish all Truth from error. All disciples of Christ must live according to His Truth (Matt. 7:13-14). There is no room for human philosophy, for the church must stand on the Truth of God’s Word, for Truth must stand out from error and expose it. The church must believe, teach, and practice the Truth of God’s Word. The Truth of God’s Word offers mankind freedom from the slavery of sin (John 8:32). So how can one become a true disciple of Christ? By living according to the Truth of God’s Word (John 8:31). Therefore, anyone who does not live according to the Truth of God’s Word and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son (2 John 1:19). The church must submit to the Lordship of Christ in its worship, the way God has commanded in His Word. The church’s worship must be directed to God alone to glorify Him. The Lord has commanded us through His Word how to worship Him through prayer (1 Tim. 2:8), giving (1 Cor. 16:1-2), partaking of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:20-29), preaching and teaching from the Truth of God’s Word (2 Tim. 4:1-4), singing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). He has not authorized instrumental music as part of worship. The church must uphold and guard the uniqueness or distinctiveness of the Lord’s church, for it is the only path to eternal salvation (Matt. 5:14-16).

In Ephesians 2:20-22, Paul describes the blessings we have in the church by using various metaphors. The church is a household and a nation (verse 19). He also refers to it as a temple (1 Peter 2:4-8). He describes the foundation of this temple as built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus being the chief cornerstone (1 Peter 2:4-8 and Psalm 118:22). Likewise, 1 Corinthians 3:11 says there can be no foundation other than Jesus Christ (cf. Matthew 16:18 where Jesus, NOT Peter, is the stone on which the church is built). Jesus is indeed the foundation, the chief cornerstone from which all measurements began, so every other stone was laid in relation to the cornerstone, Jesus. Jesus is the foundation or cornerstone "of the apostles and prophets," for they revealed the Gospel Message that they made known to the world, where Jesus is the foundation of the church so that people can become members of that church. The apostles were His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:18-21). Since Peter had the keys to the kingdom (Matt. 16:18,19), he used them to preach the sermon that taught people how to enter the kingdom (Acts 2). This is similar to Acts 2:42, which refers to the "apostles' doctrine." This does not mean that the doctrine is theirs, nor that they invented it. It is theirs only because they were responsible for revealing and teaching it. Likewise, the foundation is theirs only because they revealed and taught the Gospel Message about it.

To say that the apostles and prophets are the foundation would be to make the same mistake as saying that Peter is the foundation of the church because Peter is thought to be the rock of Matt. 16:18 on which the church is built.  To say that is to exalt man to a position God never intended, for Jesus is the only One we may truly exalt to such a position because He is worthy. This error is seen in Catholicism and Mormonism and such groups, who have exalted their priesthood or hierarchy (especially popes) to positions that God never intended. Yet they justify their position by abusing passages such as these. The apostles and prophets laid the foundation when they preached the Message of salvation that was given to them by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus is the only foundation.  Because He is the pattern of the building, He is also called the chief cornerstone of the temple.  He commanded the Holy Spirit to inspire the apostles and prophets, and in this way, they taught and preached the Message that established the church in Acts 2. When we obey the Gospel, we are added to the temple, built on that foundation. The whole building is gradually built up and joined together to serve as the spiritual temple in which God spiritually dwells (1 Peter 2:4-8).  Christ is the Head (Eph. 1:22-23, 5:23; Col. 1:18).

Therefore,  Christ is the foundation (Matt. 16:13-18; 1 Cor. 3:10-11; Acts 4:10-12; Eph. 2:20).  Christ is the Builder (Matt. 16:18; Mark 9:1).  Christ's church is the household of God (1 Tim. 3:15), the kingdom (Matt. 16:18-19), the body of Christ (Eph. 1:22-23), the temple of God (Eph. 2:19-22), (NOT a denomination,1 Cor. 1:10-13), the family of God (Eph. 3:15), His Bride (Eph. 5:22-23).  The church must glorify God (Eph. 3:21).  The church is the wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10).  Since God has given us everything in His Word, He expects us to use our logic and reasoning to prove all things (Isaiah 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16,17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). You see,  logic is not an invention of men but a gift from God. He has given us the ability to reason and expects us to use it to distinguish between Truth and error, and right and wrong. God wants us to examine everything and not believe any message just because someone says they have a message from God. All teaching must be tested!

Luci


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