What is the Church

Dear Brethren,

When Jesus Christ surveys His Church from His throne of glory, He sees only one Church, one body of people – it is the Body of Christ – the Lord's Body.  All the brethren who are in the Church of God are the "Body of Christ."  Where is the True Church of God, and what is its purpose?  Paul taught the Church:

1Corinthians 12:27  You are the Body of Christ, and members in particular.

The Church is made up of those brethren who have been called out of the world into the Body of Christ.  Only a select few people who are given spiritual gifts that are needed for the purposes of God's will are called by God.  It is they who will reign and rule with Jesus Christ in the world tomorrow.  Jesus Christ established the Church for the purpose of training up and qualifying a people with spiritual knowledge and Godly character to reign and rule with Him in the Millennium.  Those who are converted in Christ will, after their salvation and resurrection to eternal life, aid in the conversion of all peoples of the earth.  The Church is only the very firstfruits of God's Work and not the end of God's Plan of salvation – there remains a great harvest.  The Church of God is being taught and trained now.  We will need to know how to teach and rule in the millennium under Christ when He sets His hand to save the rest of mankind.

In order for those in the Church to be able to overcome, they are empowered with a measure of God's Spirit.  The New Testament Church of God came into being on the day of Pentecost following the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Those brethren in attendance were called by the Father to become Children of God on that day.  We would say that they became "Church members."  God's Spirit was poured out on them for a very special purpose – the establishment of the Church – an entirely spiritual entity.  There were no buildings, and no organizations – only people who had received the gift of God's Holy Spirit.  "Church," is not about finding the right group.  The Church of God is not a denomination or a corporate organization.

The Church is made up of those saints who – with God’s motivating Spirit, endeavor to keep God's Commandments in the same way, and to the same extent that Jesus did.  The Church is only those people whom God the Father draws out of the world (John 6:44, 65).  They become a part of the Church by repentance (granted by God), faith in Jesus Christ (as their personal Savior), baptism (through submersion under water), and the receiving of God’s Holy Spirit (by the laying on of hands).  Begettal by the Spirit of God makes one a spiritual child of God.  The Church of God is the Spiritual Body of Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:14  As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God."

The brethren of the Church are only the first (fruits) of a great many who will ultimately receive salvation.  The Church is being taught and trained to teach and rule in the millennium under Christ, when He sets His hand to save the rest of mankind.  The responsibility and duty of Church brethren is to function as God's tools in helping to eventually bring salvation to humanity, and to demonstrate God's wisdom to all His spiritual creation, and ultimately to be in the Kingdom of God.

Those who are a part of the Church, at this time, are given the opportunity to be in the better resurrection (Hebrews 11:35), that is, resurrected to Spirit God-Life, to rule, under the authority of Jesus Christ, as kings and priests throughout the millennium.

Revelation 1:6 [Jesus] has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.

Revelation 5:10 … and we shall reign on the earth.

Jesus Christ founded His Church for the purpose of providing a nurturing home in which Christians would be able to develop into the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13).  Church brethren are called Christians because their lives are founded on Christ.  That means that all of the teachings and principles of Christ go into a person.

Colossians 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

That is what is meant by being built on the foundation of Christ.  Jesus Christ is the foundation of Christians.  The Church was founded on Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:20, 22  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone.  In whom you also are built together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

1Corinthians 3:10-11  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon.  But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


Today's Sermon:  "What is the Church"