A congregation laid out a less than thoughtful plan for building a new building. 1) We shall build a new building. 2) The new building will be built on the site of the old one. 3) The old material in the old one will be used in the new one. 4) We shall continue to use the old one until the new one is completed. - Might be time to rethink the church building plans!
When Saul of Tarsus was on his way to Damascus to persecute Christians, the Lord appeared to him as he was approaching the city and said, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" (Acts 22:7). Saul had been persecuting the church, but in so doing he was persecuting the Lord. The first century New Testament church is described as the body of the Lord, and the Lord is the head of the body (Ephesians 1:18-19; 4:4; Colossians 1:18). In New Testament days when a person obeyed the gospel of Christ, they were at that time added to the Lord's body, the church (Acts 2:47). They were individually known as just Christians (Acts 11:26; 26:28; I Peter 4:16). Together as a group they were the Lord's church.
It is impossible to separate the two. What makes one a Christian, also adds one to the Lord's body. Paul, speaking of Christ, said, "He Himself being the Savior of the body" (Ephesians 5:23). If one is part of the body, he is joined to Christ, the head of the body. Thus when Saul of Tarsus persecuted the church, the body, he was persecuting the Christ. Later, Saul of Tarsus became a member of the same body he once persecuted. He became a Christian. Having the seen the Lord on the road to Damascus, he was told to go into the city and it would be told him what he "must do" (Acts 9:6). When Saul arrived in the city he was blind, fasting and praying. The Lord sent a preacher to Saul by the name of Ananias. Ananias said to Saul, "And now why do you delay? Arise, and be baptized (immersed), and wash away your sins, calling on His name" (Acts 22:16). These instructions correspond to those given on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38) when the first people were added to the Lord's Body. Saul persecuted this body, and thus the Lord, until his conversion, at which time, having obeyed the same gospel as those in Acts two, he became a member of the same body, the church.
Today, if we hear and obey the same gospel we become members of the same body. We become Christians and only Christians. We thank God for His marvelous plan and grace, which extends to all the invitation to embrace simple New Testament Christianity. Any and all can come.
For a free non-denominational Bible correspondence course call 830-833-4884 or email firstname.lastname@example.org