By: Fred Coulter—October 23, 2010
Today I want to ask the questions:
- What is the government of God?
- What is the role of the Church as church leaders and brethren?
- How many have suffered through at least one church war?
- How many have suffered through two?
- How many through three?
- Why does it have to be that way?
- Who is a true Christian?
- How does God define it?
- Is that true?
- What is a church in the world?
- A church in the world first of all is a corporation!
The Church, as we will see, is the body of Christ, which then is the gathering together of the called-out ones, because that's what church means. The ones who have been called out of the world, chosen or selected by God! And we know how God does this, through His Spirit:
- He leads and draws someone to repentance
- He leads them to the Truth and understanding
- He leads them to the point of baptism and receiving of the Holy Spirit
Romans 8 is very important because it shows that with God, He makes a spiritual dividing line, not based on a church corporate structure, but on whether they have the Spirit of God on not. Romans 8:7: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be. But those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (vs 7-8). So God looks at it entirely differently. Have you ever been in a church meeting where it ends up being totally carnal? Yes! All right, that defines it.
Now here's what Paul says, v 9: "However, you are not in the flesh... [As God looks at you even though you are still a fleshly being, because with God's Spirit you are to be changed and converted.] ...you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF... [There's that two-letter word again. I still have all the IF statements in my Bible and I'm going to finish giving some more of those sermons, here's one of them.] ...IF the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you.... [Or indeed could also be truly.] ...But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him." That is the definition, right there.
Can there be people in the Church of God attending who don't have the Spirit of God? Even though they're attending, they're not part of the body, but they're attending a corporate meeting from a corporate organization? Yes, indeed! How does God take care of that problem? By church upheavals!He takes care of many problems that way. If you have the Spirit of God and you love God, you will always be faithful regardless of what takes place within any organization. And what happens when there are upheavals? It's a testing and trying of your faith! Do you believe God?
"…But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. But if Christ be within you, the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (vs 9-10).
Now, let's look at another aspect of the Spirit of God, because we find that there are two aspects of the Spirit of God. This is important for us to realize. "Now IF the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you (v 11).
Look at the two parts, v 9: "...if the the the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you... So [It talks about the Spirit of God.] …But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ..." The two parts are:
- Spirit of Christ
- begettal from the Father
We've gone here before, but let's really understand what it is here, John 14:15; here's the whole basis of our relationship: "If you love Me... [Jesus said. You have to have the Spirit of Christ—correct?] ...keep the commandments —namely, My commandments."
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