We continue from where we left off in Part 2 of this 3 part series...
5) THERE IS ONLY ONE BIBLE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THIS AGE OF GRACE. THAT CHURCH IS SCRIPTURALLY DESIGNATED “THE BODY OF CHRIST”. Ephesians 1:22-23 . Colossians 1:24 . CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THIS ONE CHURCH. THE HEAD IS SEATED FAR ABOVE PRINCIPALITY AND POWER IN THE HEAVENLIES. Ephesians 1:19-22 . THE MEMBERS OF THAT ONE BODY ARE LIKEWISE SEATED IN THE HEAVENLIES. Ephesians 2:6 . EVERY SINNER SAVED BY GRACE IS A MEMBER OF THAT ONE BODY, WHETHER OR NOT HE BELONGS TO ANY DENOMINATIONAL OR UNDENOMINATIONAL CHURCH ORGANIZATION. AND...“JOINING THE CHURCH” IS NOT A SCRIPTURAL EXPRESSION.
6) It is a Scriptural fact, acknowledged by all true Bible-believing Christian preachers, that nothing is required for membership in the One true Bible Church, (which is the Body of Christ), but saving Faith in the crucified, buried, resurrected, and glorified Christ. They are all agreed that God, by a Divine baptism NOT made with hands, adds members to the Body of Christ; and, that if water baptism were required by God for membership in the Body of Christ, salvation would not be by Grace and Faith alone, but by God’s work, PLUS man’s work. No religious ceremony of any kind is required, either to save a believing sinner, or to give him membership in the Body of Christ. Therefore, it should be apparent to any student of the Scriptures that if a group of men require for membership in their congregation a religious ordinance not required for membership in the Bible Church, then BEWARE for the churches are not one and the same.
7) MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST ARE NOT SAVED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS, BUT ACCORDING TO GOD’S PURPOSE AND GRACE WHICH WAS GIVEN THEM IN CHRIST JESUS BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. 2 Timothy 1:9 . THIS IS CALLED "GOD’S ETERNAL PURPOSE IN CHRIST". THIS PURPOSE WAS IN GOD’S MIND AND GOD’S PLAN AGES BEFORE HE MADE HIS COVENANT WITH ABRAHAM. BUT ONE GREAT QUESTION, WHICH PERHAPS REMAINS UNANSWERED IN THE MINDS OF MOST CHURCH MEMBERS IS: “WHEN DID THE BODY OF CHRIST BEGIN HISTORICALLY?" THE POST-MILLENARIAN TEACHES THAT THE BODY OF CHRIST, THE CHURCH OF GOD, AND ISRAEL ARE ALL THE SAME CHURCH IN DIFFERENT STAGES. SOME PRE-MILLENARIANS ARE SURE THE BODY BEGAN WHEN CHRIST BREATHED UPON HIS APOSTLES. John 20:22 . OTHER PRE-MILLENARIANS TEACH THAT THE CHURCH BEGAN ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST. OTHER PRE-MILLENARIANS SAY, AFTER THE NINTH OR THIRTEENTH CHAPTER OF ACTS. AND STILL OTHERS SAY, AFTER THE WORDS OF PAUL RECORDED IN THE CLOSE OF ACTS, IN ACTS 28:25-28 . I'D LIKE TO HEAR FROM YOU ALL ON THIS...WHAT DO YOU SAY? AND WHAT IS YOUR SCRIPTURAL PROOF? LEAVE YOUR RESPONSES IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW.
8) The word “CHURCH” is a very indefinite term; and before applied to any specific company of people, the student of the Scriptures should find in the Scriptures the particular company of people to whom the term applies. The Greek word, used more than 100 times, is “EKKLESIA”. In the last few verses of Acts 19 , it is “assembly”; and there it is referring to an unlawful assembly, or mob, of anti-Christian heathen. So you see, a company of unsaved and idolatrous Gentiles, assembled centuries before Christ came to earth, would have been called a “church”. Therefore, we see that the word “Ekklesia” is so indefinite in its meaning, that we must find the Scriptural qualifications before we can prove any doctrinal points by the use of the word “church”. In Acts 7:38 we learn that the Israelites marching to Canaan nearly 1500 years before Christ was born, was called the “Church in the Wilderness”. We might say with Scriptural authority, that in the coming kingdom age, Israel, redeemed and restored under the promise of the New Covenant, will be a New Covenant Church. The Church of this current dispensation is the Church, which is His Body, the Body of Christ.
To Be Continued in part 3...
In Ephesians 1:13 the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul declares that men are saved and sealed by hearing and BELIEVING the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation. Therefore, here, now, is declared unto you the Word of Truth, the Gospel of your Salvation: "that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures" 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. BELIEVE today. The time is short.
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide.
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)