A challenging question was asked, “What is your religion?” Challenging since the expected answer would either be any of the churches commonly called religion such as Roman Catholic, Mormon, 7th Day Adventist, Baptist, etc.
Religion is confused with church.
Church is different from religion. The church is the affiliation while religion is the practice.
The Church of God
Those who walk the Friendship Way Life (FWL) are members of the Church of God Jesus Christ built (Matthew 16:13-20).
Though small in number in relation to the number of humans on earth, the body of Christ has since grown in membership spread all throughout the world doing the function God inspired each one to perform. There is only one body, one Church of God.
Romans 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
Having been built by Jesus Christ himself, the Church of God is not contained in any single humanly organized group. Any group which claims to be the “only true church of God” needs to learn from the parable of the tares.
The Parable of the Tares
Matthew 5:24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”
The Parable of the Tares Explained
Matthew 5:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.” 37 He answered and said to them: “He who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, the good seeds are the sons of the kingdom, but the tares are the sons of the wicked one. 39 The enemy who sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels. 40 Therefore as the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of this age. 41 The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, 42 and will cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Each Christian church group is composed of members who are in the Church of God and those who are merely with the Church of God. Those who belong to the “in” category are only those in whom the Son of Man had sown the good seed.
The Good seed is the Holy Spirit of God which is given to one whom God had granted repentance and, generally, had been baptized. Unless the Holy Spirit dwells in a person, that person is not Christ’s. He is not a member of the Body of Christ.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
The Church’s Religion
The bible defines pure and undefiled religion through James.
James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
FWL’s work for the needy is implemented through the on-going projects called Project Child, Project Aged, Project Legal Aid, and Project Great Commission.
FWL will expand its reach as God puts more people to the work and whom Jesus Christ would call as his friends.
John 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends…
We would gladly welcome those who want to walk on this way with us.