Today’s Scrip-Bit 25 February 2018 Revelation 21:2.

Revelation 21:2.   And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

It’s praise and worship and fellowship time once again friends! The Lord’s Day is upon us, so we need to have the proper response, that’s going en masse to His sanctuary to give thanks, praise His holy name, listen to His awesome word and receive encouragement, confidence and enthusiasm to face the upcoming week. Yeh mih breddren, it’s time for our weekly God-given fix. (smile) 

And as always, we’ll open the proceedings with praise and worship, exalting our heavenly Father through the medium of song. Today’s hymn is another old favourite, ‘The Church’s One Foundation.’ It’s  a Christian hymn written in the 1860s by British Pastor, Samuel John Stone. 

According to Wikipedia, ‘The song was written as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as fictitious. This topic is alluded to within the fourth verse of the text “Though with a scornful wonder men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed.” 

When Bishop Colenso was deposed for his teachings, he appealed to the higher ecclesiastical authorities in England. It was then that Samuel Stone became involved in the debate. It inspired him to write a set of hymns based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. 

“The Church’s One Foundation” is based on the ninth article, The holy Catholic Church; The Communion of Saints.’ The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. It is typically set to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Seba.’ 

Yuh see friends, the rich history of today’s hymn, born of isms and schisms as it was. Anyway, in strong voice and rich harmony, let’s offer it up with the sacrificial praise of our lips, to glorify the solid rock of our immortal faith, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ‘The church’s one Foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord; she is His new creation, by water and the Word; from heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride; with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died. 

Elect from ev’ry nation, yet one o’er all the earth, her charter of salvation, one Lord, one faith, one birth; one holy Name she blesses, partakes one holy food, and to one hope she presses, with ev’ry grace endued. Tho’ with a scornful wonder, men see her sore oppressed, by schisms rent asunder, by heresies distressed, yet saints their watch are keeping, their cry goes up, “How long?” And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of song. 

The church shall never perish! Her dear Lord, to defend, to guide, sustain, and cherish, is with her to the end; tho’ there be those that hate her and false sons in her pale, against the foe or traitor she ever shall prevail. ‘Mid toil and tribulation, and tumult of her war, she waits the consummation of peace for evermore; till with the vision glorious her longing eyes are blest, and the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.

Yet she on earth hath union with God the Three in One, and mystic sweet communion with those whose rest is won. O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, like them, the meek and lowly, on high may dwell with Thee.’ 

Yeh friends, the church of Christ will NEVER die, regardless of all the trials and tribulations it may go through, because it is built on the greatest foundation that the universe has to offer, The ONE and ONLY SON of GOD: JESUS CHRIST! Bless His holy name my people! 

As the hymn says, she is His creation, through water and His word, the very purpose for which He came down from heaven. Then He bought her with His blood, paid for her life with His own. So how could it ever die eh? As long as Jesus is alive His church will exist. That’s an indisputable fact. It might not be going as strong and unified as it ought to, because of the current presence of all the same nonsense, the dissension and disunity that caused the hymn to be written a couple centuries ago, but it’s definitely going to be around until Jesus comes back for his bride. 

Glory be my brethren! No wonder John the Revelator was shown the vision of how things would be after the Millennium and the final judgement. He saw a new heaven and a new earth, birthed, as beautiful as ever, the everlasting state, where there would be no sin. ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’ Yes friends, that would be Jesus’ eternal kingdom. 

And John continues: ‘And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.’ (Rev.21:3-4) 

Ah mih people, that’s what we have to look forward to in eternity! Isn’t it a wonderful picture? It surely is! And if we want to be around to see it, then we have to keep the passion for Jesus well stoked in our hearts and lives from now; for who knows how much time we have until Jesus returns.  We need our faith to stay strong and walk in obedience to God’s will. That’s why it’s so important for us to go to church, to gather and fellowship with each other and encourage each other. 

As the Good Book points out about Abraham in the Hall of Faith: ‘By faith he sojourned in the land of promise…For he looked (was waiting) for a city which had foundations whose builder and maker is God.’ (Heb.11:9a:10) And if we’re wise, my fellow believers, that’s how we’ll be, constantly on the lookout for the New Jerusalem in this our earthly journey. Much LOVE!

…this earth is not our home…we are strangers and pilgrims down here…heaven is our home…

 

 

 

 

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