The Church of God

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

God’s Church is made up of individual believers. The Scriptures in the Old Testament times referred to two basic classifications of people, the children of Israel and unbelievers. In the New Testament there is a third classification called the Church of God. Believers make up this new Church – those from Israel who believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior, and unbelievers (also called Gentiles) who would also believe on Jesus Christ as their Savior. In Ephesians chapter 2, God’s Word explains much about the new Church of God who are together with Christ.

Ephesians 2:12 – That at that time {before Christ} ye {the Gentiles} were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

In the Old Testament and throughout the Gospels the Gentiles were completely separated from the promises of God having no hope whatsoever. God’s calling was strictly to only Israel until Christ gave his life for all humanity (see Matthew 10:5 and Romans 15:8).

Ephesians 2:13 – But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off {Gentiles} are made nigh {made united, close-family} by the blood of Christ.

Now in God’s grace the Gentiles are also called into God’s new Church and into God’s family. The Gentiles who would believe do not join into Israel but rather the Gentiles and those from the tribe of Israel who believe are joined together, which is the way God intended from the beginning.

Ephesians 2:14-15:
-14:  For he {Jesus Christ} is our peace, who hath made both one {the believers from the Gentiles and from Israel are now one in Christ}, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
-15:  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself {in Christ} of twain {two} one new man, so making peace {between Gentiles and Israel, and between God and us}.

The middle wall was a wall within the temple in Jerusalem that separated Israel from the Gentiles. Israel was permitted to go past the wall of separation, further into the temple area than the Gentiles, and in doing so they would be closer to God Who would bless them. However, they did not allow the Gentiles in. Here in Ephesians the spiritual perspective of God’s Word places believers from both groups together in one, for we collectively now make up the true temple of God. Israel was commanded to present themselves at the temple, and so they would become closer to God, but today in grace there is no separation between believers (Christian believers) who accept the sacrifice of Christ for us. Even the Law of commandments have been abolished by Christ. God’s Word now offers to humanity a new and peaceful entrance to the actual throne of God’s grace for He certainly dwells within our hearts. Today we live under a new law, the law of love! The new Church includes those from either group who will simply believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior.  Today all Christian believers are spiritual members of the Church of God irrespective of where we congregate, for God’s Church is one according to Ephesians.

Ezekiel – Revealing Our Covenant of Peace

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In the Old Testament times, Zion was God’s chosen place and is the place where God intended to inhabit (Psalms 132:13) and establish His covenant of peace.  Today in God’s grace, we believers are the chosen place where God inhabits (Ephesians 2:18-22) giving us spiritual peace.

Ezekiel 34:25-26:
-25:  And I {God} will make with them {believers} a covenant of peace {also see Ezekiel 37:26}, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
-26:  And I will make them and the places round about my hill {Zion} a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

The “covenant of peace” was given to those of the children of Israel who would believe and looked forward to the coming of Jesus Christ. Today, Jesus Christ has already come. He is our covenant of peace (with God), and he currently is residing within our hearts (Colossians 1:27).

This is the definition of the word Christian, for a Christian has Christ – within!

In Acts 10:36 we have an enlightening verse of Scripture: “The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:).” The Word of God that was sent to the children of Israel by God’s prophets was for “preaching peace by Jesus Christ” because all of the Scriptures relate to Jesus as he is the subject of the Word.

Then the verse states “he is Lord of all” because today he is our Lord of peace and our covenant of peace.

II Thessalonians 3:16 – Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all.

Jesus said “my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27), and “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace” (John 16:33). Jesus Christ, by giving his life for us, made an everlasting covenant of peace between God and man (believers).

Hebrews 13:20-21:
-20:  Now the God of peace {the architect of the covenant of our peace}, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood {the blood of Christ that washed our sins away} of the everlasting covenant {of peace},
-21:  Make you perfect {in our standing before God} in every good work to do his {God’s} will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through his accomplishments on our behalf. Since we have peace with God; He is able to work within our hearts to do that which is well-pleasing in His sight (Philippians 2:13).

Jesus Christ made an everlasting covenant for us by offering and giving his life (Hebrews 9:13-28) in order that we may boldly walk with God.

Ephesians 2:14-15:
-14: For he {Jesus Christ} is our peace, who hath made both one {believers from any walk of life}, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
-15: Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments; for to make in himself of twain {two} one new man, so making peace;

The “enmity” was a conflict between the children of Israel and the Gentiles because Israel thought they were God’s chosen people (and they were during the Old Testament times).

Now in God’s grace, in the New Testament age, any person who will simply accept Jesus Christ can become saved and enjoy our Covenant of Peace that we now have in and through Christ.