Five hundred years ago Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Calvin led Europe in rejecting the Roman Catholic Church and its pope as the mouth of God.
The problem is, the result has been that Protestants reject any church as being the mouth of God.
The Church and the Promises of God
There are some amazing promises to the church in the Bible.
- The church is called "the pillar and support of the truth" in 1 Tim. 3:15
- The church is called "the fullness of him that fills all in all" in Eph. 1:23
- In 1 Jn. 2:26-27, the church is promised to be protected from deception and led into truth if they will follow the anointing.
- In Eph. 4:11-16, we are told that the church will be protected from deception and that its members will grow into the fullness of Christ together if they will speak the truth to one another in love.
Don’t those things seem important?
Isn’t "important" an understatement?
Maybe you could look at those promises again.
Do you believe them? If you do, shouldn’t you do something about them?
I want to suggest that the church that receives and experiences those promises is the only church the Scripture and the apostles know anything about: the local church.
Christians called out of the world and gathered together into a new family in Christ.
Most Christians today don’t want to participate in that church. They just want to attend meetings at their local Christian club.
Jesus promised to be in the midst of any two or three who are gathered in his name. Doesn’t it make sense that those two or three would then have access to all the above promises?
(Keep in mind that Eph. 4:11-16 talks about apostles, shepherds, and other ministers teaching the saints how to take advantage of those promises and build one another up. It can start with 2 or 3, but there is growth needed to walk in the fullness of those promises.)
If you can be attached to believers that are not trapped in tradition, but can be led by the Holy Spirit and by the Scriptures away from deception and into truth, then there’s an important application to consider.
That application is that you would not trust yourself, because you alone are prone to being deceived (Heb. 3:13), and that you would walk together with your brothers and sisters, who are the pillar and support of the truth.
But do you believe what the Bible says about the church? Do you believe that it’s Christ’s body? Do you believe that the head can control the body? Or do you believe instead that Jesus is quadriplegic?
Then in the church, you’re going to have to learn to think, "They’re right; I’m wrong."