Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Guidelines for Church Seekers

“For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13).

God is not human and that reason alone proves that His wisdom far outreaches what the human mind can conceive. His establishment of the world and everything created within it was completed without the opinion of man. With this in mind, it is hard for me to understand all the confusion when it comes to the acceptance of God’s description of His own church. The Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16) and how He details the church should satisfy the mind of faith. When we are searching for the church we must remember His “word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). The Bible is a true beacon of light leading us to His church.

First off we must understand that the Bible shows us that the church was promised: “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). We will do well to notice a couple of key points in this promise. First, Jesus promised to build one church. The choice of many churches was derived from the mind of man, not God. God only established one church. Also we need to notice that that His church was built on the rock of a confession. It was Peter’s confession that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16) that the church was promised to be built on, not on the physical man of Peter. If it was built on Peter, wouldn’t it be Peter’s church and not God’s? Also we can see that the Lord’s church is eternal. He is not coming to establish a kingdom because the one He established while He was on this earth is eternal. See how the light works?

Secondly, the Bible reveals to us that the church was purchased at a special cost. Paul told the elders in Ephesus to “shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The church was of utmost importance to the Almighty God. So much that He sent His only begotten Son to this world to pay the price of our redemption. This would prove to be very costly as even a limited study of the cross would reveal. Our decision to embrace sin caused us to be separated from God (Isaiah 59:2) and His love was willing to pay the price to purchase our souls back from the grips of the evil one of this world. Notice it took the blood of God and not the blood of man to purchase our souls back. Again, the light is shining from God’s truth.

Thirdly, the Bible reveals the church as a group of people with a purpose. We have been united into His body “so that the wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). Our goal as disciples of Christ is to die to the weakness of our own wisdom, which is foolishness to God (1 Corinthians 3:19), and to live as a light to the power of God’s wisdom. It is easy to see that there are many religious organizations in this world that are following the foolishness of man instead of the wisdom of God. That is why we must not “believe every spirit” but “test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). There may be many different faiths and religions out there, but the light of truth has revealed the purpose of God’s true church and that is to reveal His wisdom and not man’s philosophies.

When you go looking for a church please remember that the Lord’s church is “added to” and never joined (Acts 2:47). You can join a fraternity or a social club but to enter the Lord’s church one must be added through faith in God’s power. These are good guidelines for your search.

In His Grace,

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