Holding on to hope in Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ offers not only comfort from our burdens in this life but most especially the true rest in the heavenly kingdom.


AMID THESE TOUGH TIMES, we can carry on by holding on to hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Holy Scriptures attest that He is the throne of grace Who can help us in our time of need (Heb. 4:16). Through His solicitous intercession, God our Father, will supply all our needs (Phil. 4:19).

Christ’s grace is sufficient for us and the strength He gives can make us do everything for His love’s sake (II Cor. 12:9; Phil. 4:13). Thus, we can overcome every trial as we carry on with our service of God in His name.

The Lord Jesus offers not only comfort from our burdens in this life but most especially the true rest in His Father’s heavenly kingdom (Matt. 11:29-30; Rev. 14:12-13; 7:13-17).

Heeding the call

We can avail ourselves of all these blessings by paying heed to Christ’s invitation: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28 New International Version).

Christ teaches how we can do that:

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44 New King James Version)

Jesus wants us to come to Him that we may be included in the resurrection to eternal life on His return (John 5:28; II Thess. 4:16-17). But we cannot do it on our own. It is the Father Who brings us to Him. There is no other way.

Let us allow God, then, to do it for us by acting upon His call:

“God is to be trusted, the God who called you to have fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (I Cor. 1:9 Good News Bible)

Fellowship with Christ is God’s call. Only if we pay heed to this call of God can we come to Christ. And we can only say that we have truly done so if we are in the one body, the Church:

“The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.” (Col. 3:15 gnb)

“He is the head of his body, the church…” (Col. 1:18 gnb)

Hence, we can have fellowship with Christ only in the Church headed by Him.

This Church is one. Just as there is only one head, Christ, so also there is only one Church that is His body.

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 6:44

New King James Version

Our need for this Church cannot be overstressed. It is the sole means by which we can have union with Christ. Just as a person’s body is connected to his head, so is the one true Church connected to Christ. Outside this Church we can have no relation with Christ.

So, since we cannot present ourselves to Christ just on our own, we need to have the calling, the election, from God. That means joining the Church that is Christ’s body.

Being united with Christ

In Christ’s Church we have union with Him because He made Himself and the Church together as one new man:

“Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,” (Eph. 2:15 nkjv)

Just as one man has one head and one body, so does the one new man—Christ is the head and the Church is His body. So, again, it is in this Church solely where we can achieve union with Christ:

“We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body.” (Rom. 12:4-5 gnb)

The true Church is called the body of Christ to show its oneness—it has unity and it is only one. However many members are there, and wherever they are in the world, they all belong to only one body. They are united by one calling, by one hope in one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and worshiping only one God (Eph. 4:4).

Bearing Christ’s name

Since the name of the head is Christ, then His Church, which is His body, bears His name—Church Of Christ:

“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation)

The Church in which those whom God has called to have fellowship with Christ is, thus, the Church Of Christ or Iglesia Ni Cristo in Filipino.

So, just as fellowship with Christ cannot be achieved outside the Church, so also is it unattainable and impossible in just any religious group. It is only by means of the true Church Of Christ that we can be included among the ones brought by the Father to Christ. Joining this Church Of Christ is a must. It is God’s call; it is Christ’s invitation.

“God is to be trusted,
the God who called you
to have fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

I Corinthians 1:9

Good News Bible

Being baptized

We become members of the one Church Of Christ through baptism into it:

“Each of us is a part of the one body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves and some are free. But the Holy Spirit has fitted us all together into one body. We have been baptized into Christ’s body by the one Spirit, and have all been given that same Holy Spirit.” (I Cor. 12:13 The Living Bible)

True baptism results in being counted as “a part of the one body of Christ.” Those baptized were made parts or members of one body or one Church.

Baptism into the Church Of Christ requires having faith (Rom. 5:2). What we should believe is the gospel:

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16 nkjv)

Here, Christ outlined the process of becoming a part of His body in order to be saved—listen to the gospel, believe in it, and be baptized. His preaching of the pure gospel that He commands is the means by which we hear the call of His Father:

“To which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Thess. 2:14 nkjv)

True faith comes from listening to the true gospel preached by those duly authorized to preach, the messengers sent by God (Rom. 10:14-17).

This is how we hear God’s call for us to have fellowship with His Son. After listening to the gospel and believing it, the decision is ours to make: Do we want to be baptized into the Church Of Christ? Only an affirmative answer and action can lead us to Christ and to His grace of salvation (Eph. 5:23).

Holding on to our living hope in Jesus Christ, being members of His Church, will get us through, surely reaching His Father’s heavenly kingdom where we shall enjoy a trouble-free, glorious life for eternity.