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True Characteristics of Church of Christ
by Joshua - Ashish Macwan
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As we live in last days and await for the glorious return of our Lord & Saviour Christ Jesus from heaven; world & its ways have intruded in the church rater then church going out in the world and fulfilling the commandment & great commission of Christ Jesus to make disciples. We as church have to take moral responsibility and accept that to a higher level of degree we have failed to reflect true identity of Christ’s Church; for in today’s church Christ and His Word has been put aside and world, its pleasure and it’s ways have intruded in the church. Truly it seems that the words of Prophecy that has been recorded in Revelation 3 for the Church in Laodicea some how reflects today’s church and its position, It seems we have become neither hot nor cold but lukewarm, naked & blind, rich and well off and because of all these things the reflection of Christ’s Church has sadly not been in accordance with what Christ has said about His Church- “The one which is pure, spotless and blameless” and to press towards the same we as Church must have the following characteristics:- Loving ,Compassionate, Forgiving, Accepting, Hopeful, Faithful, Humble.

1) Loving: - The pivotal factor in shaping God’s church is the base of Love. Love is the essence of all things created by God. It’ s love of God that made him sent His one and only begotten Son Christ Jesus in this world as propitiation of our sins; so that whosoever shall believe in him will not perish but have eternal life. Christ has given us new commandment, “ Love one another” which is the base of Christ’s Church and He accepts His Church to love their fellow believers and others outside the church without any grudges and with a pure heart. Love which is constant, sacrificial and which has no differentiations because of one’s color, sex, race, language and nationality- For when Christ died on the cross He didn’t die only for Jews or Christians but for the entire human race. So the Lord wants His Church to be maneuvered by Love. For Love is God and whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and so there is nothing in him that will cause him someone else to sin. Remember Christ has said, “ Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. So that you may become the Sons of your Father in heaven.”

2) Compassionate: - Bible says that God is full of compassion and mercy and because of these God does not destroy us. God wants His church to be compassionate not only to one another but to those who are still to be won for the glory of Christ Jesus. God wants His Church just like as His Son Christ Jesus who is the head of church; he is the source of the body’s life. Christ while ministering people on the earth was moved with compassion and whenever He saw the multitudes of people coming to him from different walks of life to hear him, meet him, see him do a miracle, to get healed, delivered and restored he went forth and did for them all that they wanted from him to be done. He ministered people because He wanted to show that our heavenly Father is Compassionate and we must be like him. A wonderful example of Compassion is in the parable of “Good Samaritan”. Today church has to reveal Christ’s compassion for the Orphans, widows, aliens, and all the people around us who are un-knowingly marching towards gate of hell; we have to raise our voices and say, “ Today is the day of your salvation, Now is the appointed time of God.”- For each one of us has to stand before God and give the account of what have we done individually and as Church for the Kingdom of God.

3) Forgiving: - Our God is long-suffering and forgiving God. Christ has said in Matthew 6 that “If we forgive sins of others our sins will also be forgiven by God.” Church has to forgive those that have been persecuting the believers in the past, recent and in future. Yes we go through persecutions, trials, sufferings, slurs, and disheartening experiences from fellow believers and outside world but Christ has said that If He was persecuted so shall we also be. He has set an example of forgiveness for us, which He practiced when He forgave those that crucified him and made fun of him, in the same way He wants His church to be forgiving. Unless we forgive we can’t have the forgiveness of our sins from the Lord. Just as our sins are forgiven by God in Christ Jesus, so should every one be welcomed in church and be forgiven in Christ Jesus.

