A SNAPSHOT OF THE CHURCH

Let us think back for a minute if you will. When Paul went to a new town, say Corinth for example as a rule, prior to his arrival, there were no members of Christ's body in that town. He would preach "the gospel to that city"(Acts 14:21) so as to bring men to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon trusting Christ they were made members of the church, which is His body.

In other words, all of the saved in a geographic area, made up the church of that area. Let's say, for example, that after some time at Corinth there were 100 believers -- "the Lord knoweth them that are His" (II Timothy 2:19). All of these believers were baptized by "one Spirit," into "one body" (I Corinthians 12:13). They were all made members of "the church of God" (I Corinthians 1:2) when they were "sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints" (I Corinthians 1:2).

No one needed to form, start, or plant "a church." All that need to be done was preach "the gospel to that city." God did the rest. He is the head of the church. He formed, started, and planted the only church that was there the only church that was His "the church of God."

We hear a lot from the religious system about "starting" and "planting" churches. Where did such talk come from? Do these sort of ideas support or contradict the truth of the church, the body of Christ? If there is only one true church today, and God "started" this church with Paul, then what is it that we would be starting? A man-made organization that would stand in contradiction and competition with God!

Paul preached the gospel to the lost. Some of them a few of them believed and were saved. And at the very moment that they believed, they were made members of the church, which is His body. No man-made organizations were need. No forms to fill out. No governmental recognition to seek and maintain. Nothing for anyone to join! Not a church, not a fellowship, not a society, not a club. Nothing! Every saved person in Corinth was already member of the only church that God would ever have in Corinth!

There were no business meetings, board meetings, or "church" property. There was only the "church of God." And is that not enough? Why do we find it so hard to be satisfied with who and what God has made us in Christ?

Can we not see the hand of Satan here?

Peter Lord in his great work Turkeys & Eagles reminds us of an important truth:

"We are all in danger of falling into the same trap that Adam and Eve fell into. They were tempted to become something they already were. The devil said, 'If you eat . . . you will be like God.' They were already like God. Made in the image and in His likeness. . .

"If the evil one can keep us from knowing who and what we are in Christ Jesus new creations, saints, the people and children of God then he can tempt us to act, by making us want what we think we do not have.

"The Christian does not do in order to become. He does because he is what God has made him in Christ Jesus."

Think on these things.

Clyde Pilkington

Gladstone, VA

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