09/01/2017: The Church of God – A Divine Organ

The Church of God – A Divine Organ

Lesson #4

Nature of the Church

There are three questions I would like to start out with this morning:

Q#1 – What is a church?  A gathering of many members, yet one, to form the body of Christ.  (Romans 12:5 (KJV) “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”)

Q#2 – Define the term organization.  An organization is an organized body of people with a particular purpose, especially a business, society, association, etc.

(Play the guess the nature of the object game)

Q#3 – Define the word nature.   The basic or inherent features of something, especially when seen as characteristic of it.

 We have learned that the Church of God is a divine church, built and ruled by God.  It is different from all other organizations. 

Q#4 – What is the nature of the Church of God?  (See paragraph below.)

What is its nature?  Some of the qualities that make up the nature of the church are these: It is subject to Christ, pure, holy, glorious, without spot or wrinkle, full of love, obedient, sinless, overcoming, righteous, full of faith, believing in Jesus as the Son of God, Spirit-filled, and it has one name.  The nature of the Church of God sounds very much like Galatians 5:22-26 (KJV):

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. 

Its members are pilgrims who are witness unto Jesus Christ and thus are the light of the world.  This goes right along with Matthew 5:14-16 (KJV): 14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Memory Verse comes out of John 17:26 and says, “And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them,”

No Spot or Wrinkle

Ephesians 5:24-27 (KJV) 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

            The church has one center of affection – Jesus Christ.  It exists to exalt Him.  The church is the bride of Christ and is subject to Him.  They love Him because He loved the church, and gave Himself for it.  He died to prepare it as a bride for Himself.  He died to sanctify and cleanse the church – to take away their sin and set them apart for Himself.  Literal water cannot wash away spiritual filth, but it is used figuratively here of the blood of Christ, which does wash away sin when we obey His Word in repentance and belief.  This is what makes the church fit for Christ.  He is preparing a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing…holy and without blemish.

Q#5 – What are some ways, here at Faith Evangelistic Center, that we have the opportunity to personally prepare ourselves for Christ?   

Romans 12:1-2 (KJV) 1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

God never would receive an offering or sacrifice that was blemished.  Sin blemishes and is left outside the church.

1 John 3:7-11 (KJV) 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. 11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Let us look at 1 John 3:9 a little closer.  “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.”  Being born of God, through true repentance and the acceptance of salvation, is the only way that anyone can meet so high a standard.

Q#6 – In what ways did Christ coming in the flesh teach us to meet so high a standard as set forth in His Word?

Also, according to 1 John 3:9, The seed of God – His life and nature – in the reborn one keeps him from sinning.  Thus, it is the nature of the church to have a desire and purpose to live holy.  The Life of God and sin CANNOT remain in the heart at the same time. 

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (According to the Oxford dictionary, Mammon is defined as wealth regarded as an evil influence or false object of worship and devotion.)

We find that purity and beauty are in the nature of the church.

A Service of Love

1 John 5:1-4 (KJV) 1  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Those born of God believe that Jesus is the Christ.  To truly believe this in one’s heart – not the mind only – causes one to surrender to God and to open the heart to Him.  This gives power to overcome the world, fleshly tendencies, and sin.  If overcoming is not present, then the belief is not genuine or active. 

Don’t be an aluminum siding Christian.  Anyone can buy a house that is rotting on the outside, slap on aluminum siding on it, and boom, you have a brand-new house.  To correct this, you sincerely must truly let the new owner come in.  The owner must be allowed to peel off the siding, and all the rot underneath will be exposed and you fix it together.

Saints love both God and other saints, as well as enemies.  The Church of God has love for all.

1 John 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

This love from God brings obedience to His commandments.  Saints do right because they love to.  His commandments are not grievous.  When one begins to complain or comment that the standard is too high, or that God does not expect us to love as His Word teaches, you can be sure there is something wrong with his love for God.  A lukewarm love in the heart will cause one to grieve over what God has asked of a person. 

Revelation 3:15-17 (KJV) 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.

Sincere love gives saints a zeal to do all that God asks, so we see love is in the nature of the church.

In the World, Not of the World

John 17:14-16 (KJV) 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;

People in the Church of God are strangers and pilgrams.  This world is not their home because they are not of the world.  Saints are citizens of Heaven, traveling here on this earth on their way a heavenly country.  Every person is either a stranger to the world or a stranger to God.

While saints are not of this world, still Jesus has sent them into the world to carry on His work.  Jesus came as a light into a sin-darkened World.

John 1:4-5 (KJV) 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Now He is in the hearts of His Church and must shine out through them if the world is to have the light of the Gospel.

Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. It is the nature of the church to be a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:11-15 (KJV) 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

A Perfect People

Ephesians 4:11-13 (KJV) 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

Much of what we see that is called the church does not fit this pattern.  Much that is called the church is not the church, but an imitation of it.  It is built on falsehood and the work of error.  The true church, being a living, growing organism, is not finished and is still standing true.  It has in it newborn spiritual babes.  It has its spiritual gifts for perfecting of the saints.  Also, there are those who start to serve the Lord, then fall back into sin.  These are no longer in the church but are sometimes counted by others to be so.  While the divine nature of the church is not so plainly evident to the world in an immature Christian, still it partakes of the same quality in all.

Light ranks responsibility.  A young Christian will be perfect walking in less light than one who has received more light.  Each of us is responsible only for the light that has been given to him by the Holy Spirit.  Saints are not, and will never be, perfect angels.  Obedience to all God’s Word that we know makes us a perfect people.  This is the perfection God speaks of in His Word.  Wherever you see the marks of Christ in human lives you are looking at part of the Church of God.

The fact that some congregations use the name, “Church of God”, need not confuse us.  Using the name does not make a group a true Church of God, but a true Church of God should have His name.  Any church a sinner can join and remain a sinner is not the Church of God.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

Yet God sets people together in congregations, local churches.  Wherever we see a group of saints with Spirit-led leaders committed alone to Christ and His truth, resting their membership only in their relationship with God, there we see a visible Church of God.  Here we see the perfect nature of the church.


A good place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.  If you want self-help, HELP YOURSELF to the Word of God!

By Minister Richard Hagemaster