relationship of salvation and the church

You can’t be in Jesus without being a Member of His body

I make no apologies for saying when someone forsakes the church, they forsake Jesus. But I do make a plea with people so that no one fools you on this fundamental matter – not even yourself!

The idea of being in Jesus, which is where salvation is found, entails that we are actually a member within His body:

Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.” (2 Timothy 2:10)

and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)

Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”    (1 Corinthians 12:27)

As can plainly be seen from the scriptures delivered to the church by God’s Spirit, if we leave the body, which is the church, out of our life, we leave behind the Head that gives life (i.e. salvation) to the body as a whole and to our soul individually.

So if someone has convinced you that you can enjoy a proper relationship with Jesus without being involved with His church, then I encourage you to reconsider your convictions, for a body part removed from the body becomes a body part removed from the head by default. EA

And [Jesus] is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1:18)

For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:25)

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Jesus Saved Before Church Built?

“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. ThatChurchPurchasedWithBlood 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.