CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH: INSEPARABLE
MANY PEOPLE TODAY believe that it is sufficient to accept the Lord Jesus Christ in order to attain salvation. They further think that joining any particular church is not necessary. Thus, by accepting Christ as their personal Savior, they feel that they have accomplished what they thought as the only requirement for salvation. Unknowingly, they are causing the separation of Christ and His Church which is against the teaching of the Bible.
THE RELATION OF CHRIST WITH HIS CHURCH
“For a husband has authority over his wife just JUST AS CHRIST HAS AUTHORITY OVER THE CHURCH; AND CHRIST HIMSELF THE SAVIOR OF THE CHURCH, HIS BODY.” (Eph. 5:23, Today’s English Version)
Christ is the head of the Church, not of any of the various so-called Christian churches which exist today. This Church referred to by Apostle Paul is the same Church Christ called “MY CHURCH” (Mt. 16:18). Christ became the head of the Church, His body, by “ Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace.” (Eph. 2:15, King James Version).
In the creation of the ONE NEW MAN, Christ assumed the position of being the head of His body, the Church (Col. 1:18). The Church being the body of Christ bears the name Church of Christ (Rom. 16:16).
THE LAW OF GOD CONCERNING SINNERS
“Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; A PERSON SHALL BE PUT TO DEATH FOR HIS OWN SIN.” (Dt. 24:16, NKJV)
The law of God requires that people are to be put to death for the sins they themselves have committed. IT WOULD BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANYONE TO SUFFER DEATH FOR THE SIN OF OTHERS AND VICE VERSA. Hence, Christ made the Church of Christ His body, to fulfill the requirement of God’s law. When He did this, it is understood that He assumed the position and responsibilities as Head of His body, the Church.
EVERYONE HAS SINNED
“Sin came into the world through one man, and his sin brought death with it. As a result, death has spread to the whole human race because everyone has sinned.” (Rom. 5:12, TEV)
Everyone has sinned, and the full payment for sin is the second death in the lake of fire (Rom. 6:23; Rev. 20:14). The only exception to Apostle Paul’s assertion is Christ:
“It was to this that God called you, for Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips.” (I Pt. 2:21-22, TEV)
CHRIST DID NOT SIN, and no lie was ever heard from his lips according to Apostle Peter. HENCE, IT WOULD BE UNLAWFUL FOR CHRIST TO SUFFER DEATH, NAY EVEN FOR THE SINS OF OTHERS. The law of God says that every man should suffer death for his own sin.
Man is duty bound to obey the law as one of the requirements to attain salvation, but he has miserably failed. Hence, he was sentenced to suffer the second death in the lake of fire on Judgment Day. BEING THE HEAD, THE LORD JESUS CHRIST TAKES RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SINS OF HIS BODY, THE CHURCH:
“Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed.” (I Pt. 2:24, Ibid.)
Why does the Lord Jesus Christ have to die when the law of God clearly declares that every man shall suffer death for his own sin? BECAUSE BY BEING THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH, “CHRIST HIMSELF CARRIED OUR SINS IN HIS BODY TO THE CROSS.”
What became of the members of His Church when Christ was condemned to death on the account of their sins? THEY BECAME THE “RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD”:
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (II Cor. 5:21, KJV)
What was accomplished when Christ was made “TO BE SIN FOR US” or WHEN HE CREATED THE ONE NEW MAN? The Bible says:
“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
“And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” (Eph. 2:15-16, Ibid.)
RECONCILIATION between God and man was accomplished through the creation of the one new man. Having accomplished reconciliation, what will happen to the Church of Christ which is Christ’s body? Apostle Paul testifies that Christ will save His Church (Eph. 5:23).
However, Protestants conclude that what is just necessary and sufficient is for man to accept Christ as personal savior, because as far as they are concerned, the Church of Christ is immaterial and unnecessary for salvation. They ignore the biblical teaching that Christ is the Savior of the Church.
Which is inseparable according to the Almighty Father?
“And God said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’ So they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.” (Mt. 19:5-6, TEV)
JOINED TOGETHER BY MATRIMONIAL VOWS AND THE LAWS OF GOD, THE HUSBAND AND WIFE BECOME ONE FLESH. WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, NO HUMAN BEING MUST SEPARATE. Is the non-separation of husband and wife, they being one flesh, applicable to Christ and the Church of Christ? Apostle Paul affirms:
“As the scripture says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.” There is a deep secret truth revealed in this scripture, which I understand as applying to Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:31-32, Ibid.)
The King James Version of the Bible renders the part “THERE IS A DEEP SECRET TRUTH” as “THIS IS A GREAT MYSTERY.” Apostle Paul quoted God and then stated the mystery of husband and wife as BEING ONE FLESH as “APPLYING TO CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.”
Why did Apostle Paul quote God’s dictum and then refer to it as concerning Christ and His Church? Is the Church of Christ likened to the bride of Christ, thus making the mystery regarding the husband and wife applicable to Him and His Church? To the Church of Christ members, Apostle Paul writes thus:
“I am jealous for you, just as God is; you are like a pure virgin whom I have promised in marriage to one man only, Christ himself.” (II Cor. 11:2, Ibid.)
The Church of Christ is likened to a pure virgin promised in marriage to Christ. This Church is also the body of Christ. Hence, CHRIST AND THE CHURCH OF CHRIST MUST NOT BE SET APART FROM EACH OTHER.
To insist, therefore, that it is sufficient to accept or simply believe in Christ is tantamount to rejecting the necessity of the Church of Christ for salvation, and thus violating the dictum of Christ that: “Man must not separate, … what God has joined together.”
The scriptural truth remains that our Lord Jesus Christ and the Church of Christ can not be separated from each other. CHRIST IS THE SAVIOR OF HIS BODY, THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. *
TOMAS C. CATANGAY
PASUGO GOD’S MESSAGE
Note: Emphasis, Admin.