Lucia's Blog: 2020-01-12
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Isaiah 55:8-9

Isaiah 55:8-9

Friday, January 17, 2020

RAISING MAIDENS OF VIRTUE

“That our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace.”  
Psalm 144:12 


The Word of God can mold and shape us into what He wants us to be.  God expects us to apply His principles of righteousness in the raising and shaping of our childrenAs godly mothers and fathers, we are responsible for raising pure and godly daughters as well as sons successfully.   I want to focus on raising daughters who are maidens of virtue in a polluted culture.  To accomplish that, we must return to feminine maidenhood and purity.  God in all His wisdom wants us to raise our maiden daughters to shine their light as from a hilltop, a light that can penetrate the darkness all around us, and reach out to our lost and dying world (Matthew 5:14-16).  To raise maidens of virtue, we must first love God’s wisdom, which is given in His Word. That wisdom will nourish and strengthen them in every area of their life (1 Cor. 3:2; Titus 2:4-5).  Our precious daughters must be taught to love the Word of God because it protects and guides them into the beautiful picture of womanhood revealed in His Word.  We must train them to think Biblically and not according to this world!  

A mother’s primary job is to teach her daughters about chastity, purity.  We must teach them that immodesty or nakedness is shameful and sinful.  Chastity is commanded in God’s Word (Titus 2:5).  God teaches purity in word and deed.  In our modern and rotten culture, our unmarried young women are often called chicks, babes, or even hotties!  Both the young and the old! Why aren’t our young ladies, fathers, and brothers insulted? In another age, they would be grabbing their shotguns!   Have we forgotten that, according to the Word of God, our unmarried young women and men are commanded to remain pure (virgin) until they are married?  Our sons and daughters must be taught to remain physically and spiritually pure, saving themselves for their future spouses.  A father’s primary responsibility, as ordained by God, is to protect his daughters (remaining under the authority of the father until, untouched, spotless, and pure, until the moment she is delivered to her husband on their wedding day).  The same rule should apply to young men. Our sons must be taught to be pure, strong, and honorable, and to keep himself for his bride until that special day, their wedding day (Psalm 119:9).

"How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word."


In today’s world, many are embarrassed and ashamed of chastity (virginity).  They surely make every effort to destroy that beautiful image completely!  You have to admit they’re doing a great job when it comes to navel rings, heavy makeup, wearing tight, immoral and revealing clothing to seduce men of all ages.  A wise, godly, and holy maiden brings honor to her mother and father as she glorifies her heavenly Father.  She loves her brothers in Christ enough to protect their chastity or purity, showing concern for their spiritual welfare.  She does not walk, talk, or dress in a way that would compromise a man’s purity and, of course, hers as well.  She is aware of her need to remain pure, chaste, and faithful to her future husband.  And though it is God’s command to all men to guard their own eyes to be pure (Job 31:1), it is also true that a God-fearing and virtuous woman will make it easier for a man to remain pureShe will not cause him to stumble! 

How sad it is to see our women, young and old, behave like the women of the world rather than the daughters of the Living God!  Our men today are assaulted everywhere they look, by indecently dressed women (billboards, the front covers of magazines, department stores, grocery stores, even at church).  Women who profess godliness must start reforming their lives and those of their families and give the glory of God.  How are we to show the world a pure and spotless Bride if the Bride looks, talks, and swaggers like a trumpet?  We must be set apart!  We must be the salt of the earth!  (Matt. 5:13).  The Bride must put away and burn her wardrobe if it is similar to the attire of a harlotry. This will allow her holy Groom (Christ) to adorn her in spotless white robes of righteousness and dignity.

A godly young maiden is very careful about her demeanor, making sure she is not sensually tarnished.  She ignores the lies of our rotten culture (music, media, Hollywood, and professional marketers).  She is constantly meditating on God's timeless truths, being careful to present a picture of purity, kindness, honesty, goodness, and righteousness to a watching world.  She wants to display the goodness, righteousness, and beauty of a Holy God (Psalm 90:17).  It is her duty before God as His daughter to reflect purity in her life, for she makes a purity statement rather than a fashion statement!

May we raise godly and virtuous maidens, and may they be as a polished cornerstone in their father’s house.  May they be zealous of good works, content in their sacred calling, and joyful in their God-given task that lies before them.  May they gleam with purity, and may their faithfulness shine brightly as they serve and glorify their Lord our God all the days of their life.

