“For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth” (Isaiah 62:1).
The study this quarter is on the subject of ‘The Church’. My heart’s desire is that every honest person would get a vision of the beauty of God’s true church. The majority of religious institutions and fellowships have watered down the truth so much that people need not “take up their cross daily” as the Lord taught. Serving the Lord is a narrow, holy way but it is a good way. It is the way that leads to power and victory. Allowing the reality of God’s church to be in our life and fellowship brings freedom and liberty to worship in “spirit and in truth.”
Most people won’t acknowledge that they are part of a church of man, but when the scripture is studied, it becomes clear that most churches are really not part of God’s one true church. God very clearly laid down the framework for His church. It is not our job to change it or to modernize it. It is our job and call to measure to the Word of God. The Church of God is beautiful and resplendent. As Mt. Zion, it rises above the clouds of confusion that permeates the religious world.
It is a blessing to be free from sin and a blessing to be free from man’s creeds and dogma. It is not enough to have a head knowledge of this truth. It needs to be applied in a very practical way that the true body of Christ would keep herself unspotted. Many churches call themselves ‘Church of God’, but the name alone isn’t enough. Is the Spirit of God leading or is there man-rule? Is the Bible our rule of faith or is it really just what the ministers have said? Is there an unspoken hierarchy in the ministry or is Christ really the head? May the Lord help us to die out more to ourselves that the church would truly be that ‘City on a Hill’ that cannot be hid.
Our allegiance should not be to a past history or to a traditional lifestyle alone. Many people, even in ‘Church of God’ are there because they were raised that way. Being in God’s church takes a divine transformation of the heart. Our allegiance is to God Himself and to His divine Word that brings us into a walk of daily, practical holiness.
As the Lord leads, I may address some practical issues of unity and fellowship in future issues.
Be faithful my friend, for the Lord is coming soon.
Michael W. Smith