Does The Bible Define "Your Church?"
John A. Keith
The Bible claims that man has been given, “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” 2 Peter 1:3. The same thought is found in 2 Timothy 3:16,17. If this claim is true, and it is, then the Bible is the final word in matters concerning the church: her terms of entrance, the worship conducted by her members, her oversight, etc.
All who claim allegiance to Christ profess the Bible to be their guide, whether wholly or in part. However, what is their approach to the Bible? Is the Bible viewed as the final word, or is it a suggestion that may or may not be adhered to strictly? What about “your church?” Does the Bible define “your church,” or does “your church” define the Bible?
Does your church wear some man’s name instead of the name of the One who shed His blood to purchase it? Acts 20:28 Does the name of your church describe some method other than the true Way of scripture? John 14:6 “There is nothing in a name” has its origin with man, not God. Isaiah 62:2 The name “church of Christ” is a designation of rightful ownership rather than a denominational title.
Does your church meet each Lord’s Day (Revelation 1:10) as the church of Christ did in the Bible (1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 20:7) for the purpose of worshipping the God of Heaven? Furthermore, when your church assembles to worship, is that worship patterned after what the Bible says, or are innovations from man employed to draw a crowd or make attendees feel good about themselves? Instrumental music and praise bands may tend to make us feel spirited, but are they spiritual? I have heard of spirited horses, but whoever heard of spiritual horses?
Does your church teach that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), or by a “better felt than told,” personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Does your church teach what the Bible says about obtaining the forgiveness of sins in Acts 2:38? (“Repent and be baptized every one of you …”) Does your church teach what Jesus said in Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved …”? John 3:16 is a beautiful verse, but, dear friend, it is not the only verse in the Bible. Does your church teach everything the Bible has to say about a particular subject?
Does your church refrain from the ungodly practice of calling their leaders by such titles as “Reverend” and “Father”? It should, according to the Bible. Matthew 23:8-11
Many other questions could be asked, and many more defining marks of the church could be explored. Nevertheless, to one who is sincere in his or her quest for righteousness, the above thoughts should stir the mind and prompt a careful study of the Scriptures followed by an earnest comparison with what is practiced in their assemblies. So, again, I ask; “Does the Bible define ‘your church,’ or does ‘your church’ define the Bible?” -70 Gale Ave Newport, OH. 45768. 740.473.2528 firstname.lastname@example.org
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