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Since through his death Christ proposed to draw all men unto him, it is evident that all the Composed of members of Christ are therefore true Christians members of his body, the church. To this agrees the words of the apostle Paul, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we [true Christians], being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Rom. 12:4, 5). “Now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him" (1 Cor. 12:18).

Becoming a member of the spiritual body of Christ is necessarily a spiritual operation. Men Mode of

may admit members to a formal admission

church relationship, but only the Spirit of God can make us members of Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized (or inducted] into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). This text does not refer to literal waterbaptism, but to the work of the “Spirit,” by whom we are inducted into Christ. God hath set the members every one of them in the body" (verse 18). And since this is the work of the Spirit, it is evident that none but the saved can possibly find admittance into the spiritual body of Christ. Under a different figure Jesus conveys the same truth. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, the exalted rights and privileges accorded the "called ones,” there is distinctly implied the idea of their organic association, and it was this association that constituted them the Christian church.

“The church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood(Acts 20:28), is clearly set Its two Chris forth in the New Testament. And tian phases the term "church” in its religious usage is given two significations. In its largest and primary signification, the church of God is the entire body of regenerated persons in all times and places, and is in this respect identical with the spiritual kingdom of God, the divine family. In a secondary sense, church designates an individual assembly in which the universal church takes local and temporary form and in which the idea of the general church is concretely exhibited.

Besides these two significations of the Christian term "church," there are, properly speaking, no other in the New Testament. It is true that ekklesia is sometimes used as a collective term to denote the body of local churches existing in a given region, but there is no evidence that these churches were bound together in groups by any outward organization which separated or distinguished them from other congregations of the general church. Therefore this use of the term “church” can not be regarded as adding any new sense to those of the general church and the local church already referred to.

CHAPTER II

THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH Matt. 16:18 introduces in the gospel history the subject of the church. Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This text implies that the church as an institution was not yet founded, and it also clearly implies that Christ himself was to be the founder and builder of his church.

Jesus had already preached that the kingdom of heaven was at hand, and when he sent forth his twelve apostles he commanded them to preach and say, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus himself taught the doctrines of the kingdom, but in the words of our text there is implied deeper ideas of the kingdom of God yet to be revealed in all their fulness of meaning.

We should divest our minds, temporarily at least, of preconceived ideas of formal church orThe body

ganization and earnestly seek to of Christ

understand the real signification of that church of which Christ was himself personally the founder. A few texts make this point clear: “And hath put all things under his (Christ's] feet, and given him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1: 22, 23). The church, then, is the body of Christ. Of this body Jesus himself is the head. “And he is the head of the body, the church... that in all things he might have the preeminence" (Col. 1:18). "For his body's sake, which is the church” (verse 24). Christ is head of but one body. “There is one body(Eph. 4:4). In these texts the body and the church are used interchangeably, referring to one and the same thing. The body of which Christ is the head is the church that he built, “the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

It is therefore to Calvary that we must look for the specific act by virtue of which Christ personThe atonement

ally became the founder of his its procuring church. There it was purchased cause

with his own blood." There we find the application of those sublime words of the Savior, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men UNTO ME” (John 12:32). By virtue of that act, God “put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.” Yea, by virtue of that act, “God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, ... and that every tongue should confess” (Phil. 2:9-11).

The church, then, proceeds from Calvary: Pentecost was but its initial manifestation to men and its dedication for service. Of this we shall have more to say hereafter.

Since through his death Christ proposed to draw all men unto him, it is evident that all the Composed of members of Christ are therefore true Christians members of his body, the church. To this agrees the words of the apostle Paul, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we [true Christians], being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Rom. 12:4, 5). “Now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him”. (1 Cor. 12:18).

Becoming a member of the spiritual body of Christ is necessarily a spiritual operation. Men Mode of

may admit members to a formal admission

church relationship, but only the Spirit of God can make us members of Christ. “For by one Spirit are we all baptized (or inducted] into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13). This text does not refer to literal waterbaptism, but to the work of the “Spirit,” by whom we are inducted into Christ. God hath set the members every one of them in the body” (verse 18). And since this is the work of the Spirit, it is evident that none but the saved can possibly find admittance into the spiritual body of Christ. Under a different figure Jesus conveys the same truth. “I am the door: by me if any man enter in,

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