Often the church is described as a building, a temple, or a tabernacle. These figures are used to enable us to understand the nature of the church better. Keep in mind that the church is SPIRITUAL, not physical. Peter wrote, "Ye also, as living stones are built up a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 2:5). Speaking of Christ, the writer of Hebrews states, "...a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man" (Heb. 8:2). The true tabernacle is the church which Christ built. Many analogies are drawn between Moses’ tabernacle and the true tabernacle of Jesus Christ, but we have not space to consider them all now. The tabernacle and priesthood of Moses’ day served as TYPES or shadows of the heavenly things revealed in Christ. God was the designer of the tabernacle built by Moses. "Even as Moses is warned of God when he is about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern that was showed thee in the mount" (Heb. 8:5). God is no less the designer of the church of Jesus Christ, the true tabernacle of God. Moses was warned then, so are we warned today to build according to the pattern. The church of Christ can be built in every age, in every generation, as long as man has access to the blueprint and builds accordingly. The blueprint for the church is the word of God contained in the New Testament. How shall Christ’s church be organized? Search the N.T. for the answer. What are the terms of admission into the church of Christ? Again, the N.T. contains the bylaws or blueprint. How do we determine the work and worship of Christ’s church? The N.T. alone reveals the will of Christ, the head and founder. What rules of self-discipline shall govern the church? Christ has already spoken. The answer lies in his word. Does any man, or group of men, have the right to set aside the pronouncements of Christ, and set up their own rules and bylaws? No! A thousand times no!

Yes, I believe with all my heart that Christ’s church does exist today. Every church built upon the foundation of Christ and loyal to Christ is a church of Christ. This church is not a sect, a denomination, or an ism developed since the days of the apostles. God will reject every house built upon a false foundation, 1 Cor. 3:11, even as He will destroy every plant produced by corrupt seed, Matt. 15:13, or every soul who follows a false "ism," 2 John 9. The true test, as I have emphasized, is the word of God. The church of Christ can be reproduced in every generation of every age simply by planting the pure seed of the kingdom, or rather, building according to the blueprint contained in the N.T. Are you a member of the one true church? I challenge you to investigate God’s word and be sure.

By Lindy McDaniel, Pitching For the Master

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