“I GO TO CHURCH”
It seems as I talk to many people, many say, “I go to church.” In reality most do not. The definition of what a church is has been askew in the last few generations especially. Here are a few misnomers about what church is:
- Some believe church is where two or three people are gathered together in the name of theLord. While the Bible says the Lord is in our midst he does not say that it means we had a church service.
- Others “FEEL” that church can be had at home, in the woods or wherever one feels comfortable. While it is true we can worship God anywhere and at any time; such worship does not constitute a church.
- Yet some think that a Bible study, chapel service, or watching an evangelistic television program means they went to church. While we are thankful for when the Gospel is preached, these do not fit the definition of a church either.
Church is not defined by what we believe, what we feel or what we think. Church is defined by the Bible. It is the Bible that teaches us what church is. Here are a few things to remind us:
1. A Church has as its Head and Founder – Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior – Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:20
2. A Church has as its sole authority the Word of God, the Bible – Romans 15:4; 1 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17
3. A Church is a called out group who have been assembled together to fulfill the Great Commission – Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8
4. A Church has as its members saved and baptized believers; Ephesians 2:8-9; Act 2:41; Acts 10:44-48; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Matthew 28:18-20
5. A Church has pastors and deacons as its officers; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-16
6. A Church has a pastor appointed by the Holy Ghost that leads and feeds the flock from the Word of God – Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:6, 12-16; 1 Peter 5:2
7. A Church submits to God’s appointed leadership within the church – Hebrews 13:7, 17; 1 Timothy 5:17; Philippians 2:29;; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
8. A Church has people that study God’s Word for themselves – Acts 17:10-12; 2 Timothy 2:15; Psalm 1:2; Joshua 1:8
9. A Church has been started or sponsored by another church or a group of churches – Acts 13:2; Acts 16:5
10. A Church is the “pillar and the ground of the truth.” – 1 Timothy 3:15
Now this is not an exhaustive list of what the Bible says a church is; but it does remind us that it is a vital part of our Christian lives. This should always necessitate our finding, joining, and serving with a local Bible believing church. It would behoove us to be a part of one, as it is the established institution on earth that Christ founded, sustains, works through and died for – Ephesians 5:25-27. On a personal note, since the age of 18, I have always been a member of a local church where I have lived. When I moved, I always knew where my family and I would be joining. We always stayed at that church until God moved us to a new state or country. Was every church perfect? By no means! Did I always wholeheartedly agree with everything taught? Not always. Did I agree with every decision the leadership made? Not by a long shot! But I have always tried to faithfully serve, help and bless that local church and pastor, whether I saw eye to eye with them on everything. Why? Because I love the Lord and I love His church and any sacrifice I make is minuscule compared to His great sacrifice He has given when He died on the cross of Calvary. There has not been a church that I have not been able to grow in because if I am doing what I am supposed to do God will always bless.
– Pastor Mark A. Sage