Luci

Thursday, January 16, 2020

WITHOUT AN ACTIVE FAITH, NO ONE CAN MAKE IT TO HEAVEN

"But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." 
James 1:22-25


When one studies the Word of God, he can develop true faith based on what he learns from God’s Truth (Rom. 10:17). That same Word will help us to live faithfully. Jesus has promised us the crown of life if we remain faithful to Him until death. Faithfulness is to live faithfully by the teachings of the faith. Faithfulness is the outward expression and active demonstration of the faith that we profess to have. Faith without faithfulness is dead! (James 2:14-26). Faith is not just a belief or a mental acknowledgment.  True faith is that belief that we put into action through our obedience and steadfast devotion and service to God. You see, even the demons in hell believe (James 2:19). Often people have the wrong concept of faith, for they think that believing is the same as having faith without obedience, doing nothing to serve God faithfully. Faith that does not obey and is active is dead faith! (James 2:18). You see, active works are a vital component of true faith (James 2:18, 21, 22, 25). When we claim to love God, we must actively obey and live by His teachings or doctrines (John 14:15). Just believing is not true faith, for true faith must be active and show visible faithfulness to God. Truth without faithfulness simply will not make it to heaven!

Today many churches teach that once one is saved, he can never lose salvation or be lost eternally. But is that true? No! Why did God insist and exhort us so much throughout the Scriptures to remain faithful and endure to the end? Why did Jesus in His letter to the brethren in Smyrna instruct them to be faithful unto death to give them the crown of life, eternal life (even dying for their faith)? Why must one be faithful unto death if he has already been saved and cannot fall from Grace and be lost? In Matthew 10:22 and 24:13, Jesus said twice,
“And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
“13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” 

Likewise, Mark made that same statement in Mark 13:13. Jesus has placed our salvation together with our faithfulness (endurance, steadfastness, long-suffering). Luke recorded the same idea,
“By your endurance, you will gain your lives” (Lk. 21:19). 

James also said in James 1:12,
“ Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” 

So Christians must endure without surrendering to temptations that lead us to sin (James 1:1; 2:1; 3:1). Christians, those who have been saved, must continue living faithfully by the Gospel of Christ and not be forgetful hearers, but doers who act, because the Lord will bless us if we do this (James 1:25). The apostle Peter gives us the same instruction in 2 Peter 1:1,
“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 

Our diligent faithfulness will give us an entrance and a home in heaven. What if we remain in sin and do not repent? Paul gives us the answer in Romans 6:23,
“For the wages of sin is death.” 
Again we have another warning about remaining faithful, being sober and vigilant to the end (1 Peter 5:8).
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

We are commanded to hold fast to our hope and endure, doing the will of God, to receive what He has promised us (our crown of life, heaven). So, we must not throw away our confidence, which has great reward!

There are consequences that will affect our entrance into heaven when we persist in sin after receiving the knowledge of the Truth, for there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries (Hebrews 10:26-39). If we persist in sin and are not faithful to God, that sacrifice for our sins no longer remains. Those who persist in sin, being unfaithful to God, are trampling the Son of God (Heb. 10:29). We must keep doing the will of God, being faithful to Him and to His Word, to receive the promised reward. Grace is conditioned upon our faithfulness and obedience (2 Peter 1:10; 1 John 1:17). These conditions have been set if we want to keep the Grace given to us. So we must continue to be faithful and obedient to the will of God to receive His Grace and His promised reward. There is no profit in hearing God’s Word even if we believe it, if we don’t do anything about it, because without the doing, without bearing fruit and doing the works that God wants us to do, we may deceive men, or even ourselves, but not God.

Hearing without doing does not give us an entrance to heaven. So don’t deceive yourself! Those who hear the Word of God without obeying are like those who behold their faces in a mirror, for they see their blemishes and those things that need to be straightened or corrected, but forget and walk away without fixing what is wrong in their lives, that which the Bible calls sin. We are deceived when we hear the precious Word of God without obeying it diligently. Therefore, let us not overthrow our faith, depart from it, and remain steadfast and faithful to God and His Word to receive our crown of life and not lose our salvation.

Luci

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

THE PRACTICE OF SIN AND ITS CURE

"And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.  4 Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. 5 You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's  seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."
1 John 3:3-10


"Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness." God has always given men laws to abide by. He has always demanded an obedient faith. Sin is the breaking of God's laws or commands (1 John 3:4). The consequence of sin is spiritual death (separation from God, Isa. 59:1-2). We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). No man is born a sinner (Ezekiel 18:20), but when he chooses to do wrong, he becomes a sinner and is separated, alienated from God. Sin is a choice, and we need to learn to choose better (Romans 7:7-24; Ephesians 2:1-3). Sin is spiritual cancer that kills us spiritually if we do nothing to combat it. All mankind must mourn over sin (Matt. 5:4). We must not minimize our sins but admit to them and repent. The cure for the practice of sin is obedience to all of God's commands, putting off the old man, transforming our mind according to the will of God.

