Today I would like to follow up on my previous article (My Church, Your Church, Whose Church? – November 29, 2021) with some additional thoughts on the church of Jesus Christ. I remind us again that the Church does not belong to any one of us. The Church belongs to Jesus Christ and to Christ alone.
In our day-to-day conversations we might often say “my church,” speaking of the body of Christ with which we identify. But over use of that phrase walks us into the belief that ownership of the local congregation is mine. However, Jesus Christ reminds us in the gospel of Matthew that the Church belongs to Him.
“Some say you are John the Baptizer, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!” Jesus replied, “Simon, son of Jonah, you are blessed! No human revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven revealed it to you. You are Peter, and I can guarantee that on this rock I will build my church. And the gates of hell will not overpower it.”” (Matthew 16:13-18 – God’s Word)
The foundation upon which the Church was built; is built, and must continue to be built is the foundation of our Lord Jesus Christ. The words of the hymn by Samuel J. Stone (1839-1900) are appropriate for meditation today and every day:
“The Church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord. She is His new creation By water and the Word. From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died.
“Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation: One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy name she blesses, Partakes one holy food; And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued.
“‘Mid toil and tribulation And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for ever more; Till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest.
“Yet she on hath union With God, the Three in One, And mystic, sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we Like them, the meek and lowly, On high may dwell with Thee.” (Word Music/Integrity Music ©1997 by Word/Integrity)
Today you may read, hum, or sing the words of this hymn as a reminder. Jesus is the only Lord of the Church. I want to encourage us in these the early days of this body called Covenant Brethren Church to be reminded that the only foundation for the church is Jesus Christ our Lord.
Stafford C. Frederick – CBC Executive Board member