4) Accepting: - One of the most vital and foremost concept of Christianity is “Acceptance”. Bible declares that we all are sinners and have fallen short to the glory of God; yet by God’s amazing grace we have been saved by the blood of His Son Christ Jesus. God irrespective of our immense and numerous sins, accepts us when we approach to the throne of his Grace in the name of Lord & Saviour Christ Jesus - for Christ has purchased us with his own precious blood and when God looks upon us the blood of the Lamb slained before the creation of this world, He relents himself from destroying us. The same God also wants His Church to accept every human being irrespective of his/her caste, color, religion, sex, language, nation or tribe, for in Christ Jesus we all are one, there is neither Jews, nor Christians, Neither Poor nor Rich. God dislikes those who de-classifies and treat people according to their ethnic and cultural backgrounds. God wants His church to open its arms and welcome people from all sorts of background. In God’s sight each one of us are precious and for every individual on this earth, Christ has shed his precious blood for the forgiveness of sins, so let us become more humble and start accepting those who are weak, poor, orphans, back-sliden, newly added to the church of Christ Jesus and show the world that just as Christ revealed His love, acceptance and tolerance towards each one of us, we will also do the same for the glory of God.

5) Hopeful: - Christianity’s most beautiful aspect is “Hope”. One of most important base of Christianity is Hope. There is no religion in the world that assures us of Salvation and promises Eternal Life. Only in Christ Jesus we have the Hope of our salvation and eternal life. For we know that Christ has risen from the dead and is seated at the right side of Heavenly Father and is coming back to take His Church to bless them with Eternal life which we have hoped for. For we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval and approval creates Hope which does not disappoints us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us. We hope and have faith that just as Christ is we will also be like him at His coming whether we are alive or have slept in his glory, just as He is risen from the dead and is with Heavenly Father so shall we all who hope and have faith in Christ Jesus. God wants His Church to preach the message of Hope to a broken and wretched world, so that many can become sons and daughters of Most High God and enter into Eternal Life with Lord Almighty. Today Church of Christ has the answer and hope for the world, if we fail to profess our faith and hope which we have received in Christ Jesus then we shall be held accountable to God; Let’s us reach out world with the message of Hope.

6) Faithful: - Faithfulness is one of the greatest characteristics of God. Our God is Faithful and Just. It’s the faithfulness that God desires from His Church. Faithfulness amidst trials, temptations, terrorizing moments, and fierce oppositions, even at the point of death is what God wants from His Church. God has promised that He shall never leave us nor forsake us. Christ has laid an example before us of how to remain faithful to God’s calling and keep on walking faithfully in the desired paths of the Lord; for world it may seem stupidity and sheer madness, for the people of the world doesn’t have mind of Christ and neither they have Spirit of God through which they can discern and understand God’s plans and purposes. God seeks faithfulness from us, let us not try and get ourselves right in eyes of the world through their wisdom and norms rather let us please God by presenting ourselves as living sacrifices. Let us become faithful to our God just as He is faithful to each one us.

7) Humble: - Humbleness is the backbone of Christianity. Church of Christ has to demonstrate Christ like humbleness in order to win souls for the Kingdom of God. Bible teaches us not to do anything from self-ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble towards one another, always considering others better than yourselves. We have to look out for one another’s interests, not just for our own. We should have the same attitude just as Christ Jesus had: He always had the nature of God but he did not think that by force he should try to become equal with God. Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had and took the nature of servant. He became like man and appeared in human likeness. He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death- his death on the cross. So friends the Church of Christ must reflect humbleness at degree and point of denying one-self, taking upon the cross and walking in love and faith after one who has called us according to his plans & purposes. For remember, “Lord resist proud but gives grace to the humble.”

Beloved members of the body of Christ, I hope and have faith in Christ Jesus that through this article God shall definitely speak to our hearts and will help us to reflect the true reflection of Christ’s Church- The one which He has purchased with His own precious blood and founded upon him; he being the Chief Corner stone of the temple and Apostles and Prophets being the pillars of the same. May God help us to live in such a way that we shall not become a stumbling block to the Church of God or to Unsaved & Lost souls.

Beloved Parish of Christ Jesus, Strive for perfection; listen to my appeals; agree with one another; live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

In His Service,

Eternally Christ’s,

Joshua-Ashish Macwan.

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