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Page 210

 

Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

- Ephesians 4: 25, 29, 32

 

  • Universality - the quality of including all parts; being worldwide
  •  

    And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.

    - Revelation 5:9

     

    Is there only one infallible King and Word in the Christian church, or more? Why is this question both important and necessary?

     

    And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church.

    - Ephesians 1:22

    And He is the Head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

    - Colossians 1:18

     

    The Old and New Testament revelations also reflect one church. While different forms of administrations were utilized by God (i.e. particular, patriarchal, national, and ecclesiastical, as described in Chapter 9), they pertained to the same church. Paul testifies of this truth when he wrote, "That the Gentiles should be fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel" (Ephesians 3:5). Romans 11 and the Book of Hebrews also expound this truth.


    The holiness of the church centers primarily in Jesus Christ. As viewed in Jesus Christ's substitutionary work, God's church is holy. Secondarily, a beginning in true holiness is also found in the lives of those who are regenerated -the Church Invisible. The Holy Spirit works His sanctifying work personally in the souls of the elect. This produces a community of believers, a communion of saints within the church. Thirdly, an outward separation from the world and consecration to God is also observed in the ordinary procedures and government of the Church Visible.


    The catholicity or universality of the church focuses upon Jesus Christ. Jesus commanded His apostles and church, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). The Lord Jesus is the one and only way of salvation for sinners. The church is catholic in a saving sense as the Church Triumphant confesses, "For Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Revelation 5:9b). It is also universal in an outward sense in its mission command to proclaim the gospel to every creature throughout the world.


    The Christianity of the church is also centralized in Jesus Christ. He is the Head, King, Mediator, and Lord of His church. This is true, in a special sense, in the hearts of His regenerated children the Church Invisible, but it is also true in the outward procedures of the Church Visible. As King, His Word is to rule and regulate all matters of faith and practice. To the degree which a church deletes from or adds to God's Word, it departs from being a Christian church and forms a man-made religious institution.

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