God has already done all that He can to redeem man from sin and wants all men to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). He has blessed us richly by giving us a plan of salvation. Indeed, He has shown His immense love to us in manifold ways (John 3:16). God has revealed His will to us through His revealed Word which tells us about Jesus Christ, the Son of God who left heaven and was born of a woman (Gal. 4:4-5). He grew up as a Jew under the Mosaic Law and lived a sinless life (Heb. 4:15). He was nailed to the cross, was buried and then arose from the dead, three days later (Mark 15:21-42). He died for our sins. His death, burial, and resurrection are taught by the Gospel, the Good News (1 Cor. 15:1-4). It is Good News because the Gospel is the power to save mankind from sin (1 Cor. 15:1-4). The Gospel is the power of God to remove our sins and restore us back to our Father in heaven.  God gave us His Son even while we were still His enemies (Rom. 5:8). But God will not remove sin for us. We must do our part to be saved by demonstrating our faith in obedience. The choice is ours.

The grace of God is granted to all men, only through the Gospel of Christ. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:5-8). The Gospel of Christ is the grace of God that teaches us the standards of God and how we should obey Him. This is the grace of God that saves us (Romans 6:1ff). The grace of God teaches, whenever the Gospel is taught (Titus 2:11-12; Col. 1:23). Those who don't teach the pure Gospel don't teach the grace of God. The "grace" of God is all that God has done (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) for man's salvation. The central factor of the grace of God is the death of Jesus on the cross as a sacrifice for man's redemption. But grace is conditional. Though God provides salvation, salvation does not depend entirely on God! Man must do his part to accept the terms of salvation to benefit from that same grace. When man meets the conditions that are essential to salvation (by obeying the Gospel of Christ), he receives the benefits of the grace of God and is then reconciled back to God (1 Cor. 5:18-20; Eph. 2:8). We are indeed saved, justified by the grace of God in Christ, which was made possible by His sacrifice. The grace of God brings salvation in that it teaches us to deny ungodliness and live righteously. There can be no understanding of the sacrifice of Christ, none at all, without complete obedience to the will of God, conforming our lives to His will alone.
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works"  (Titus 2:11-14).

When Christians sin, the blood of Christ (the same grace of God) gives us forgiveness, but not without repentance and a change of behavior (1 John 1:6-2:1-2). This is how faith, works, and grace work together. The word "grace" in God's revelation leads man to the grace of obedience to Him as well. Titus 2:11-12 explains the standard of God's Word and our obedience to it. This is the only grace that saves. It is the grace that we read about in Romans 6:1-7. In verses one and two, Paul says that we cannot continue in sin so that grace may abound. Romans 7 demonstrates the folly of walking in sin without the grace that delivers us from the slavery of sin. We must die to sin! Here is salvation by grace through faith (Colossians 3:1-10; Titus 2:11-14). The grace that saves, teaches obedience to the will of God. Many of our friends consider God's grace as permission to keep on sinning or disregarding the authority and lordship of Jesus Christ, but we know from Romans 6:1-4 that we ought to stop sinning and die to sin. God's grace teaches us how to overcome sin. It is tragic that men are enslaved to sin and can't quit. The good news is not that God is going to save us in our ungodliness, but rather that He is making us holy through the Spirit's teachings (Titus 2:11-12). He is regenerating and shaping us into the image of His Son Jesus. By doing this, we are victorious and confident in Him.

God has promised us that we can overcome sin through His Son and I am going to hold on very tight to that promise!

Luci

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

SALVATION IS A PACKAGE DEAL

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 
Matthew 28:19-20


The apostle Peter on Pentecost demanded repentance and baptism as conditions for receiving the forgiveness of God, but the serpent has convinced most followers of Jesus that He only requires a belief or trust in Him. Serpent whispers, “As long as you are honest and sincere, it does not really matter what you do.” The snake has made obedience to God a pariah, an unpleasant, uncomfortable suggestion, even evil, because it is just so judgmental. What actually does the Gospel of Jesus teach? Does the Gospel require us to do anything as a condition of salvation? If so, could we call that condition “the obedience of a law” or “a divine rule?” Is not belief also something that we personally do? 

