Oct 29 18

Thank God for Our Church

vmsmith

(This article was written two years ago before the presidential election. I believe it is as timely today with upcoming elections as it was then.)

At times, it seems we hope against hope for our survival as each year presents new challenges to our faith. The gruesome presidential election is over, which for the first time presented us with no good options, or at least none we felt we could make without violating every decency of a sanctified conscience. Never have Christian Americans had to vote for such unqualified evil. We were torn between our patriotic duty of voting, and a feeling if we did vote we might in fact conflict with our duty as citizens of the heavenly country. How do you vote when evil wins either way? You can decide how you feel about the outcome. I am thankful that Bereans can sit together in church today, and that despite different political opinions, we rejoice as one in the word of God.

How are we able to do this? It is because our political divisions pale in comparison to our spiritual agreements. We are not divided about the gospel. We have firm unchanging conviction in the saving power of Jesus Christ. No campaign for a different salvation will shake us from our belief in justification by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone.

We are not divided on the Bible. We believe it is the inerrant, inspired word of God that is our constitution of faith and practice. We are not divided on its proper translation. We believe the King James Version is the best translation for English speaking people.

We are not divided on Christ. There is no other way to the Father but through Him. He is the way, the truth, and the life. We believe salvation is exclusively in Him as the author and finisher of our faith. We are not divided on His cross, believing it is the only place for our sins to be forgiven. We are not divided on His death as the atonement for our sins and that Christ died as a penal substitute to redeem us from all iniquity.

We are not divided about our standing in Christ. We are held safely and securely in the Father’s hand and no power of hell can separate us from the His love. Our perseverance in the faith is assured because He is the defender of His people.

We are not divided on the work of the Holy Spirit. He regenerated us when we were dead in trespasses and sin and brought us to life to hear and believe the gospel. His work precedes our repentance and faith in a secret operation upon the soul. We realize it only by the fruits it produces. We are not divided on His sanctification of believers which is sealed to us upon our belief. We receive Him in His fullness as an abiding presence when we place our faith in Christ.

We are not divided concerning the Father’s work of choosing us in Christ before the foundation of the world. All benefits of salvation flow out of this sovereign choice founded only in the good pleasure of His will. No blessings are secured to us based on any act of foreseen faith.

And lastly, we are not divided about the body of Christ, the church of the living God. We are a visible body complete in Him—vessels of mercy made to glorify Him through the preaching of the gospel. Our duty is to bring more of His chosen ones to the throne of His grace.

We are thankful that human government rules temporally for the good of our society. We have no trust in it beyond God’s stated purpose to be His instrument to restrain evil. Though it often disappoints and causes temporary dissent, it will not dampen our enthusiasm or ruin our faith that God always does all things well. Rejoice with us in our Thanksgiving holiday. God’s kingdom and His church are great no matter who our elected representatives may be.

 

Pastor V. Mark Smith