The true Church is not an organization, nor does one join it through the noisy mechanics of denominational machinery. Rather it is a living organism, a body, and believers are joined to it by the quiet working of the Holy Spirit.
We can often tell by a man's walk whose son he is, and we should walk so that men about us will know that we are the children of God. One thing is certain--our stand for the truth will mean little if our conduct does not harmonize with our testimony.
Not only as each new year dawns, but constantly, persistently, the God of all grace urges His blood-bought children to give themselves to Him in complete surrender and so to prove to themselves how much more blessed it is to yield to His will than to indulge in their own.
Our first responsibility is not to build the Church or even to get souls saved--it is to represent Christ and to bring His message to the world. As God beholds us in Christ, so the world must behold Christ in us. As Christ represents us before the Father, so we must represent Christ before the world.
Paul was to know and proclaim God's will, His purpose, in view of Israel's rejection of christ. Had god been taken by surprise in the crucifixion of Christ Would He now be forced to resort to some makeshift arrangement No, for the crucifixion was all part of--indeed, the central part of, His secret, eternal plan, now revealed to Paul.
The salvation of the lost is not best accomplished by great popular campaigns, conducted by a small minority of specialists in public evangelism, but by the godly, honest witness of believers individually. It is pure irresponsibility to leave the evangelization of the lost to the 'experts,' as many are doing today. God would have every believer do his part to win the lost to Christ by prayer, personal witness and sincere godliness.
When Paul went to the Jew first, it was not because it seemed that Israel might yet accept Christ and His kingdom, but simply because God would leave Israel no excuse for rejecting Messiah. Paul confirmed Peter's message, and mightily contended with the Jews everywhere that 'Jesus is the Christ.' And miracles accompanied this confirmation testimony--greater miracles, indeed, than Peter himself had wrought. But, unlike Peter, Paul never offered the kingdom to Israel. His ministry among them was not to turn the nation to Christ, but to save any from among them who might believe, receiving salvation by grace, and to leave the rest without excuse. Thus God was concluding Israel in unbelief and, even at that early date, mightily using Paul to proclaim grace to the Gentiles.
We are living in a day of self-seeking and irresponsibility, even in Christian circles. Few indeed are the Christian believers who have truly laid their all on the altar for Christ. Few are the spiritual leaders who truly put God FIRST . Rather they think first, albeit subconsciously, of their positions, popularity, salaries and the success of the organizations over which they preside. While professing strong allegiance to God and His Word, they are nevertheless careful not to emphasize those passages from the Word which might ruffle feathers or rock the boat, as we say. In spite of their professed fidelity to God's Word and will, their first objective is actually to keep their organizations running smoothly and pleasantly so that they may continue to grow in numbers. This has become a way of life in Christendom, but in this matter too we should 'search the Scriptures daily,' to determine whether these things have God's approval, for however good and right a thing may seem, if it is at variance with the Word, rightly divided, it is contrary to the will of God and therefore wrong.