You Are Part of THIS! A Church that isn’t ~2000 years old!
Devotional Thought of the Weekend
39 All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. 40 For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us. Hebrews 11:39-40 (NLT2)
The Christian Church came into existence immediately after the Fall, when God, having applied the Law to fallen men orally (Gen. 3:8–14), gave mankind the oral promise of the Woman’s Seed, who was to destroy the works of the devil, that is, free men from the guilt of sin and all its consequences (Gen. 3:15), and Adam and Eve believed the “first Gospel.” Through the oral Word, proclaimed in various ways, God continued to build His Church until the days of Moses.
And (we believe) in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Life-giver, who proceeds from the Father and the Son,who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. In one holy, catholic, and apostolic church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the age to come. Amen.
The quote from Pieper (in purple above) is one I had to think about for a while. I included it in a paper that I recently submitted, and the reaction was what I worked through, that the church started at Pentecost.
You are part of something that has been around signficantly longer than 2000 years. It goes back to the beginning of time, the cadre of people that know God as their God, and have been brought to realize that they are His holy, precious, chosen people.
The promise of God calling them His people does go back to the Garden, when Adam and Eve ate the of the fruit that gave them the knowledge of evil (they already knew only good) and opened the door to sin.
It was then, with the sacrifice of an animal, that the sacrifice of Christ was pictured, and the redemption and reconciliation of man to God was made known.
This is the church that awaits us, that surrounds us, cheering us on as they wait for the perfection that comes when Christ returns for us all, His bride.
You are part of it, and integral, necessary, planned, valuable part of this body.
It is a church that from that point forward had the law and the gospel, had the promises, had the plan of Gods work revealed, perhaps not completely, but it was there. We can look back and see it! We can see these lives that depend on God, the God who reveals Himself in the universe He created, in the Scriptures, and most clearing, in the visible image of God, Jesus Christ. Revelaed to Adam and Even, to Moses, to Elijah, to Abraham, Issac and Jacob, to all of those who are
For He is with us, that is what makse the church, God gathering His people together, bringing them back, reconciling them to Himself. Providing the sacrifice necessary to accomplish this desire of His.
This is who we are … even some who don’t know it… yet.
We get to bring them the good news that they are. We get to see them drawn into His presence. Just liek the great cloud of witnesses waits to praise our God together… with us.
This is the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church. God’s people.
 Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, electronic ed., vol. 1 (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953), 193.
“The Nicene Creed” Robert Kolb, Timothy J. Wengert, and Charles P. Arand, The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2000), 23.