COMMON SALVATION AND COMMON FAITH - 2
ONE BODY-ECCLESIOLOGY - THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH
ONE BODY-ECCLESIOLOGY - The Doctrine of the Church. The church of this dispensation is the Body of Christ and is distinct from the nation Israel and God's purpose for Israel - the prophesied kingdom of heaven on earth. The church, the Body of Christ, is neither the subject of prophecy nor the fulfiller of Israel's promises and covenant's. Historically it began with the selection, conversion, salvation and commissioning of the Apostle Paul by the Risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Notably, it will end with the rapture of the Body of Christ. God will then resume His dealings and deliverance of the nation Israel (Eph.1: 22-23, 3:1-6; I Tim.1: 15-16; Eph.3: 1-9; Col.1: 25-26; I Thes.4: 13, 5:10; II Thes.2: 1-17). There is only one true church, called "the Body of Christ", having a membership composed of all the saved of this dispensation (I Cor.12: 13; Eph.1: 22-23, 5:23-27; Col.1: 18). The fellowship of the Lord's Supper, as revealed through the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 11:23-26, is for the members of the Body of Christ, to remind us of His costly and efficacious sacrifice until He come back to meet us in the air. This fellowship unites us in His Love. God fixes no specific amount on giving in this present age, but giving should be generous (II Cor.9: 5-6), cheerful (II Cor.9: 7), proportional (I Cor.16: 1-2), and systematic (I Cor.16: 1-2). Believers should give to those who have need (Eph.4: 28), including those who cannot work (I Tim.5: 13-16), and for those who are asked not to work for the sake of the gospel (i.e. full time in the ministry) (Acts 13:1-3; I Tim.5: 17-18). They are not to give to those who refuse to work (II Thes.3:10). The one supreme authority for the church is Christ (I Cor.11.3; Eph.1:22;Col.1:18) and that church leadership, gifts, order, discipline and worship are all appointed through His Sovereignty as found in the Scriptures. The biblically designated offices serving under Christ and over the local assembly are elders (one serving as senior elder or Pastor-teacher) and deacons, both of whom must meet biblical qualifications (I Tim.3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-5). Both corporate and individual worship are essential of every believer's relationship to God. Individual obedience to God in our everyday lives is worship, as well as our demonstrating God's worth through attendance and participation in public worship services (Ps.29:1-2; Ex.34:14; John 4:23-24; Rom.12:1). All saved people have been made members of the church, the Body of Christ, by one Divine Baptism when they were baptised by the Holy Spirit into Christ (I Cor.12:13). By this one and only Divine Baptism (Eph.4:5) each member of the Body of Christ is identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Rom.6:3-6). The mission, purpose and commission of the church, which is the Body of Christ, is to obey the revelation(s) of truth that our risen Lord Jesus Christ gave us from glory through the Apostle Paul (Rom.2:16, 16:25; I Cor.4:16, 11:1; II Cor.12:1-2; Gal.1:6-12; Phil.3:17, 4:9; I Thes.1:6; II Tim.2:8). We, as Paul, should endeavor to teach and preach the gospel
of Reconciliation (The Gospel of the Grace of God - II Cor.5:14-21) where Jesus Christ is not, as yet, preached (Rom.15:20; II Cor.10:16) as well as where He is preached (Eph.3:9).
ONE HOPE- ESCHATOLOGY - THE DOCTRINE OF LAST THINGS
ONE HOPE- ESCHATOLOGY - The Doctrine of Last Things. The rapture of the Body of Christ to be with the Lord will be pre-tribulation and pre-millennial. This was a mystery until reveled by revelation(s) to the Apostle Paul. When he comes to receive His church, it shall be caught up to meet Him in the air in heaven (I Thes.4: 13-18; Phil.3: 20-21; Eph.2: 6-7). The Millennial Kingdom will be the fulfillment of the prophecies and, not being heavenly, will take place here on earth after the tribulation. The kingdom will last for a thousand years while the Lord Jesus Christ reigns in justice with His rod of iron (Rev.12:5) and Satan will be imprisoned (Rev.20:11-15) and the perpetual Kingdom of justice and peace will be established on the New Earth (Rev.21:1-2, 9-27; Eze.36:26-28) Bodily resurrection will occur for all people. Believers are resurrected to enjoy eternal life with God. Unbelievers are resurrected to experience judgment and then eternal suffering apart from God (I Cor.15: 52; I Thes.4: 13-17; Rev.20: 4-6, 12-15, 21:1-8; John 5:28-29; Dan.12: 2; Jude 14-15; Rev.19: 11-16). Dead saints of this dispensation are with our Lord (II Cor.5: 1-8) which is far better than to live in the flesh (Phil.1: 20-23). At the coming of our Lord for our meeting in the air, He will bring with Him the dead saints (I Thes.3: 13, 4:14-16) and together with the living saints all will be fashioned like unto His glorious body (Phil.3: 21).
