If, as we have seen, salvation is the process of entering the church, it follows that no one is in the church who does not have salvation. The church is one “family in heaven and earth,” Eph. 3:15 named from the Father. This family is “the household of God.” 2:19
Therefore it follows that only the sons of God, such as are born of the Spirit, are in the church. And we are told that “He that committeth sin is of the devil,” and “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin…. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil” 1 John 3:8-10—namely, in the fact that children of the devil commit sin, and the children of God do not. The holy apostle repeats the fact with emphasis: “We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.” 5:18
There are no sinners in the church. But all sects are more or less filled with sinners. Hence, no sect is the church of God.
In today’s podcast we explore who takes members into the Church.
“And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Acts 2:46-47
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” 1 Cor. 12:18
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” v.13
Here, the setting of the members into the body, or adding to the church, is ascribed to God, to Christ, and to the Spirit. Of course, they are one, the triune God.
But God never takes men into a sect. Therefore no sect is His church.
“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep…. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:7,9
“I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.” Rev. 3:8
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” Eph. 2:18
In these scriptures we see clearly that Christ is the door of the church, and salvation the mode of induction, and that it is a door that stands open continually, and no man can shut.
Christ is not the door of any sect, therefore no sect is the church of God. The experience of salvation does not constitute a person a member of any sect on earth; therefore they are not the church of God. All sects have doors—a manner of admitting members—that are open and shut by men, hence are unlike the church of God, which no man can open and shut. They are there- fore not His church.
Who founded the Church? To answer this question we consider an excerpt from the book THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT by D.S. Warner.
We are told that Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Heb. 11:10 And in the next chapter, the apostle Paul says to the converted Hebrews, “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” 12:22-24
That city—“whose builder and maker is God”—we have come unto in the gospel dispensation, and it is “the church of the first- born.” Christ, who was “God… manifest in the flesh,” 1 Tim. 3:16 is the founder, builder, and maker of the church. “For this man [Christ Jesus] was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.” Heb. 3:3-4 “Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28 “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church… holy and without blemish.” Eph. 5:25-27 “Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matt. 16:18
The Bible clearly names the Church “the body of Christ.” A broken, divided body is a body that needs help but a united body is one that can offer help to those who are lost and dying in this sin-sick world! Click play on the podcast below to learn more.
Excerpt from THE CHURCH OF GOD, WHAT IT IS AND WHAT IT IS NOT by D.S. Warner.
The words church and churches occur in the New Testament 112 times, translated from the Greek word ekklesia, which would have been more correctly rendered “congregation.” Thus we would have read, “the congregation of God,” “the congregation of the firstborn,” Heb. 12:23 etc., denoting its divine Founder and Owner. And, “the congregation that was at Antioch,” Acts 13:1 “the congrega- tion of God which is at Corinth,” 1 Cor. 1:2; 2 Cor. 1:1 “the congregations of Asia,” 1 Cor. 16:19 “the congregations of Galatia,” v.1; Gal. 1:2 etc., denoting the different geographical locations of the congregations of God. But whether we use the word church, as in common use, or con- gregation, the more correct appellation, we should only attach such meaning to it as agrees with the Word of God. To use a Bible word out of its biblical meaning is perverting the Bible.
What then is the Bible definition of the church?
Answer: “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the full- ness of him that filleth all in all.” Eph. 1:22-23 “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.” Col. 1:18 “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.” v.24
The church is the body of Christ. And being the body of Christ, it necessarily includes all His members. Therefore to call an earthly building the church is ridiculous, and to call an organized division the church is subverting the truth. No sect contains all the body of Christ, therefore, no sect is the church of God. Then as honest men, who expect to be judged by the Word of God, let us never call anything the church but the body of Christ; that is, all the saved, either universally, or in any given locality.