Thursday, June 26, 2008

When will we learn!

The following words were written to a dear brother regarding a magazine from a "ministry" which sees its role as a spiritual policeman. The Gospel message and the centrality of Christ is missing:

I am disappointed by consistent fear mongering and generalizations, but more
so comments which equate the visible churches, which are spoken about, with
the ekklesia (the Church of Jesus Christ). To say that "the church" is
becoming apostate is to fail to discern the difference between those who are
effectually called to be God's children, the ekklesia, the assembly of God's
people, and the man made institution which we have habitually called "the
church". This is an indication of what I've often spoken, and written
about and the mistake many make when they accept the whole of a theological
position without question (Acts 17:11).

I have not changed my stance at all. I believe the Doctrines of Grace, the soteriology
declared by the Reformers, but I do not accept their ecclesiology (doctrine
of the church), which remains, essentially, Roman Catholic.

We have to seriously ask ourselves whether our Lord Jesus was given to
telling lies! I think not!!

Jesus said to Peter,".... I will build My church; and the gates of Hades
will not overpower it. " We have two choices, we either believe Him or we
believe something else. It is not only my choice, but my conviction that
His words are true.

The congregation, or assembly, of believers in the finished work of Jesus
Christ is alive and well, it is small, as Jesus Himself indicated in Matthew
7:14, and Luke 6:46.

If the idea that the visible church is the entity which Jesus said He would
build was even partially true, then the the Lord Jesus, the One in whom I
have trusted my eternal destiny, is a failure. Can that be true?

Absolutely NOT!!

The institution we call "church" IS falling apart, like all man-made
institutions will, because they are imperfect .

Jesus is not only the builder of His congregation; He is the foundational Chief Corner stone (Eph.2:20; 1 Peter 2:6-7). The entity He is building is "A CHOSEN RACE, A royal
may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into
His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE
(1 Pet.2: 9-10)

Jesus is building a "spiritual house" (1 Pet.2:5). He IS NOT building with
flesh and blood!

The mess of the institution we have traditionally called "church" will
continue to be a mess whilst is is controlled by imperfect people. It was
the same in Biblical times, the New Testament is clear proof of that. Most of which
was written to deal with similar mess. It will remain that way until the Lord's

Let's get on with the task to which all genuine Christians have been called,
to "make disciples (not converts) baptizing them in the name of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I
commanded you" (Matt. 28:19). After all, those "whom He predestined, He
also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He
justified, He also glorified" (Rom.8:30). They are the "living stones" (I
Pet.2:5) which are the substance of His congregation.

Let those who want to play "church" promote their power struggles, tell
their lies, massage their monstrous egos, and build their edifices, whether
organizations or self proclaimed ministries.

Our task is to share the Gospel with all who will listen, "for WHOEVER WILL
CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED. How then will they call on Him
in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have
not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach
unless they are sent? Just as it is written, HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF

I know this is almost a sermon, but the tendency to see what we perceive as
the sins of others without gracious, and gentle attempts to deal with them
according to Galatians 6:1ff , is very wrong. We forget, at our peril the
warning Paul gave to the Galatians in 6:3-4, "For if anyone thinks he is
something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine
his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself
alone, and not in regard to another." Of course Paul realizes that no
spiritual person cannot elevate themselves by their assessment of others.

We are never exhorted to use a sledge hammer approach. Paul warns against in Gal. 6:12-13 .

I prefer to take for myself Paul's testimony in v.14, " But may it never be
that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through
which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." .


Alan Knox said...

Some are learning... and we thank God for brothers like yourself who offer us a great example to follow. Thank you for consistently pointing us toward Christ's church instead of toward any man-made organization.


Aussie John said...


I think our hearts are very much in tune on this matter. Thank you for your encouragement.

Joel Brueseke said...


The heart of this post is something that's been on my mind and heart a lot lately. I love the wonderful reminder here that it's Jesus who's building his true church, and the gates of hades don't stand a chance against it. Our "job" is to look to Jesus, the chief cornerstone, and to share his good news, loving those as he loves us, as we ourselves grow in his love.

And boasting in nothing but the cross of Christ... what another great reminder!

Aussie John said...


Thank you for commenting.

I have seen, and, I'm sad to say, used the common law driven, guilt inducing approach.

The grace of God in Jesus Christ was lavished on me when He called me into His family. He didn't place any legal requirements on my being His son.

In these later years of my sojourn in this age, I have come to resent hearing and reading those who profess to have received the same great gift of grace, thoughtlessly placing a human derived price tag on the a treasure beyond value.

The price placed on the tags are derived from what others have written or said with the attached proof texts twisted out of context to suit.

Steve said...

Aussie John,

Keep poreaching Christ and Christ alone!

He is enough. He is enough.


- Steve Martin San Clemente, CA USA

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