The Church’s one foundation

You could call this a “time out” or a “drinks interview” in sporting terms. While I think of something to blog on!

 The ratchet effect of a new job, an ongoing study of Titus and some other things has squeezed the blog into the background.

So if you’ll reach for your hymn book we’ll sing…!

No seriously, I’ve really enjoyed this “big” hymn recently

The Church’s one foundation
Is Jesus Christ her Lord,
She is His new creation
By water and the Word.
From heaven 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.

Though with a scornful wonder
Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder,
By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,
Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping
Shall be the morn of song!

’Mid toil and tribulation,
And tumult of her war,
She waits the consummation
Of peace forevermore;
Till, with the vision glorious,
Her longing eyes are blest,
And the great Church victorious
Shall be the Church at rest.

Isn’t it wonderful to be associated with such a company! God is taking us out of the Nations – to Himself!

Do you remember what the Son of God said about the universal Church? He said:

“I will build my church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16v18 NKJV) 

Faith (4) It’s Victory

Ultimately, in God’s time, those with true faith in Him will be shown to be on the winning side.

We live in a world that increasingly mocks our faith. If you give out a few tracts you will probably face comments such as “get a life” or “you’re a loser”. It is important to see that we are ultimately conquerors!

victory-photo.jpg

 Paul takes a look around him in Romans 8 and views the persecution of Christians – some chased from pillar to post, some hunted down by human authorities and some willingly forfeiting their lives for “the faith”.  He asks a question:

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “ For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

The apostle John writes in his first letter speaks of being an overcomer (winner/victor), this again is linked to faith.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5v4-5, NKJV)

 The faith that we exercised initially at the moment of conversion was the very victory that overcame the world!

You see the world-system that is around us emphasizes to us everything that we can see and touch; it appeals to our senses and emotions; it draws out our desires and blinds us to eternal realities. Many people spend thousands of pounds securing good pension arrangements for their retirement and never give time or thought to after death – blinded, deluded and deceived! Wilfully trapping themselves on a sinking ship.

In contrast, by God’s grace, we have seen beyond the temporary to the eternal. In trusting God and His Son for salvation we have admitted that there is a God, there is a heaven, there is a hell, there are realities beyond this life – we have overcome the world. One day this all will be manifest. But for now, we must walk by faith and not by sight! (2 Cor 5v7). Let’s have a good read of Hebrews chapter 11!

By faith our fathers roamed the earth 
With the power of His promise in their hearts 
Of a holy city built by God’s own hand 
A place where peace and justice reign  

We will stand as children of the promise 
We will fix our eyes on Him our soul’s reward 
Till the race is finished and the work is done 
We’ll walk by faith and not by sight

(Keith & Kristyn Getty & Stuart Townend – on their new album Awaken the Dawn)