By J.C. O’Hair

(The Church, God’s Purchased Possession to be Presented by Christ to Himself, not your own, bought with a price.)

 As we search the Scriptures to learn what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us concerning God’s investment in Christians, let’s keep in mind that we refer to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Let’s think of the simple statement of the young Christian who described the Trinity as “Three in One, and One in Three, and the One in the middle died for me.” Christ said to His Father, “All Mine are Thine; and Thine are Mine” (Jn. 17:10).

 Let’s also keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus in Luke 12:50: I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished?” You will understand the meaning when we refer to Christ’s “CALVARY” baptism. This was accomplished on the Cross when the eternal, omnipotent, sinless Savior, the Divine Creator of the heavens and the earth, cried “It is finished.” He then and there suffered for sins ONCE, the Just for the unjust that He might bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18). By His own blood He once entered into Heaven itself, having obtained for us eternal redemption (Heb. 9:12). God in human form, by His Calvary baptism, was made sin for believing sinners that they might be made the “righteousness of God” in Him (2 Cor. 5:21).

 According to 1 Peter 1:18-23, Christians have been redeemed by the precious, shed blood of God’s Spotless Lamb, Who was verily foreordained before the foundation of the world. Then we read in Ephesians 2:13 and Romans 11:11 that when and because of the FALL of God’s elect and favored nation (Israel), salvation was sent to idolatrous Gentiles. By God’s grace and power and by God-given faith, those idolatrous Gentiles were brought nigh to God by the blood of Christ. Thus, we see something of the meaning of 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “…ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price.”

 All Christians are living Saints;    All others are dead sinners.

 We read the truth in Ephesians 2:1-10 that God is rich in mercy and great in love, and that with that great love He loved “dead sinners” (when they were dead in sins). He made believers alive with Christ (Eph. 2:5); He raised them up and made them to sit down in the heavenlies with Christ. “You, having been dead in your sins, hath He made alive together with Christ, having forgiven you all trespasses” (Col. 2:13). In Romans 6:13 and Colossians 2:20 and 3:1, we learn that Christians are “alive from the dead”; but they are “dead with Christ,” and “risen with Christ” to seek those things which are above. When the believing sinner receives Christ and becomes the beneficiary of Christ’s Calvary baptism, God, for Christ’s sake, forgives him all his sins (Eph. 4:32), and he is justified from all things (Acts 13:39), justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus (Rom. 3:24-26; 4:5). He has eternal life and shall never perish, or be separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

 God would have every human being know that a “dead sinner” does not become a “living saint” by what man does for God, but by what God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit does for man. “Not by works of righteousness…” (Titus 3:5); “…not according to our works, but according to God’s purpose and grace” (2 Tim. 1:9).

 Sealed by the Holy Spirit until the Redemption of the Purchased Possession

 When the believer is saved by the Gospel, he is immediately sealed by the Holy Spirit, sealed unto the day of redemption. The Holy Spirit indwelling the believer is the earnest of his inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession (Eph. 1:13-14; 4:30).

 “After that ye believed” (Eph. 1:13) is “pisteusantes,” correctly translated “believing,” meaning “when ye believed.” The Lord expects His redeemed children to walk in the Spirit and be filled with the Holy Spirit, and thereby fulfill the righteousness of the Law and manifest the fruit of the Spirit (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 5:23-25).

At the time the believer is saved and sealed, he is baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13; 2 Cor. 1:20-21). God is making of believers “One New Man,” by reconciling them unto Himself in “One Body” by Christ’s Calvary baptism (Eph. 2:15-16).

 The Lord’s will is, that there be no division in the ONE BODY of 1 Corinthians 12:25, Romans 12:4-5, and Ephesians 4:4-5. In Ephesians 3:6 this ONE BODY is called the “Joint-Body” which means that God’s Church now is a Spiritual Organism rather than a religious organization.

 There are no unsaved people in the Body (Joint-Body) of Christ. All the saved people are in this Body and are members one of another, but all are “One Body” (Rom. 12:4-5; Eph. 2:21-22; 4:15-17).

 Paul wrote, in 2 Corinthians 11:2, to Body members, “I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” Paul warned them of the subtlety of Satan (2 Cor. 11:3-4) and of his tricks or wiles (Eph. 6:13-20). Satan is the real enemy of Christ, and also of the true Church, because Christ and the Church are “one flesh” (Eph. 5:31-32).

 The Lord Jesus will suddenly appear from Heaven to give glorified bodies to His redeemed Church members (Phil. 3:20-21). Note in Ephesians 5:25-27 one reason why the Lord Jesus suffered His Calvary baptism and note the glorious future of the Church, the Body of Christ. Christ loved the Church and gave Himself or it.

 To Sanctify, Cleanse, and Present the Church Unto Himself

 “That He might present it to Himself, a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). Therefore, it is the will of the Lord that the Body member should receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God; that all should have the eyes of their understanding enlightened, and be, thus, taught what is the meaning of the riches of God’s inheritance in the saints (Eph. 1:14-17).

 The Church has an eternal glorious future. “If we suffer with Christ, we shall reign with Him” (2 Tim. 2:12). Believers will be in Heaven because Christ suffered. Body members are going to judge the world (1 Cor. 6:1-3). Body members are “Joint Heirs” with Christ” (Rom. 8:15-18) and God’s will is that they should be “blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation … shining lights in the world … holding forth the Word of Life” (Phil. 2:15-16). Living saints will be rewarded for good works done in the Name of Christ (Col. 3:17).

 God has invested heavily in members of the Body of Christ. After the awful suffering of God’s Son, that Son chose the Apostle Paul to be His suffering Apostle, “…to fill up that which is behind the afflictions of Christ in my flesh, for His Body’s sake; Which is the Church” Col. 1:23-26). Christ appointed Paul to be His “Head carpenter (architekton)” (1 Cor. 3:10).

 Paul the ambassador of Christ, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for Gentiles (Eph. 6:19-20; 13:1-8), suffered, as a malefactor, for us that we might know the glorious truth concerning His Eternal “Grace” purpose (2 Tim. 2:7-9; Col. 4:3-4). God’s will is that we might make all saints see what “the Dispensation of the Mystery” really is (Eph. 3:9-11).