THE BIBLE'S DEFINITION OF CHURCH
As we study through Paul's epistles, we are able to glean even further fullness to the definition to the church.
Paul identifies the church, as God's church:
". . . the church of God . . ." (I Corinthians 1:2)
". . . the church of God" (I Corinthians 10:32)
". . . the church of God . . ." (I Corinthians 11:22)
". . . the church of God . . ." (II Corinthians 1:1)
". . . the church of God" (I Timothy 3:5)
". . . the church of the living God . . ." (I Timothy 3:5)
We now find out who the church belongs to. The one true church of this dispensation is the sole possession of God Himself. It became His possession through legitimate means – He purchased it!
". . . the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28).
Who purchased "your church"? If it wasn't God, then it's not God's church!
Over, and over in the verses above, the one true church is clearly identified as "the church of God." So what about the common phrases that believers are always using, such as:
"Brother White's church"
"Reverend Smith's church"
Whose churches are these? They obviously are not God's. Then they must be in competition and contradiction with God's true church. Does this not bother anyone? How long will we pursue such a obstinate course?
We are sending "Goodies #181" out today also. It is a very appropriate poem:
To some, "The Church" means papal rule;
To others, merely "Sunday School."
Many see a stately steeple,
Rows of benches filled with people.
A "church" can go by any name,
With seldom any two the same:
"My Church," "Your Church," right or wrong;
This "church" is weak, and the other one's strong.
"Just attend the 'Church of Your Choice,'
Or where you like the preacher's voice;
Drop your dollar into the plate –
Sit primly posed and be sedate."
"We all shall get there bye-and-bye,
On different courses though we fly.
You think your way, and I'll think mine,
And everything will turn out fine!"
"Perform a kindness every day;
Don't get in anybody's way.
Be sure that no one you offend,
And on your own good deeds depend."
If you have followed this advice,
You'd better think about it twice:
There's only ONE TRUE CHURCH today –
The Cross of Calvary points the way!
Robert E. Hanna
The Hope of Glory
(In Poetic Verse)
Think on these things.
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