Monday, July 2, 2012

One Church

Often on Sundays I read the passages of whatever Scripture is cited in the Saturday article of Tabletalk.  I did that today, and that led me to Ephesians 2:14-16, "For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility."

I found it really encouraging as I often stew over the churches being so divided and dividing.  I'm certain of my Presbyterian beliefs and will fight to the death for them, but I also ache for those in other denominations.  However, this passage encouraged me as it shows that no matter how fractured we are, the true believers are still one church.

Lest I risk sounding like Oprah, I have to qualify that.  The only members of the true church, no matter what denomination are united under Christ and his cross.

That still sounds too much like a blanket statement.  We are united under Christ as our only God and savior and the cross as the only way to save us.  It's not my place to judge people, just inspect their fruit, but there's still folks out there who believe in Christ and the cross who still do not believe he is our only hope and salvation.  But he can't be both our only savior and then just a good moral example that we can emulate.  We can do nothing without Christ, not even breathe or make decisions.  

Once we are saved, we will be able to be like Christ through the Holy Spirit.  But we cannot look to our own efforts to try to find the perfect path to God and only see Jesus as the one who found it.  This is an  insult to God's justice which requires that you be perfect to come to him.  If you sinned once, you are out of the kingdom unless some perfect person takes your punishment for you.  So, no matter if you are Baptist, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, if you look to only Christ to save you, then you are in my church.  If you try to atone for your own sins, then you have no clue who Christ is.

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