God's ChurchBro. David Chancellor
6/24/2001 11:00 AM
These people lived a simple life - in harmony with their fellowman. Why isn't life this way for people in the world today?
"And the Lord added to the church daily, such as should be saved." There is a church the Lord adds to. This is not a church you can join. You can't "add yourself" to this church. You are not a part of it unless the Lord adds you to it. Has the Lord added you to his church? the church that Christ set up? The word "church" comes from "ecclesia" which means "the called out ones." There are two "pens" - one is God's and one is not. When God "adds to" he moves them from the other pen to his pen. He adds to his church daily. People are added to God's church when and where they meet God. They don't have to be at church. He adds where people meet the condition, true repentance. Those that get added are those that get saved. We were in the pen for death and destruction and were taken and put in another pen. We get in God's church when he saves us. "He saves me from what I was in and puts me in where he wants me." The question is, "saved, from what?"
Matthew 1:21, 23
"...for he shall save his people from their sins." Joshua led the Israelites into the Canaan-land. Jesus, our Savior, leads us into the place of deliverance. He was also called "Emmanuel" - God with us. Many people don't realize there is something they need to be saved from that is destroying them. Sin is destructive. Children are being cheated of a happy childhood by sin. Our society is falling apart on account of sin. Joining a church won't work. You must be saved to be added to God's church. If there is still sin in your life, you haven't been added. You still need what ONLY God can provide.
Jesus was telling them what he would save them from. If we don't continue in God's word, we aren't his disciples. If you don't see sin as bondage, then you'll probably answer the same way that these did. Many times people who are in sin think they are the master, but they are the servant of sin. If sin isn't bondage, why aren't people enjoying the life spoken of in Acts - gladness, singleness of heart, and favor with all men? We need to look for the Bible's relevance to our everyday life. This is when we begin to hear what God has to say. God intended that his word become a living, working thing in our life. What must I do to be part of this church?
Peter was asked this question because they were convicted. The crucifixion was very fresh in their minds. Christ had been made out to be an imposter. He was sinless, guiltless, innocent, yet he hung on a cross for our salvation. IT is personal to each one of us. Sin crucifies Christ afresh. Our sin put Christ on the cross. Our heart should be stirred at the sight. Our sin continues to make a contribution to the pain and suffering on the cross. Making excuse for sin is bad - contributing to the suffering of Christ. Worse yet is to call excusing sin, "the gospel." Repent means it was awful and means you NEVER want to do it again. The remission of sins means they are forgiven and gone. Christ won't bring sin and wickedness into his church. He came to deliver from sin and from the oppressor.
We must believe that Jesus can deal with sin, that he can change our life from what it was before. Happiness is found in God; true freedom is found in God. Have you been added to God's church?