“The separated company of the church will be characterized by four things, righteousness, faith, love, peace, all matters of the heart, not of the head. They leave much room for development, and development necessitates knowledge. A mind applied to know Christ is of vital importance for spiritual maturity, but only if it is directed by a heart already related to Him. Righteousness is the obvious outcome of regeneration; where there is the nature of Christ there will also be the character of Christ. Faith is the attitude of complete dependence upon God and subservience to Him which alone allows the Spirit to work. Love is the outflow of the Spirit’s life within us to one another. Peace is the satisfaction of knowing the Lord in the midst.

“These are the simple elements of the church from which the people and purposes of God can grow to maturity. They are the elements of life, life which is reproductive, but to be reproductive it must remain free. The organization of Christianity has again and again, down through the centuries, led to barrenness. It has been when the life of the Spirit has burst the constricting bands of denominational organizations that the church has been revealed in its primitive power and authority.

“The testimony of the church is positive, not merely reactionary. Doubtless, an element of reaction remains, inasmuch as the righteousness of Christ rightly reacts against the ungodliness of the world, but the separated church of 2 Timothy 2:22 is preeminently a testimony to the truth, not a testimony against error. It is a testimony to the truth that all who are born of the Spirit into the family of Christ are one, and must grow and witness together in the fellowship of the church where the Lord dwells in their midst. The church meets on that positive ground, neither adding anything to it, nor taking anything away. But it entails sacrifice. It means the taking up of the cross, the cross of misunderstanding, of shame, of being called ‘separationists.’ Yet every spiritual movement has begun in sacrifice. That is another of history’s lessons” (John W. Kennedy, The Torch of the Testimony, Chpt. 19, pp 238-9).

Growing in and Testifying to the Truth of Christ

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