Beloved reader, God hath dealt marvelously with His people. He does so today. His covenant shall stand and He will do wondrous works. The reality of salvation as a living bond with Christ causes the Christian to extol his Maker. Have you pondered on this thought lately? You, as a living member of the body of Christ, are united with Him. This unity is not merely a unification of intellectual entities, but it is a close, living union. You live with Christ, and by God’s grace, die with Christ. You walk life’s path not alone, but with your Savior.
Extending from this personal unity with Christ, you are, by inmost desire, joined with your fellow believers in the Church militant. Thus you must not ascetically withdraw yourself from your brethren, but earnestly seek to join with the brother in Christ. Then truly your bond of communion is one in faith.
Our faith in which we are unified is God’s gift. Principally it is God’s Word and revelation. Included, however, is all of history in which God works out the plan of salvation. Already in Scripture, significance is placed upon the revelation of God in history. We learn from Holy Writ the unfolding of the covenant in the history of Judah and Israel, and also of our calling as members of the same body of Christ. We must count it all privilege to suffer for Him, yea, even to die for Him.
Stephen is an example of the faith unified unto all eternity for at his death he saw the heavens open. Luther expressed the idea in his beautiful hymn, “The body they may kill, God’s truth abideth still, His kingdom is forever.” History, as God’s word, also reveals to us the manner in which the truth was delivered unto us. Thus, the faith in which we are unified is basically God’s revelation.
To enable a better understanding of our unification in faith, we must seek to increase our knowledge of that faith. To you young people who are established firmly in the church, make yourselves strong in the faith. Be edified and grow up in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. Don’t be too busy for the things of God and His kingdom. Read the Bible and meditate on it. Increase your knowledge by studying good Christian literature. Attend as much society activity and catechetical instruction as you possibly can, for the quest of truth and knowledge rewards you with greater understanding of the blessings of God.
Also we may inject a note of warning that as young people we do not consider our connection with our Churches as a light and frivolous matter. God has blessed us by placing us in a church which teaches that God is all. It is the only truth, for it is God’s truth. It is not the philosophy of one man, as many think, but it is God’s revealed truth. God has revealed himself in His word and by his grace permitted us to polemically and apologetically defend and expound that doctrine. Our affiliation, therefore, is a serious matter.
Someone reading this article may have plans to leave our churches because of a friend or future mate. We would seriously warn you to discuss in every detailed manner the impending result. You may leave the physical body of our church, but will you before God, ever be able to leave our spiritual body of truth. No bond is stronger than the union of Christ and his church (of which marriage is a symbol!). Great sorrow can arise from separating from the faith which you were taught to love as a child. Prayerfully consider all these things, knowing that Christ is the only bond of unity.
The church must struggle continually to preserve this unity. God has promised that He will never forsake His Church; in this we find continuing comfort. The church has struggled through all the ages and in all countries. The devil is not silent but goes about as a roaring lion. We, therefore, must stand firm on the Word of God from which we are able to receive the only true comfort in life and in death.
Through this struggle the church is led to glory. The evil days must come before our Lord shall return. The cup of iniquity must be filled. But for us, united in the faith of God, there is hope eternal which never fadeth away. Praise be unto the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost for our faith in which we are united as children of Him.