OTHER DOCTRINES- Many passages exist in God’s Word about which believers have differing interpretations. Believers may hold different views and still be members of the same local church and even members of the same leadership group providing said interpretations do not contradict the plain teaching of the Scriptures or that would lead to heresy, apostacy or immoral living . We must simply agree to disagree while granting grace and Christ-like love in the dialogues as to its meaning. We also believe and teach that whereas there may be several applications of any given Scripture, only one true interpretation exists. This meaning is to be found as one grows in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18) by applying the normative, literal, grammatical and historical methods of interpretation under enlightenment of the Holy Spirit (II Tim.3: 14-17; II Tim.2: 15; II Pet.1: 20-21; I Cor.2: 10-13; Rom.10: 17). It is for this reason that every Christian is responsible and is encouraged to study the Bible (II Tim.2: 15) as objectively and as thoroughly as possible, seeking to ascertain carefully its true authorially intended meaning, recognizing that proper applications are to be followed by believers in every age (dispensation). Yet the truth of Scripture stands in judgment of men; never do men stand in judgment of it. IN CONCLUSION This statement of doctrine will assist in protecting the local body and local church from doctrinal error, from division, and from the errors of relativism and spiritulazation that are attacking and eroding the confidence of the unchurched and sometimes even of believers in the objective and absolute truth which is the Word of God (John 1:1, 7:17, 16:12-15; I Cor.2: 7-15; I John 2:20). (Adapted with few modifications from another doctrinal statement. Unable to locate source.DRC)
CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION maintains membership with Grace Gospel Fellowship-USA and Free Grace Alliance. We are Fellowship with Berean Bible Society, Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible Institute, and currently seeking to be included in Grace Church Directory. We are Mid-Acts 9, Free Grace, Dispensational, Bible
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"IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE WHAT ONE BELIEVES" AND IT IS EQUALLY TRUE THAT "IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE HOW ONE BEHAVES." OUR BEHAVIOR HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RECEIVING ETERNAL LIFE, NOR DOES IT PROVE ONE IS TRULY SAVED, OR WAS NEVER SAVED, OR THAT ONE HAS LOST HIS/HER SALVATION. OUR CONDUCT IS DETERMINED LARGELY BY WHAT WE BELIEVE; THEREFORE, IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT WE STUDY THE SCRIPTURES BY "RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH". DOCTRINE LEADS TO DUTY. CONTENT LEADS TO CHARACTER. BELIEF LEADS TO BEHAVIOR.
THE ESSENTIALS FOR UNITY OF THE SPIRIT AND THE UNITY OF FAITH
IN ESSENTIALS, UNITY, IN DOUBTFUL THINGS, LIBERTY, BUT IN ALL THINGS, LOVE
- St. Augustine says:
In necessariis unitas,
In essentials unity,
In dubiis libertas,
In doubtful things liberty,
In omnibus autem caritas,
But in all things love.(2)
Mr. Stone of the Restoration Movement (Church of Christ) said the following regarding "In the Essentials, Unity".
"Some, who are opposed to a large creed-book as a plan of union, yet plead for the necessity of a few ESSENTIAL doctrines to be embodied, as a bond of union. But who shall determine what these essential doctrines are? Suppose it possible that every member of the Church on earth were together, and all agreed upon three or four doctrines as only ESSENTIAL, and that these only shall be tests of Christian union, would they all honestly agree, that should increasing light convince them that the doctrines received were wrong, they would still retain and defend them? Would they, or could they bind their posterity to believe and receive them? But these things are impossible. No formulary of doctrines can unite the Christian world. If it can unite a party, that union is only partial, and of short duration; it is a union of disunion, for unless we give up the right of thinking, and implicitly believe as the Catholics do, such creeds are vain." (Works of Elder B. W. Stone, edited by James M. Mathes (Cincinnati: Moore, Wilstach, Keys, 1859), 340-42).
But who shall determine what these essential doctrines are? I am far from being a disciple of Stone or Alexander Campbell; it seems that Mr. Stone failed to take heed to his own motto - "We speak where the Bible speaks and we are silent where the Bible is silent". If he had let the Bible speak he would have found the Divine Doctrinal Statement designed for the Unity of Faith for the Body of Christ. Furthermore, had he permitted the Bible to speak he would have discovered the Unity of the Spirit is accomplished in the Body of Christ by adhering to the Unity of the Faith as outlined in Ephesians 4:3-6; 11-13! Let the Bible speak for itself under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“ 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all… 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
By permitting the Bible to speak for itself we can be very confident that "In Essentials, Unity; In doubtful things, Liberty, but in all things, Love. "
The Apostle of the Gentiles - Rom 11:11-13
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
The Apostle Paul Given The Dispensation of the Grace of God - Eph 3:1-5
1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ )
5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
The Apostle Paul given the Gospel of the Uncircumcision and the Apostleship of the Uncircumcision - Gal 2:7-21
The Apostle Paul First Member of the Body of Christ and the Example of Those Who Follow Him in Salvation - 1Ti 1:11-16
11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
The Apostle Paul Preached Only the Gospel of the Grace of God - Act 20:24
24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH IS REQUIRED OF EVERY BELIEVER FROM THE PULPIT TO THE PEW! PAUL STATES THAT WE ARE ALL TO STUDY THE WORD OF GOD AS GOOD STUDENTS THAT WILL NOT BE ASHAMED. IF WE RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH, WE WILL NOT BE DEMANDING THAT BELIEVERS FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISION IN MATTHEW. IF WE RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUH, WE WILL NOT BE PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM AND ITS REQUIREMENTS RATHER THAN THE GOSPEL OF GOD'S GRACE IN THE DISPENSATION OF GRACE. IF WE RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH, WE WILL FOLLOW AFTER THE APOSTLE OF THE GENTILES AND NOT AFTER THE TWELVE WHO WERE APOSTLES TO THE JEWISH KINGDOM CHURCH. IF WE RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF TRUTH, WE WILL NOT BE SEEKING AFTER "SIGNS, WONDERS AND MIRACLES" BUT RATHER LIVE BY FAITH AND NOT BE SIGHT. IF WE RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF GOD, WE WILL NOT MIX LAW AND GRACE, WORKS AND FAITH, RATHER WE WILL BE GOVERNED BY THE LAW OF LOVE, THE LAW OF LIFE, AND THE LAW OF LIBERTY WHICH ARE GOVERNED BY THE PRINCIPLE OF GRACE.