The Identity Of The Church of Christ
Your Part In The Church
I remember brother John Clark teaching his series on the Home and Family make the following statement: The success of a marriage is not determined by marrying the right kind of person, but by being the right kind of person. That phrase has stuck with me for over twenty years, and I still use it in my discussions on the home and family.
I want to think along that line, because I really believe that is where we are in the quest for the identity of the true church. The true church is pictured, described, and discussed on the pages of the New Testament. There really should be no question of what or who the church of Christ is. The real challenge is BEING that right kind of person to bring the true church of Christ into reality in our local congregations.
We as individuals are part of something much bigger than ourselves, and we are a part of that body, even if we feel insignificant. Remember how Paul described the body in relation to a physical body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. After reading that passage, go back one verse to v11. The assurance that God uses us individually just as He wills is what appears to be lacking in our churches today.
Sadly it appears we have transferred our individual responsibility to the church at large. We have confidence that our preacher teaches the truth on all things, and that our church supports the truth and even supports missionaries that speak only the truth. By our participation in this support, we feel a sense of doing SOMETHING, and thus our conscience is eased when confronted with the FACT that Jesus commissioned US (individuals) to spread the word. The turning over of evangelism to the few preachers was never in Gods plan for His church, but we seem comfortable with that arrangement.
As I began the series of articles last January, I asked each of you to try to be open minded and consider what I would bring to your attention. It is so easy to get into a rut and stay there. It is hard to get out of that rut, as I am sure, we all have been there. My request is that you will attempt to view the identity of the church as the saints of God instead of the organization of the church (as a collective whole) with the current structure. I believe that until we view individuals making up the church will we have difficulty finding the true churches identity. True we must be careful to not upset the faith of some, but we must also consider Gods will in the matter, and realize that too often we have failed in presenting the church as described in the New Testament.
The church is the greatest organization on the face of this planet, and faithful members are the greatest people in the world. Let us take heed to not fall into the sin of pride and deceive ourselves into thinking that our membership alone will save us. No, it is the grace of God that saves, coupled with our obedience.
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (NASB)
I offer my thanks to Brother Glenn Melton for inviting me to write these articles, and commend Brother Dan Henderson in his efforts with this magazine. I pray that each and everyone who reads these articles will benefit and seek a closer relationship with God each and every day.
May God bless your study of His word, and may we meet beyond the grave in joy and happiness and glory forever. Carey Scott
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