"The Church of Christ" LD21a, John 10, & Ephesians 1
After Petecost and the ascension we now look at the work of the Holy Spirit as it continues in the history of the new dispensation and He continues to gather His people and gives to His church the Holy Spirit through His word as He continually gathers His church, the apple of His eye.
We are dealing with the body of Christ and a spiritual realm already gathered from all eternity. It is a mistake to learn more about the church by looking at the church as it is manifested, but need to look in the Word of God! The church is CHOSEN by God to everlasting life. It is CHOSEN by Him from all eternity before the foundations of the world and the church has its roots in God Himself as she is chosen to dwell with God into all eternity! God redeems unto Himself through Christ, sin, and death that the church may be to HIS glory for all of eternity!
There are 3 basic characteristics we should take hold of:
1. The church is ONE! One body of Christ redeemed unto Himself. One in Christ!
2. The church is holy. We forget this often as we see it manifested here below in its sinful realm. We are saints, holy, redeemed, and consecrated to Him! We must look at one another this way.
3. We are a catholic or universal church. God gathers her from every nation, tribe, and tongue under heaven and our fathers give us the 3 marks of the true church.
How does this church grow and increase to its final eternal being? By His WORD and by His SPIRIT! There is only ONE history and one purpose of history- the gathering of His church (His story) and in the gathering of His church ALL things come together. God decided when and where we would be bron and He does this for His church. Do we understand the impact of this? Each is a creation of God to occupy their eternal place in glory and to His glory forevermore! God see to it that these come under the preaching which He uses as the power unto salvation and to the establishment of the church. Do we see the importance of a NON watered down preaching and missions? Read the "golden chain" of salvation in Romans. God works it all together as one unit even as we only see it in our particular time! Not one child in whom God has predestined will be glorified. We believe in the points of Calvinism!
It is also manifested. We are a LIVING member and shall evermore be! God KNOWS His members. That is why members of the church here below should mirror the membership of the heavenly church. And that is why we are LIVING members of the church and not just "on the roles" of the church. That is why we preach and demand faithful preaching! That's why we have oversight and discipline!
Can you see God's grandeur plan? That is why WE MUST be FAITHFUL!