2008-12-03 - Christ's Church: 1
Colossians 1:18, "He is also the head of the body, the church."
Harold Camping will tell you that the church is an outdated model, and encourage you to leave the church and worship in your families around his radio programs. He might even be happy if you left the church and looked for spiritual nourishment online (If you limited your online faith to what he agrees with). His call to leave the church is an attempt to outshine the head of the church, Jesus Christ. We wait for his next pronouncements. Maybe he will next claim that he is the creator of all things. We never know what we might hear next from those who dishonor Christ, and it is a mercy that their sham, counterfeit proclamations are only revealed little by little, lest we all die of amazement from their stupidity.
The church of Jesus Christ is an assembly of the faithful who are God's chosen, and called out from the world. The Savoy declaration (1658) says that the church "is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and the spouse, the body, the fullness of Him that all and in all," (XXVI: 1). The Lord Jesus Christ is the One Head of His church. There is no other. He has revealed His truth to His church by His Word the Bible. The Holy Spirit makes known to us what His Word says. To put any authority over Christ is idolatry. We do not have any other authority for our lives, than Christ in His Word. We do not judge things by our own whims or wishes, but by the Scriptures. Many will say that they don't like this or that in Christ's church. The things respecting the church are not about our likes or dislikes. They are about truth. What are our likes or dislikes? We are servants of Christ. Christ commands through His Word, and it is our rule in life and practice. Our likes and dislikes are not a consideration.
This is not a popular view, in our age of cherished opinions and traditions. Christ has little need for any tradition that transgress His Word. He is the Head of the church. The members serve Him, and not their own fancies. We must come back to The Book. The Bible has everything in it that the church needs. In fact, the church, and the members of the church, have no right to use their own judgment, apart from interpreting the Bible and its demands on our life and conduct. The Bible is the Rule Book of the Master, and we deviate from it at our own peril. The Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of believers and makes the truth known to them, but not apart from, or in distinction from, the Bible. The Spirit never differs from God's Revelation in Christ, found in the Bible. We seek the leading and guidance of the Spirit, and we look to the Bible as the source by which He leads us. Christ is the head of His church, and His people are supported one by another, as they meet together and look to His Word to guide them through the Spirit, and lead them in all things.
Soli Deo Gloria,