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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Summer Edition 2003

The Faith Of The Church

    What does the New Testament have to say about the faith of the church? Following are only a few of the many scriptural statements that are well-worth pondering.

    1. The faith of the church is one. Ephesians 4:5: "One Lord, one faith, one baptism." Jesus did not establish the many faiths held by the many denominations of today. He established the one faith of the one true universal church. He is not "in a sect," therefore, who insists on the biblical oneness of the true Christian church. He is rather "of the sects" who disavows that oneness by his/her condoning of the many faiths that Jesus never taught. Nothing could be clearer from the Word of God. We know this in theory, but what about in practice?
   
   2. The faith of the church is common. Titus 1:4: "To Titus, mine own son after the common faith." Now the common faith of the church is the faith shared by all, the faith "once delivered," and the one that we must earnestly contend for yet today (Jude 3). It is faith in Jesus of Nazareth as the divine Son of God, as the promised Messiah, and as our personal Saviour and Lord. It is belief in Jesus as the present Christ--in all the biblical truth-claims of His person and work as our prophet, priest, and king. As prophet, He taught the way of true righteousness, and we obey His teachings. As priest, He bought our peace and reconciliation, and we rest completely in the finished work of His atonement. As king, He effects salvation or deliverance, and we have experienced it—being translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of God's dear Son--the kingdom, of which it is the Father's good pleasure to give us, yes, even the kingdom of "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

   3. The faith of the church is precious. II Peter 1:1: "Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith." The New Testament knows of only two classes of people: "the brethren," and "them that are without." The Christian church is a precious brotherhood where love and unity prevails. How precious is the fellowship of all those in the one common Christian faith! It transcends all barriers and divisions of social/economic status, gender, race, and clime, and time.

   4. The faith of the church is holy. Jude 20: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." The one common precious Christian faith is holy and produces true holiness in heart and life. It is a faith that works by love, and love purifies the heart. The offering up of the Gentiles is now acceptable to God being sanctified by the Holy Ghost—we, too, receive the messianic gift of the kingdom—the promise of the Spirit by faith. Thus, through the mercies of God, we present ourselves to God a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is our reasonable service.

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