Today I am writing about the Church.
In my last blog concerning the Persecuted Church I defined the church. Here is an excerpt:
When writing about the persecuted church it might be wise to take a step back and consider what church I am talking about. In this day and age the word church has become a huge umbrella that includes “Christians” that don’t really belong under that label.
So what is a Christian?
A Christian, biblically speaking, is a person who:
- Has acknowledged he/she is a sinner
- Knows he/she needs a Savior
- Knows that Jesus Christ the Son of God died for his/her sin
- Knows Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead 3 days/nights later
- Has asked Jesus to save based on His shed blood and not his/her works
- Accepts the Bible as the Word of God
This is a very tight definition on purpose. Although I believe that the KJV Bible is the only Bible for English speaking people, nowhere does the Bible indicate believing in the KJV is necessary for salvation. God gave us a simple plan of salvation and we should leave it that way.
That said, there are many people out there who claim to be Christian. Look at them carefully and you will find they are not Christians. Mr. Romney can protest all he wants but Mormons do not preach or teach about the same God as found in the Bible. Mormons are very religious and try to live a good life, but they are not Christians.
The same can be said about other faiths that claim to be Christians but depart from one or more of the points made above. And while I’m at it, not all humans are the children of God. All humans are the creation of God; He’s the Creator of all. But to be a child of God requires a definite act; i.e.., being Born Again.
Once you have defined the Christian then it is easy to find the church. It is not a denomination. It is that body of believers who are born again. Since baptism doesn’t save it wasn’t listed above, but most churches require baptism since it is the first command to a believer.
That is the excerpt. Now for a more complete definition of the church.
I said it is a body of believers who are born again. It is also an institution authorized by the Holy Bible. Jesus Himself founded it (Matthew 16:18): “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
This does not make Peter anything; Christ was referring to the gospel which Peter declared (i.e., Jesus is the Christ). And in 1 Corinthians 3:11, “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” Jesus Christ is what the church is built upon not Peter. So far we have the church was founded by Christ, made up of believers who are born again, and is built upon the foundation of Christ Himself.
Back in Matthew 16:18 He calls it His church. So Christ is the foundation of the church and it is His church, which means that we are not at liberty to change his rules found throughout the New Testament, for its operation, doctrine, and structure. While it is possible for good men and women to differ on these things it must be acknowledged that the basis for interpretation is the Word itself.
So what is the church?
The church is a body of believers organized by the Lord Jesus, founded upon Him, and both organized and structured by Him as expressed in the Bible. Neither man nor government has the right to change God’s rules or to add to them. Government’s job is to get out of the way so that Christians can pray. If the government wants to govern all other religions, then so be it. But Christianity is under His Command.
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R Frederick Riddle is the author of several books and is best known for Christian Historical Fiction. For more information on him or his books visit his Amazon Authors Page. He is also co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books where his books are featured. To reply to any blog you have the option of commenting on a blog and/or sending an email to email@example.com. You may also be interested in his Facebook page at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.