February 13, 2010

The Body

Ephesians 1:22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church

I have studied,prayed read extensively on what I believe are the signs of a “true” church modeled after scripture. To me this was important in choosing and maintaining participation in a church and/or Bible Study. These following items are not in order of importance but they are important.

Effective Prayer
Correct Biblical Doctrine
Effective Witness
Proper Use of Ordinances (Baptism, Lord's Supper)
Effective Fellowship
Correct Church Discipline
Love For Christ
Genuine Worship
Biblical Church Government (Elder’s, Deacons)
Personal Holiness
Spiritual Power in Ministry

Some of these items are nebulous and harder to define but should be generally understood by most church members or the laity. You also need to realize that many of these items, like the process of sanctification, are ongoing processes that continue until members go to meet the Lord. Members need to actively participate in these processes. Like the attributes of the people that constitute individual churches, each church has its own character and has its own strong and weak points. Because most churches have an ongoing process a church must continue to evaluate, pray & seek the Lord’s guidance when it comes to the weak areas (and strong too).

This doesn’t mean believers should try and find the “purest” church but try to work within their own church. To work together with other members in an act of love or in a loving relationship. To strive in unity in Christ. The primary purpose of discipline is to pursue a twofold goal of restoration and reconciliation with God. God disciplines those He loves with gentle admonition (sometimes not so gentle). We need to assure that the sin doesn’t spread in the body. It is like a disease and it can kill. We should protect the church and Christ’s honor. People that continue to sin outwardly so that those outside the church can see it, bring dishonor on their church and Christ. Conversely, we should be aware of when others are already aware of their sin and are trying to work on it. We should try to support and help them with their battle.

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