“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which. He hath purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
Questions and opinions as to what a New Testament church is, and where it or one may be found are unlimited, and in the main, unanswered. It is my sincere desire, hope, and prayer to God, that I may be enabled by the Holy Spirit through the medium of this book to Biblically answer some of these questions and allay some erroneous opinions which now pervade the far greater part of the ecclesiastical landscape. Two of the glorious truths clearly, forcibly, and insuperably stated in the above text (Acts 20:28), are: 1. Whatever a New Testament church may be, it is bought with a price. 2. And that price is the blood of God. “The blood of God” is an unmitigable reference to the blood of Christ, Who, though born of a woman, was the world’s only Divine man. “… God was manifest in the flesh …” (I Timothy 3:16), and in His flesh He purchased the church with His own blood. Every effort to devalue the price of the church, is an insidious attempt to diminish Christ’s absolute and indivisible Headship over His church, and it is at the same time a satanic effort to lessen the sinfulness of sin, and to leave man in his inextricable state of condemnation. All for whom the blood of Christ was vicariously shed, will be in the kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God will be fully and forever manifested at the second coming of Christ (Matthew 25:34), but until that time the number of persons and their positions in the kingdom will remain a mystery (Matthew 20:20-23). All regenerate persons are “the children of the kingdom” (Matthew 13:38), but all the regenerate are not in the church, nor shall they ever be. The kingdom which is a mystery, and the church which is not a mystery are now contemporary. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles lifted the cloud of mystery with which the New Testament church in its infancy was shrouded, and revealed that the church would primarily consist of Gentile believers. And, that the Gentiles would be fellow members, and fellow participants with the Jews, in the blessings and responsibility of the church (Ephesians 3:1-12). The church is a part of the kingdom of God, even as Washington, D.C. is a part of the United States. The church is within the kingdom of God, and is a part of the kingdom, but the kingdom is not de facto a part of the church, even though representatively in the church. The church is the Lord’s governmental arm or executive body within His kingdom, and while as yet on earth, He said unto His church: “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18). So it is, when Paul says; the church is purchased with the blood of God (Acts 20:28), he does not equate the church with the kingdom of God, but highlights the distinctive function of the church within the kingdom.
The Church Bought By Flesh and Blood Deity
From the first verse of the Bible to the very last verse, divinity is ostensibly ascribed to the Man, Christ Jesus. It is unequivocally declared in the gospel of John 1:1-5 that Jesus is the living Word, and the Creator referred to in Genesis 1:1. This same gospel in the same chapter says the Word which was God, “Was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”(Vss 1 & 14). The obdurate Jews, who gloried in their illustrious ancestry, in an effort to entrap Jesus; asked Him: “Art thou greater than our father Abraham … Whom makest thou thyself? … Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:53, 58). The Scriptures eminently set forth the truth that Jesus of Nazareth is both the Son of God, and God the Son. The deity and humanity of Jesus is explicitly taught in the Bible, and is readily attested to by all who are taught of God (Matthew 16,17; John 6:45). “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life” (I John 5:20). “But unto the Son He saith, Thy throne, 0 God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of Thy kingdom” (Hebrews 1:8). Paul, in anticipation of Christ’s return from heaven, and with overwhelming emotion said that he was “looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). The doctrine of the deity of Christ is of such paramount importance, that it is absolutely essential to all true faith, and where ascription to this cardinal truth is absent there is NO ground for fellowship. The apostle John, by inspiration of the Spirit speaks on this matter in a most direct way; saying: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds” (II John 9-11). This great truth is basic to all correct theology, and the “Man Christ Jesus” by way of compendium, said: “I and My Father are one” (John 10:30).