What does the Bible say about the church

By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

  • “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
  • “So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things” (Acts 5:11).
  • “At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem” (Acts 8:1).
  • “Greet the church that is in their house” (Romans 16:5).
  • “To the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2).
  • “Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”
  • And “Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her” (Ephesians 5:23-25).

As shown in the above verses and others the church is often referred to as “the church.” Since it was the only one that existed, it was not always necessary to identify the church in any other way. Of course, the church belonged to Christ as He promised to build it, and He bought it with His blood (Matthew 16:18; Acts 20:28). Then at Romans 16:16 it is identified as the church of Christ.

The word is from the Greek language, and the English spelling is ‘ekklesia.’ It means, “Called out.” So those who are called by the gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14), from the world by their obedience to the gospel of Christ, are those people who make up the church. They are sanctified or set apart as written in the article last week.

Please notice that the church is singular as the spiritual body of Christ. Jesus said He would build one church (Matthew 16:18), and at John 10:16 He said, “there will be one flock and one shepherd.” Jesus is the shepherd and the church is the flock (Acts 20:28).

Among the seven things that Paul mentions of which there was only one, was the church or spiritual body of Christ (Ephesians 4:4-6). The one body is the church as stated in Ephesians 1:22-23.

“The churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16).

 

#bible-study, #church

An old poem based on James 2:1-4

When I was a little girl mother taught me a poem that she had stood and quoted at the front during her school chapel program. She told how she made hand movements to emphasize certain parts of the poem. It is well over 100 years old since not only did mother quote the poem but her mother quoted it in her chapel service when she was a little girl. I think it is beautiful and share it for your enjoyment. No doubt it is based on the scripture James 2:1-4. After reading the poem, please read the scripture reference. I will preface the poem with this: Imagine an old man has gone to the church service on Sunday morning. His wife couldn’t go because she was homebound in bed. He goes into her bedroom and says…

Well, wife, I’ve been to church today,
And to a stylish one;
Being you couldn’t go from home,
I will tell you what was done.

The people were so finely dressed,
they could hardly bow to pray,
And me with these stiff clothes of mine,
All worn and torn, and almost worn out.

They took me to a seat,
Way back by the door;
All bookless and uncushioned,
A reserved seat for the poor.

But pretty soon in came a stranger,
with golden rings and clothes so fine.
They took him to a seat,
Far in advance of mine.

I didn’t think it was exactly right,
To seat him up so near,
When he was young, and I was old,
And very hard to hear.

Our heads are growing gray, dear wife,
Our hearts are beating slow,
But when the Master calls for us,
Then we’ll have to go.

And when we reach those pearly gates,
All-undefiled by sin,
We’ll see wealth waiting at that gate,
While poverty goes in.

A lesson from the wind

We have three large pine trees in our yard, and the wind was blowing late one afternoon as I sat on the front porch. Have you ever stopped to listen to the wind blowing through pine trees? It is the most beautiful sound and almost sounds like the ocean. I invited Doug to come out and listen to it with me. I shared with him how the wind reminds me of God.

Jesus said, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes” (John 3:8). Consider these thoughts: Continue reading

#faith

What does the Bible say about the Lamb of God

By Douglas M. Williams, Sr.

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin

of the world!” (John 1:29, 36).

“These are the ones who come out of great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).

“But there shall by no means enter it anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Revelation 21:27). Continue reading

#bible-study

What does the Bible say about hope

By Douglas M. Williams Sr.

“For we are saved by hope, but hope that is seen is not hope: for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:24-25). Colossians 1:27 “…Christ is in you, the hope of glory.”

The Bible speaks of the “hope of eternal life” (Titus 1:2; 3:7). We can look “for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).

Our hope is “an anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:19). And 2 Peter 1:3-4 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.”

“If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (1 Corinthians 15:19).

“And now abideth faith, hope and love, these three, but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

Hope is the moving force behind our activities. Sophocles stated, “It is hope which maintains most of mankind.” Our world is one of hope! Martin Luther said, “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” The Bible says, “he that ploweth should plow in hope; and he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope” (1 Corinthians 9:10).

Hope of a crop encourages the farmer to drive the plow; hope of victory urgest the soldier to fight; hope of winning makes the athlete run; and hope of the incorruptible crown inspires the child of God to run in the race of life (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Our hope is in God, and it is powerful! Our hope is obtained from the scriptures (Romans 15:4), and as long as there is life, there is hope. Our greatest hope is for eternal life in heaven. No matter how many times we lose in this life, we can look forward to eternal life where we win and never lose.

#bible-study

You’re out of the sinning business now

My friend related how she was talking with a Christian when he said he planned to do something that she knew was sinful. Her reply was excellent. “Don’t you do that. You’re out of the sinning business now.”

What is the sinning business? A disobedience to the will of God is sinning. A person who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin (James 4:17).

Who can get out of the sinning business? The invitation is open to all. The vilest sinner can be forgiven of their sins. Jesus told the woman in adultery to “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11). Anyone who has faith in God and obeys His will can be forgiven of their sins. Who? Anybody.

Where can one get out of the sinning business? The Ethopian eunuch was riding in a chariot when God sent Phillip to teach him. The eunuch said, “Here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” He confessed he believed that Jesus was the Son of God. They went down into the water and Phillip baptized him.) He went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:26-39). Where? Anywhere.

Why should one get out of the sinning business? Only those who are sincerely trying not to live a sinful life will go to heaven when they die. There is a way that seems right unto a man but the end is the way of destruction (Proverbs 14:12). We are warned of traveling the wrong path, the way to destruction. Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). He also said, “If you deny me before men, I will deny you before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:33) Why? It’s the right thing to do.

How does one get out of the sinning business? Faith plus obedience equals salvation. The plan is simple:

  • One must HEAR the gospel of Christ (Romans 10:17).
  • One must have FAITH in God. He must believe in God (Mark 16:16).
  • One must REPENT of their sins and desire salvation (Luke 13:3).
  • One must CONFESS that Jesus is the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10).
  • One must be BAPTIZED into Christ for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38).

#sin

What does the Bible say about worshiping God your own way?

The Bible does not teach that a person can worship God his or her own way. The idea or concept is foreign to what the Bible says. In fact, the Bible clearly and plainly teaches the specific way in which we are to worship God. At John 4:23-24, Jesus says, “the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father is seeking such to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Notice Jesus said we must worship God not only in spirit but also in truth!

The Old Testament says God was to be worshipped in forms and rituals in the sacrifices and praises they offered to God at designated holy places on the altars, in the tabernacle, and later in the temple. Now, since God is spirit He is to receive spiritual worship from our hearts, as we humble ourselves to God at any time and place since God is everywhere present, and is not limited to any specific place. Continue reading