The Edifier

West Allen Church of Christ

The Edifier Index

The Church: Accident or Purposed ofGod?

Boyd Jennings

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is no accident, neither was it an after-thought of Almighty God, as many contend; but the church is the fulfillment of God's eternal purpose. The apostle Paul says, "to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" Eph 3:10-11.

The Lord's church is to reflect the multifaceted wisdom of God, i.e., to unite His people, in all nations, into one unified body (Eph 2:16; 3:6). Men and women greatly hinder this divine plan when they tamper with Godís design of the church, by altering its work, worship or organization in some way that varies with the New Testament pattern.

The prophets of the Old Testament foretold the future existence of the church. Follow the reasoning: Isaiah said, "now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it" (Isa 2:2). Both the apostle Peter and the writer of Hebrews tell us we are now living in "the latter days" (Acts 2:17; Heb 1:2). The "mountain of the Lord's house" symbolizes the authority God has given His Son Jesus. The "Lord's house" is the "church of the living God" (1 Tim 3:15). The "mountain of the Lordís house" was "established on the top of the mountains". In summary, Jesus Christ is the sole figure of authority in Heaven and on earth, and the church constitutes all those who recognize and submit to His sovereign will (cf. Matt 28:18; Matt 16:16-18).

Isaiahís message sounds very much like a prophecy about the kingdom. What about the kingdom of God and His Son; is it yet to be established or is Jesus now reigning in His kingdom?

  • The prophet Daniel stated, "in the days of these kings (the Roman emperors, bj) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms (all nations, bj), and it shall stand forever" (Dan 2:44).
  • The Hebrew writer was receiving this kingdom, "Wherefore, receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us have grace, whereby we may offer service well-pleasing to God with reverence and awe. . ." (Heb 12:28-29).
  • The apostle John stated to the saints of his day that he was their "brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ" (Rev 1:9). This kingdom is the one into which all Christians have been translated (Col 1:13). In addition, Jesus told Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, that one must be born again to see the kingdom of God. He further explains, "unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (John 3:3-5).

Our intent has been to show that to be a citizen in the kingdom of God is to be a member of the church or body of Christ. Jesus is both the King of the Kingdom and the Head of His body the church (John 18:36-37; Col 1:18). God the Father has given Him exclusive authority.

As the King He commanded His apostles to "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15-16). He also instructed them to preach "repentance and remission of sins" (Luke 24:47).

  • Faith in Christ, repentance of sins and immersion in water are the Lordís terms of pardon or forgiveness.

When one obeys the commands of the King, God translates that one into the kingdom (Col 1:13). At that same time, one is added to the church belonging to Christ (Acts 2:38,47). Why is that so important? Paul said it, "He is the Savior of the body the church" (Eph 5:23). Did you know of the existence of an Almighty King? Do you know of your soul's need for a Savior? Will you not, then, obey Jesus Christ today? -