“Dear brother Clem: Since you claim that one must be in the church to be saved, and that the church was established in Acts 2, then Jesus Christ could not have been saved, for he died before the church was established. How do you get around this fact? – V.W., KY”
“This fact” – as it is called, is not a fact at all. First of all, Jesus never sinned, and therefore was never lost, so He did not need to be saved. Second, He promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18), and He purchased that church with His own blood (Acts 20:28). So the church could not have been “purchased” before the death of Jesus. Jesus is the head of that church, which is His body (Ephesians 5:23), and He is the Savior of that body. Not only that, but He is the Savior of all who are saved (2 Timothy 1:10). When one is saved, the Lord adds Him to His church (Acts 2:47). Christ is the head of that church, so He never needed to be added to it.
The time of the establishment of the church has nothing to do with the salvation of Jesus. He could not have been saved before or after Pentecost, in or out of the church. That which is not lost cannot be saved. Jesus had no sin, else He could not have redeemed us: “Him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And again, “Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:21-22). Had Jesus been guilty of sins, He could not have cleansed us from our sins. Had He stood in need of salvation, he could not have become our Savior. Jesus was not saved before, nor after Pentecost, for He had no sin and thus had no need for salvation. - Clem Thurman
Excerpted from Volume 63, Number 22 of Gospel Minutes. Gospel Minutes is a publication originating from Forth Worth, Texas; Clem Thurman, Co-Editor, David Thurman, Co-Editor.