The Serpent has inspired such zeal against the lordship of Jesus, that the apostolic epistles are now called “The Love Letters of the Apostles,” to avoid finding any divine commands or authority emanating from the throne of Jesus. It is not fashionable to speak of the wrath of God toward those who will not repent of sinful practices as defined in the inspired writings of the apostles of Christ. Why is that? Is it merciful to allow disobedience to wreck someone’s life, or is it love, true love, to be supportive of a course headed for disaster? Why did Paul say reprove, rebuke, and exhort with patience? My friends and brethren, we are under attack by false teaching!! The Serpent's lies come with just enough Truth to cover up and conceal their poison. The sacred words like grace, faith, works, baptism, and love are twisted and redefined to justify evil.

So the question is, What is the connection between grace, law, and works? Is man saved by grace alone? Faith alone without baptism? Works alone? How important is faith to salvation? It would be a failure on our part to rely upon our own belief or presumptions when answering these questions without God's Word. You see, God has given us all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). It is not our place to speculate whose opinions are correct! We know for a fact what is Truth because God has given us everything we need to live a godly and righteous life. It means that God has already given us all the answers to our questions in the Bible. He has already told us what we need to do to be saved or justified. Therefore, we must study His Word diligently to know what it says! (2 Tim. 2:15). Moreover, we must put all our opinions aside and go to the only source of Truth, His Word, searching for His Truth to give us His answer to any question and not the Catholic Church, Luther, Calvin, and all Protestants. They are worthless if they cannot be proven from God's Word, Truth!

I must stress out of love the need to be in harmony with what God has revealed in the Bible and pay close attention to the Truth. And once you know the Truth that sets you free from the slavery of sin, you must continue to obey it until the end and share it with others. The Bible denies that we are saved by "faith only." Many passages in the Scriptures point out that faith in one's heart, by itself, will not save us (John 12:42-43; Rom. 10:9-10; Mat. 10:32-33; James 2:19-20; James 2:14, 17, 20, 24, 26). The demons believe and are aware that there is only one true God, but are they saved? So the question is, can faith alone save without obedience? NO! It is a dead faith. Man cannot be justified by "faith only." And though James 2:14, 24 mentions "faith alone," it does not say that we are justified by “faith alone”! Those who teach justification by “faith alone” are teaching error and are false. The Bible emphatically says that we are NOT justified by faith alone! Take heed! So the question is, what kind of faith saves and what does it require? Does it require repentance, confession, baptism, and obedience to God's divine commands? Consider those things that are essential to salvation and that God has supplied for our salvation as well:

  1. God's Grace and Mercy (Ephesians 1:7; 2:4-10; Titus 2:11-12; Acts 15:11).
  2. Jesus’ blood, His death on the cross (Ephesians 1:7; Romans 5:6-9; 1 Peter 1:18-19; Rev. 1:5).
  3. Jesus’ resurrection (1 Cor. 15:1-4; 15:17; Romans 10:9; 5:10; Hebrews 7:25; 1 Peter 3:21).
  4. The Gospel (Romans 1:16; 1 Peter 1:23-25; Acts 11:14; James 1:18,21; 1 Cor. 15:1-2; John 8:31-32).

