Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
Volume 02, Number
church of Christ
1860 Mt. Baker HWY
P.O. Box 30821
Bellingham, WA 98228
Bible Classes..........9:30 AM
Bible Classes.........7:00 PM
Mt. Baker church
In this issue:
There is One Body - One Church
Jefferson Davis Tant Sr.
Ephesians 4:4 says, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are
called in one hope of your calling.” In Ephesians 1:22-23 we learn that the
church is the body of Christ, and that Christ is the head. We now ask, “How
many bodies or churches has the Son of God on earth? Paul plainly says,
“there is one body” (Eph. 4:4). This one body, he tells us, is the church.
We then, of necessity, conclude that there
is one, and only one, church of divine origin. As almost all organizations
on earth have some head, either human or divine, it is a matter of serious
thought that every intelligent person should ask himself, “Is the church of
which I am a member of human or of divine origin?”
If it is of divine origin, let us thank God
and take courage. If human, let us remember that Jesus said, “Every plant
which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Mt. 15:13).
No intelligent man or woman can plead ignorance nor offer excuses why he is
not a member of the church of Christ, rather than some human organization.
Every church, whether human or divine, has its standard of measurement by
which all members can measure themselves, and know to what church they
belong. A few illustrations will make this clear.
A church claims to be founded not upon
divine authority, but upon the experience of a long series of years, If a
man wants to be a member of this church, he can ask himself, “Do I believe
the 25 articles of religion?” “Am I trying to live up to them?” His answer
to these questions will easily decide for him whether he is a member of that
Another man may have a different standard containing only 18 articles of
faith, and find out whether he is a member of that church founded upon that
But a third man, seeking for the truth, wanting nothing but the word of God,
takes none of these standards of measurement, but simply clings to the word
of God as his only rule of faith and practice. In so doing, he becomes a
member of that one body we read about in the Bible.
When did Christ become head of the church?
Paul tells us that it was when God raised Him from the dead (Eph. 1:20-22).
Then, if you or I belong to a church that claims an organization prior to
the resurrection of Christ, it is not the church of Christ, but is of human
origin. And it does not contain the blessings of salvation nor eternal life.
At that time, after Christ’s resurrection,
it was proclaimed to the world that Christ had been crucified and had shed
His blood for our sins. That is the blood of the spiritual body of Christ.
As we expect forgiveness only in the shed blood of the Son of God, no one
can go further back than the time when He shed His blood and established His
church without introducing the blood of bulls and goats, for they were the
only shed blood then, and by them no one could ever be justified (Heb 10:4).
All members are component parts of the body
to which they belong, and the body must contain all the parts. Each member
draws its life from the body of which it is a member. No member can live
when cut off from the body. Neither can a man live a Christian life outside
the church of Jesus Christ.
Just as well talk about a live finger, a
living foot, a strong arm, or a growing limb when cut off from the body, as
to talk about a child of God outside the church of Jesus Christ. These
members are all Christians - nothing more, nothing less. They are brethren
in Christ, governed by the law of the Spirit, and members of His body, doing
the work He has commanded them to do.
All living bodies, whether natural or
spiritual, are brought into existence by a process of law, and are
perpetuated by principles of law. To this rule, there can be no exception.
So it is in becoming members of the church of Christ. We are all made
members - are made free - by “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”
(Rom. 8:2). This law is also called the “New Covenant” and established upon
better promises than the old (Heb. 8).
“The law of the Spirit” teaches me that I
must hear the gospel of the Son of God; that I must have faith in Jesus;
must repent of my sins; must confess Christ before men; and must be baptized
to arise and walk in newness of life. After that, I must “live soberly,
righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:12) that I may
finally enter into that rest that remains to the people of God.
But, what church should this be, and what
name should it wear? Christ said, “Upon this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). Luke says
that God, “added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).
To which church did the Lord add the saved? Paul says it was the church of
God at Corinth (1 Cor. 1:2) and the churches of Christ in Asia.
Nowhere did Paul ever write a letter to the
Mormon, Campbellite, Baptist, or Methodist churches. Then, if we are members
of any of these institutions, let us remember that they were founded by man
- not by God.
Can we go back to the fountainhead, believe
the same things, obey the same commands, and let the Lord add us to His
church as He did people nearly 2,000 year ago? If we can, will it not be
better to do this and let the Lord add us to His church, and serve him, than
it will be to spend our time and usefulness in a church not found in the
word of the Lord?
Remember, our zeal, earnestness, and work
will do us no good if not on the right foundation. The foolish - as well as
the wise man - built his house (Matt. 7:21). But he was not careful as to
his foundation. Then be wise and build upon the one foundation that will
never fall and, finally, with God you shall forever dwell.
OBEY THE GOSPEL NOW!
1. Before you die! You could die at any time. Be prepared. Be a faithful
and dedicated child of God. The Bible declares, “And as it is appointed unto
men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Hebrews 9:27). There is a
horrible price to pay for the person who dies outside of Christ.
2. Before you can’t! A person can live in
sin and then suffer in a terrible accident or suffer from a stroke or other
disease and be rendered unable to make decisions such as obeying the gospel
or being restored to faithfulness. There is a high price to pay for delay in
3. Before you become hard of heart! The
Bible declares, “Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared
with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:2). When a person continues to delay in doing
right, he will eventually lose sensitivity to the word of God. When a person
goes beyond feeling it is impossible to reach him. Again, there is a high
price to pay for delay in obeying God.
4. Before you lead others to sin! Every
person influences others. No one will go to heaven alone and no one will go
to hell alone. We will take others with us to eternity. By our delay in
obeying God we are leaving a terrible example for others to follow. You may
not even know of those who are being influenced by your example and thus are
being led away from God. The Bible says, “A little leaven leaveneth the
whole lump” (Galatians 5:9). You are the “little leaven” that will influence
the “whole lump.” What kind of example are you? Again, there is a high price
to pay for delay in obeying God.
5. Before Jesus comes! The Lord declared,
“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son
of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13). We do not know the time when the Lord is
going to return. However, we do know that he is coming again some day. Thus,
we must always be prepared. When you delay in obeying God you are
endangering your soul for the Lord could come today and if he did you would
be unprepared and thus lost. There is a high price for delay in obeying God.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated.
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.
Send all questions, comments to the editor, John Bass at (360) 325-5149