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Date:         Thu, 27 Jul 1995 10:49:32 +0200
Reply-To: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel 
Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel 
From: Teus Benschop 
Subject:      Catechism, 27
To: Multiple recipients of list CHR-EXP 

Q. What believe you concerning the holy catholic church?
A.  That the Son of God gathers by his word and Spirit out of the  whole
human  race,  those, who are chosen to eternal life, to be a  church  to
himself;  of  which  I believe I am, and always shall  remain  a  living

The church is holy, because God, Who gathers it, is holy.
     The  church  is catholic, meaning, it is universal.  This  catholic
church has nothing to do with the Roman Catholic church. The holy church
consists of the elect of God; they are chosen to eternal life,  and  are
gathered by the Son of God into His church. It is said of Christ:  "Thou
hast  redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and  tongue,
and  people, and nation". (Revelation 5:9) God uses His Word and  Spirit
to  gather that church. The Word is preached. Missionaries go  out,  and
preach  the Word. Ministers preach and explain the Word. The sole  Word,
however,  effects nothing. It is necessary, that God adds the Spirit  to
it.  The  Spirit  uses the Word, and brings it into the elected  sinner,
renewing his or her heart.
     But, what avails it me, when there is a church on earth, and  I  am
not  a  living  member thereof? When I am still outside of that  church,
being  dead  in trespasses, I will get lost. Necessary is it  therefore,
that one is brought into that church, by God's renewing power. Necessary
is,  that I believe, on firm grounds, that I am a living member thereof.
Once  being  a  member of that church, I will always  remain  a  member.
Christ said of the elect: "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall
never  perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand." (John

Q. Where does he gather his church?
A.  Where  God's  word  is  purely preached,  and  the  holy  sacraments
administered according to the institution of Christ.

These two things are marks of any true church:
1. God's Word is purely preached.
2. The sacraments are administered according to Christ's command.

God's  Word must be purely preached. This requires preachers,  given  by
God  Himself. Any human invention must be driven out. What has a lie  to
do  with God's truth? Let then the preachers be always busy in the Word,
in  order that they will be able to preach it purely, that is, according
to  the  Scriptures. Let also the members of the church make, that  they
well know the Bible. Let they also lead holy lives, for that will be the
result of purely preaching the Word.
     The sacraments must be administered according to the institution of
Christ.  So, we have to reject any human addition or omission. Only  the
believers  will be admitted to the Lord's Supper. Wicked  are  excluded.
Baptism will be done according to the Word.
     Note that peace is not a special mark of the true church. For, also
in  any  false  church  may  be  peace. Perhaps,  they  are  spiritually
sleeping,  and that also seems to be peace. Also miracles  are  not  the
mark  of  the true church, for also satan can perform miracles, to  give
his  deceit some colour. Also healing is not a sign of the true  church,
for satan does the same.
     Let  then, amidst of all deceit, the pure Word prevail. There,  God
gathers His church.

Q. What benefits does Christ bestow on his church?
A.  He  grants her remission of sins, the resurrection of the body,  and
eternal life.

The  church  receives  great benefits from Christ. First,  the  believer
receives the remission of sins. By grace, that remission is given. It is
given,  not because of any merit in us, but by God's grace. We  have  in
Christ "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according
to the riches of his grace." (Ephesians 1:7)
     Another benefit is the resurrection of the body, and eternal  life.
On  the last day of this world, all dead will arise. Some will arise  to
die  eternally. Others, the true members of the church,  will  arise  to
live  eternally.  They, whose sins are not forgiven,  remain  under  the
wrath  of  God. The members of the church (not the outward members,  but
the  true believers) - the members of the church have received remission
of  their  sins,  and have escaped God's wrath. They now experience  his
love, and will receive eternal life. They on earth know a little of God,
but then, they will know Him as He is.
     The  hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves  shall
hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the
resurrection  of  life;  and  they  that  have  done  evil,   unto   the
resurrection of damnation. (John 5:28,29)

Teus Benschop  |  t.benschop@pobox.ruu.nl  |  editor of the list Chr-Exp

           "A Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel"

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