Is This Message for You?
This message is not for the unbeliever. There is plenty of evidence to prove that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I firmly believe that any man who will examine the evidence that is available will be convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but we are not attempting to produce that evidence now.
This message is not for the man who does not believe in the verbal inspiration of the Bible. I believe the evidence is such that any man of honest heart would be a believer in the inspiration of the Bible if he would carefully examine the evidence that is available, but I do not propose to do that now.
You do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. You do believe that the Bible is the Word of God. Then let us proceed.
Jesus prayed that His followers might be one: Neither for these only do I pray, but for them also that believe in me through their word; that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us: that the world may believe that thou didst send me (John 17:20,21). Did Jesus pray for an impossibility?
The greater part of the world does not believe in Jesus Christ as the resurrected Son of God. Their souls are in danger. For Jesus alone saves: And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, given among men, wherein we must be saved (Acts 4:12). We learn then from the Word of God that salvation is in the Name of Christ and in none other.
God through the prophet Isaiah said: And the nations shall see thy righteousness, and kings thy glory, and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of Jehovah shall name (Isaiah 62:20). What is that new name? And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. Here is the new name -- Christian. No one had ever been called a Christian before that time. The Holy Spirit confirms this name: But if any man suffer as a Christian let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God in this name (I Peter 4:16). We can be one in Christ with this name but we cannot be one and wear any other name, at least not in Christ.
The house of God is the church of the living God (I Timothy 3:15). God told us by Isaiah that in the latter days God's house would be established and all nations would flow unto it (Isaiah 2:2). So God prophesied that there would be one church for all nations.
Paul tells us that this one church would be for all time: ... unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:21). Nothing could be plainer than the fact that God gave us Jesus who said He would build His church and the gates of Hades would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Notice again the teaching of Holy Writ: As a husband is the head of the wife so is Christ the head of the church. It is one. Christ loved the church and gave himself up for it. He cleansed it. It should be holy and without spot (Ephesians 5:25-27).
In marriage the husband and wife become one flesh. So Christ and His church are to be one (Ephesians 5:31,32). God has left us without excuse if we do not believe there is only one Church that is ordained by God. There is one body (Ephesians 4:4). The body is the church (Ephesians 1:22,23).
We have learned that we have one name and one church. Now we learn that there is one Lord (Ruler), one faith, and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). Christ is the One who has all authority (Matthew 28:18). We may not submit to any other rulership but His.
There is one faith. That faith was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). There is one baptism. That baptism is for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). We are baptized into one body (I Corinthians 12:13). We have already learned that the one body is the church.
We have division when we have an unscriptural name (I Peter 4:16). We have division when we have more than one church (Ephesians 4:4, 1:2,23). When we have two churches we must of necessity have more than one Lord, we must have more than one faith and we have more than one baptism. People who have another faith also have another baptism.
Let us examine now the day the church was born, that church that Jesus said He would build. The gospel is God's power to save (Romans 1:16). The Holy Spirit by Paul declared that the gospel was the facts of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (I Corinthians 15:1-4). These facts were first proclaimed to the world on the day of Pentecost and this is recorded in Acts 2. After Peter had preached of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, he said: Let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified (Acts 2:36). Recognizing the authority of Jesus: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? (Acts 2:37).
As we began this lesson we learned that people in order to be one must believe the word as given by the apostles (John 20:30,31). Listen now as Peter speaks: Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
Note God's plan: They then that received his word were baptized and there were added unto them in that day about three thousand souls. Who added them? The Lord added them (Acts 2:47).
Let us note what these people did, whom the Lord added to the church, after they had heard and obeyed the words of the apostles: And they continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42).
Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20). We invite you to join with us in serving the Lord Jesus Christ according to the plain pattern that we have discovered in this study. Jesus said: I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one cometh unto the Father but by me (John 14:6).
Division is sinful (Romans 16:17). If we follow the way left us in the Bible, we shall walk in the light as He is in the light and we shall fellowship with one another (I John 1:7).
I am willing to serve God according to the plan as revealed in his word. Are you? We must have fellowship if the blood of Christ is going to cleanse us from all iniquity (I John 1:7).
Will the world believe that Jesus is the Son of God?
J. C. Bailey, 1982, Dauphin, Manitoba
Published in The Old Paths Archive