Thank you for your recent requests to be "informed" on what all is going on in our Spanish service at Rockport. I have been preaching through the Gospel According to John on Sunday mornings, but we are going to take a break to discuss the Doctrine of the Church. It is important for us to do this because there is so many conflicting views, and we must look at a verse by verse study of the true church and what the Scripture says.
Below I have given you the English translation of what will be in the bulletin this Sunday.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians 1:21-23 ESV
Many people have told me that they do not wish to “go to church” or belong to a certain “church” but they are “right with God” and that is all that matters. Sadly, these people are mistaken about what the church is, and what God’s desire is for his people.
“Church” is not something you “go to” but it is the name for the Bride of Christ, those whom He had redeemed. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that you are “right with God” and yet, you do not belong to the church. Do you see this?
Over the next few weeks we are going to take a break from our study in John to discuss an important topic, “What is the church.” We are going to look at some of the purposes, some of the responsibilities, joys, and struggles.
Paul gives a great description of who the church is. In Colossians 1:21-23 (quoted above) tells us that the “church” is the name for those people who:
Used to be alienated from Christ, dead in their sins.
Are now blameless before God because of God’s Sovereign work brought about by a new birth by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, by the preaching of the true gospel.
Are continuing, by the grace of God, in sanctification until death.
It is my prayer that through this study, we all might grow together in the grace of our Lord and have a better understanding of what it means to be called God’s people. To Him be the glory forever!