Ten qualifications for the rapture – Part 7
“Be In The Church”Cont’
One Lord.” Essential to Christian faith and unity is the confession that there is only “one Lord.” (1) That there is only “one Lord” means that Jesus Christ’s work of redemption is perfect and sufficient, and no other redeemer or mediator is needed to give the believer complete salvation (1Tim 2:5-6; Heb9:15) the believer is to draw near to God through Christ alone (Heb 7:25). (2) “One Lord” also means that to profess equal or greater allegiance to any authority (secular or religious) other than God revealed in Christ and the inspired Word is the same as withdrawing oneself from the lordship of Christ and thus from the life that is in Him alone. There can be no lordship of Christ or “unity of the Spirit” (v3) apart from the affirmation that the Lord Jesus is the ultimate authority for the believer and that Christ’s authority is communicated in God’s written Word. All believers in Christ belong to one body; all are united under one head, Christ himself (see 1Corinthians 12:12-26). Each believer has God-given abilities that can strengthen the whole body. Your special ability may seem small or large, but it is yours to use in God’s service. Ask God to use your unique gifts to contribute to the strength and health of the body or believers.
4:6 God is above all — this shows his overruling care (transcendence). He is through all, and in you all — this shows his active presence in the world and in the lives of believers (immanence). Any view of God that violates either his transcendence or his immanence does not paint a true picture of God.
“that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph 5:26,27)
Christ’s death sanctifies and cleanses the church. He cleanses us from the old ways of sin and sets us apart for his special sacred service (Hebrews 10:29; 13:12). Christ cleansed the church by the “washing” of baptism. Through baptism we are prepared for entrance into the church just as ancient Near Eastern brides were prepared for marriage by a ceremonial bath. It is God’s Word that cleanses us (John 17:17; Titus 3:5).
“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. 24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church” (Col 1:18,24)
“firstborn from the dead.” Jesus Christ was the first to rise from the dead with a spiritual and immortal body (1Cor 15:20). On His resurrection day Jesus became head of the church. The NT church began on the day of Jesus’ resurrection when the disciples received the Holy Spirit (John 20:22). The fact that Christ is the “firstborn from the dead” implies the subsequent resurrection of all those for whom He died. Col 1:18 Christ is the “firstborn from the dead.” Jesus was raised from death, and his resurrection proves his lordship over the material world. All who trust in Christ will also defeat death and rise again to live eternally with him (1Corinthians 15:20; 1Thessalonians 4:14). Because of Christ’s death on the cross, he has been exalted and elevated to the status that was rightfully his (see Philippians 2:5-11).
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