What should we believe? – Part Two

In our first article of this series we discussed things in which all believers can and should be united.  I want to continue those thoughts in this study – What Should We Believe?   Some religious groups may differ with the message of the Bible because it declares that Jesus has all authority.  It seems there are some who rely on other sources of authority for matters religious.  
No person has the authority or the right to alter the Will of God concerning the question of authority and claim Heaven’s approval for doing so.  Some have tried through the years but not with God’s approval.  Jesus declared “All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:18-19).   There are no latter day spokesmen with Heaven’s authority to speak any other Gospel than that which has been delivered (Galatians 1:6-9).  According to Hebrews 1:1-2, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”   We look to Jesus and His Word for authority in all things religious.  (See 1 Peter 4:11).
We should also believe what Jesus had to say about the Church.  Jesus Promised That He would build (Establish) His church.  Two thousand years ago, Jesus announced to the disciples His plans to establish His church.   “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.   ¹⁸ And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:17-18).   Luke, the earliest church historian, gives us ample evidence of the implementation of this purpose: (Acts 2:38-47). The church became a reality on that eventful feast-day, the first Pentecost after the Lord’s resurrection and ascension to the Father.  For the first time in history people who were being saved were added to the body – the church.  The Lord promised that He would establish or build His church in Matthew 16:18, and those who were being saved on the Day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter Two were added to that church. The church of our Lord is the most glorious institution in the world.
What does the Bible say the church is?  There are many words used in the New Testament to describe the church of our Lord.  For example it is referred to as:
The Body of Christ – Eph. 1:22-23
The Family or Household of God – 1 Timothy 3:14-15
The Temple of God and the Holy Spirit – Ephesians 2:21-22
The Kingdom – Colossians 1:12-14
The Bride of Christ – 2 Corinthians 11:1-2; Romans 7:4
The Sheepfold – John 10:16
The saved from sin – Acts 2:37-47
The purchased (redeemed) with the blood of Christ.  Those who made up the church were the “church which he purchased with his own blood.” – Acts 20:28.
The sanctified – 1 Cor. 1:1-2
All of these words and phrases help us to see the various and wonderful ways in which the church is in a relationship with the Lord.

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