So, if we indeed are saved by "faith alone," why do we need God's mercy and grace, Jesus' death, and resurrection and the Gospel? Consider those things that are required for men to be saved:
  1. Learn and know God's will (Acts 11:14; Romans 10:17). Cornelius and his household had to hear the words of the Gospel to be saved.
  2. Faith (Romans 10:17; John 6:44-45; Romans 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:21). Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. So, if faith is necessary, then so is hearing. You see, hearing produces faith. Take note that faith and hearing are two separate things. One produces the other, but both are essential to salvation. Therefore, we are not saved by "faith alone."
  3. Love (1 Corinthians 16:22). Those who do not love the Lord will be accursed. So can we be saved without love for God? However, love is not the same as faith (Gal. 5:6; 1 Cor. 13:1-3; 1 John 4:7-8).
  4. Hope (Romans 8:24). We are saved in hope.
  5. Repentance (2 Cor. 7:10). Godly sorrow produces repentance unto salvation. So, can we be saved without repentance? Therefore, shall we conclude that faith is not necessary to be saved? (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30; Luke 13:3,5; 2 Peter 3:9).
  6. Obedience (Hebrews 5:9, Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. So, those who desire the salvation that Jesus offers must obey His Word, Gospel (Romans 6:17-18). Those who were slaves to sin obeyed from the heart the doctrine delivered to them, and having been set free from sin became slaves of righteousness. Take heed that obedience (not just going through outward motions) is essential for sinners to be set free from sin. 1 Peter 1:22, we are born again by obeying the Gospel. 2 Thess. 1:8-9, those who do not obey the Gospel of Christ will be punished with everlasting destruction. The doctrine of "faith alone" denies obedience to the Gospel of Christ as essential to salvation.
  7. Confession of Christ (Romans 10:9-10; Matt. 10:32). To be saved, one must confess with the mouth and not just believe in his heart. Confession is an act of obedience that one must do to be saved and must be done from the heart. Yet, it is an act of outward obedience, just as baptism is. Faith is done in the heart, and confession is made with the mouth. Both are essential to salvation. So, why is it that many teach that we are saved by "faith alone" without obedience?
  8. Baptism. The following are just a few passages that stress the need for baptism like repentance and confession as necessary requirements for man's salvation, of course, we cannot exclude faith (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9-10; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16). Hence, baptism is essential to obedience, just as confession also is. So, how can one claim to understand Romans 10:9-10 (which requires confession along with faith) and refuse to acknowledge the Truth of what Mark 16:16 requires in addition to faith? Notice those conditions or commands that are required: faith, repentance, and baptism. The doctrine of "faith only or alone" rejects baptism as necessary to man's salvation. Can we deny that in addition to faith, repentance, and confession, baptism is essential to man's salvation? (1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-7; Galatians 3:26-27; Colo. 2:12-13).
  9. Faithfulness. What do you suppose follows after one believes, repents, confesses, and is baptized for the forgiveness of sins? Obviously, faithfulness! We are commanded to continue to live faithfully with an obedient faith. Don't forget that remaining faithful is essential to our salvation. Salvation is not permanently granted at the time of initial obedience to the Gospel. The Lord repeatedly warns us of the present dangers of apostasy (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Becoming a Christian is not just accepting salvation, but rather, it is a lifelong commitment of service to God (Luke 9:23-25). Do you suppose our salvation is secured just because we decided to be baptized and follow Him? NO! Baptism does not guarantee salvation unless we serve Him faithfully all the days of our lives (Hebrews 3:12-14; 4:11; John 14:22-30). We must abide in Him to not be thrown away as a branch and be cast into the fire and be burned forever (John 15:6; 1 Peter 1:5). So, to receive the crown of life and glory, one must be faithful until the end (Rev. 2:10; Romans 2:5-8, 10; Matt. 28:20; Titus 2:11-12; 1 John 2:1-6; 2 Tim. 4:7-8).
  10. Church Membership. No one can be saved outside the church that Jesus gave Himself for. "Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for it" (Eph. 5:23-25). Those who teach "faith only or alone" also deny church membership as essential to salvation. Yet, the Gospel teaches that Jesus died for the church. So, how can one believe that Jesus' death is necessary to salvation and at the same time reject that one must be a member of the church which He purchased with His own precious blood? (Acts 2:47; 20:28).


CONCLUSION:

The Gospel is crystal clear about the various conditions or commands necessary to man's salvation. We know that obedience is essential and that we are saved by faith when that faith leads us to obey God's commanded instructions, and not before, as many claim. Accepting just some of those conditions and ignoring others, leads to error, rebellion, and contradiction and losing our soul. Instead, man must accept all of them as essential to his salvation. And though some Scriptures mention grace, blood, repentance, etc., they do not always mention faith, as also passages that mention faith often do not mention obedience. So, should we willfully conclude that faith is not necessary to salvation? One must hear, believe, repent, and confess. Baptism alone cannot save. This is precisely what infant baptism does. It is not valid.

Thus, salvation by "faith alone," excluding baptism and obedience, is not Scriptural and is not acceptable to God. By the same token, salvation by repentance only, or hearing only, or baptism alone, will not save anyone. Take heed, we are not saved by just one thing alone, excluding the other requirements or conditions required for man's salvation.  The Bible asserts that we are saved by grace, by faith, by works, and by water (baptism). God says that in the water of baptism, one's sins are washed away (Acts 2:38; 22:16). We are not saved by anything alone: grace alone, faith alone, works alone, and water alone. But we are saved by altogether.

May we honor the Gospel message of Christ as it relates to the plan of salvation, the worship of the church, and our personal conduct and devotion.

Luci

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