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    October 31, 1906

    “The Church of Christ” The Medical Missionary, 15, ns18, pp. 147, 148.

    ATJ

    ALONZO T. JONES

    IN view of the evils and dangers of Church Federation that have now become all-pervading, and will soon be all [sic.] all-prevailing, it becomes important that every Christian, yes, every person, should inquire and study as never before just what is the church of Christ.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 147.1

    And of all the subjects in the Bible that are made plain, this subject of the church of Christ is one. There is no need of any theorizing; there is no room for argument; all that is needed is simply study and acceptance of the plain words of the Bible.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 147.2

    The Greek word that is translated church is ekklesia. It signifies the company or assembly of the called-out ones of Christ.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 147.3

    This assembly of called-out ones is the church, and is declared by the Scriptures to be “The body of Christ” in the world, thus: “I, Paul am made a minister; 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.” Colossians 1:18, 23, 24. And, God “raised Him from the dead and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.... and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church which is his body.” Ephesians 1:22, 23.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 147.4

    “As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12. And “as we have many members in one body, and all members are not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Romans 12:4, 5. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” 1 Corinthians 12:27. “For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.” Ephesians 5:30.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.1

    Again, this Church or assembly of Christ’s people is said to be God’s “house” or “God’s building,” thus: “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly; but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God.” 1 Timothy 3:14, 15. “Christ [was faithful] as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Hebrews 3:6. “Ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” 1 Corinthians 3:9. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house.” 1 Peter 2:5.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.2

    “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God; and are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19-22.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.3

    From these Scriptures it is perfectly plain that membership in the church of Christ depends altogether upon our being members of himself; upon our being joined personally to him in the Spirit and by the Spirit.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.4

    Since the church is his house, his building, our being members of his church depends altogether upon our being “lively stones” from having come to him the “living stone,” and having been made alive by him, in the Spirit and through the Spirit, and thus prepared for a place in that “spiritual house.”MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.5

    Membership in the church of Christ, then, comes not by belonging to something that is called a church in order to belong to Christ. It comes altogether by belonging to Christ, in order to belong to the church. And the difference between the two things is just the difference between the mystery of God and the mystery of iniquity.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.6

    The mystery of iniquity exalts the form, the name of “the church,” and then calls, and sweeps, and forces, all the world into that so-called church. The people are the same as before, though they are designated or denominated differently. They conform to different forms than they did before; but in character, in life, they are the same as though they were not members of the church at all.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.7

    But the true church, the church of Christ, is his body in the world; and is therefore himself manifested in the world, in the flesh. In order to belong to this Church is it essential first of all to belong to him. Membership in his Church depends altogether upon the person’s being first of all a member of him. Being in this church and of this church, depends altogether in our being in Him, and of him. When people, having heard his call, come personally to him, and come into the church by coming into him, and are in the church by being in him, that makes a new people. That changes the individual, “into another man.” And these people, and one these, compose the church of Christ, his called out ones, the assembly of his chosen.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.8

    In these times of such wide-spread perversion of the idea of the church, it becomes all important for each one to ask himself, “Am I indeed a member of the church?” Not. “Is my name in the enrollment of some association calling itself a church?” Not to think contentedly that I am a member of the church, simply because I am a member of some association calling itself a church. None of this; but, Am I a member of the church because I am a member of Christ? and because I live and move and have my being in him? Am I a member of the church because my name is in the Book of Life?MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.9

    Such as these are the only members of the Church of Christ that there are on this earth. And though it should be that circumstances prevent their names being on any book on earth, or themselves from being counted in any collection or association of people on earth; yet when an individual is joined to him and lives in him, that person is a member of the church of Christ though he be the only person on a continent or in the world.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.10

    Such is the only true membership of the Church of Christ, and the only way to membership in the Church of Christ. And these compose the Church of Christ wherever they may be found in all the world. And he “knoweth them that are his.”MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.11

    This truth is practically acknowledged by every denomination in the world. For:—MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.12

    1. There is not a denomination in the world that will say that every single member of that denomination is a Christian.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.13

    2. There is not a denomination in the world that does not allow that there are Christians in all the other denominations.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.14

    3. In other words, there is not a denomination in the world that will say that the Christians of that denomination are all the Christians that there are in the world.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.15

    And when these perfectly plain and true things are acknowledged, then the truth of all that is said in this article is acknowledged. And it is perfectly proper to acknowledge it all, for it is the simple truth of the Scriptures.MEDM October 31, 1906, page 148.16

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