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Bible verses about True Church
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Isaiah 65:1-5

Our concern is His holier-than-you accusation. In this case, God is saying that Israel was rejecting Him, as if they were somehow better than He was and did not need the correction He had for them. Within a Christian assembly, a negative exclusivity can form in an individual and create hazards in our attitudes about ourselves and others, laying a spiritual minefield.

This attitude requires understanding. We must be careful. It causes some among us to be aloof within the group to their own hurt or to withdraw themselves and become independent. It infected the Jews of Jesus' day—in fact, the origin of the word "Pharisee" is vague, but most commentators believe it means "separatists." It affected the church, too, in the days of the apostles.

Matthew 9:10-11 records an incident in which a form of it confronted Jesus:

And so it was, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"

Jesus' response pointedly reveals the error in their thinking and conduct.

Galatians 2:11-13 exposes its existence in the early church:

But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision. And the rest of the Jews also played the hypocrite with him, so that even Barnabas was carried away with their hypocrisy.

This is a possible downside of the true church's exclusivity. It can produce a self-righteous, I'm-better-than-you hypocrisy if we forget or overlook the fact that it was God's work and not ours that provides our calling and spirituality. Even today, there are groups claiming to be the exclusive true church.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Is There a True Church?


 

Luke 12:32

Despite this, the number of people calling themselves "Christian" tops two billion worldwide. Yet, just because people profess faith does not mean they are truly converted, and by the Bible's standard, the overwhelming majority are not.

Compared to the two billion professing Christians, the true church is minuscule and virtually invisible. However, it does exist, for Jesus promises in Matthew 16:18, "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." It will never die out because eternal life resides within it, and the most powerful army in all creation protects and provides for it.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Is There a True Church?


 

John 6:44

One does not find the true church on his own any more than one can find Christ and the Father on His own. A person is led to God and to the church, and he is added to it upon repentance, baptism, giving himself wholly to God, and receiving the Holy Spirit. We see not only that God's true church cannot be found without revelation, but also that it cannot be joined. What this reality begins to reveal to us is God's sovereignty over His creation and His purpose. Therefore, as Jesus clearly states, He built and continues to build His church.

Seekers badly misunderstand, thinking salvation is open to anybody at any time. However, Paul puts a damper on this notion, writing in Romans 9:16, "So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy."

Is it possible that people cannot find it partly because they do not know what to look for? Yes! This is true partly because of what God's church is. The Bible variously describes it as part of a Kingdom that issues citizenships (Colossians 1:13; Philippians 3:20); a building of which its members are materials (Ephesians 2:20-22); as the body of Jesus Christ of which its members are vital, living parts (Ephesians 1:22-23); and as a Family into which God's children are summoned (Ephesians 3:15). There is no more important and exclusive institution on earth. No volunteers are accepted. Each person becomes a part of it by God's design and His design only. He is sovereign!

John W. Ritenbaugh
Is There a True Church?


 

 




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