For Those Who Want To Find the Right Church
THIS QUESTION IS OFTEN ASKED, “How do I find the right church?” It is usually answered by giving the name of some denomination. However, I want to answer this question by giving a description of the only church described in the Bible for today. What I think or what any other man thinks is not important; it is what the bible says that is important.
IN THE WRITINGS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL, the expression “body” and the word “church” are often referring to the same organization. Neither of them is referring to a “mystical, invisible” body but rather to a practical, living and very visible body of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. (See: Ephesians 5:23, Colossians 1:18 &:24)
WHO IS THE HEAD OF THE RIGHT CHURCH? Sometimes someone on earth will be referred to as the “founder and president” of such and such a church. A church described this way is not the “right church”, because it has the wrong head or founder. The church the Bible speaks of has as its head the Lord Jesus Christ, not some man. As the head of the church.(See: Ephesians 1:22-23, 5:22 & Colossians 1:18) Jesus Christ is to be listened to and obeyed because He is the Lord and Savior of all who believe in him..(See: Ephesians 5:23, Titus 1:4 & 2Peter 1:11) He is the one who has given instruction in His word for the function of His body—the church. This instruction is found in the Bible which is able to equip us for every good work. If we fail to study His word diligently or fail to obey His instructions, we will someday stand before Him ashamed. (See: 2Timothy 2:15 & 2Timothy 3:16-17)
THE MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE IN THE RIGHT CHURCH is a committee of one. That ONE is the all-important Savior and Head of the church, The Lord Jesus Christ. We are told, the Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved and that by one spirit we are all baptized into one body or church. There is no man or group of men who can either put you into the right church or put you out of the right church. (See: Acts 2:47, 1Corinthians 12:13)
IN THE RIGHT CHURCH THERE ARE NO UNBELIEVERS. Since the head of the church is the membership committee there are no counterfeits in this church. Consistent with this fact, believers are instructed not to be, unequally yoked together with unbelievers. It is obvious that believers and unbelievers wouldn’t have the same goals, the same rules of conduct or the same love for other members of the body. In man-made churches there is much friction because of these differences. (See: 2 Timothy 2:19, Romans 8:9 & 1Cor 12:13)
ALL BELIEVERS IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST are members of the church the Bible speaks of. All are members because this is an organism into which the Savior of mankind places those who accept him as their Lord and Savior. When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior we become members of His body. (See Eph 4:3, 5:30, & 1Corinthians 12:27) We are not made members by participating in some physical act such as baptism in water or physically eating bread or drinking wine. The Bible states that one becomes a member of the church by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Everyone who has accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior has received this baptism. (See: John 7:38 & 1Cor 12:13) Since man doesn’t put members into this church and all who receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are put into this church the moment they are saved, there are no counterfeits and all believers are members.
IN THE RIGHT CHURCH THERE SHOULD BE A COMMITMENT TO UNITY. Members should have this commitment because believers in the Lord Jesus Christ become a part of Him, and He indwells them. He is not the author of confusion such as is observed by all who examine professing Christendom today. (See: 1Corinthians 14:33) Since all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ are part of the same church, have the same Savior, read the same Bible and have the same Holy Spirit indwelling us, we should endeavor to be together in what we preach and practice— the lifestyle we live. Christ prayed to the Father that believers would be one as He and the Father are one.(See: John 17:20-23) The apostle Paul plead with believers to all speak the same thing, and that there would be no divisions among them but that they would be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
(See: 1Cor 1:10-13 and 3:1-15)
The Apostle Paul also exhorted believers to pursue or endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit and do it in a manner that is consistent with the bond of peace. He then went on to describe practical areas that are very broad in some cases where we are to pursue this unity. He says there is— one body (or church), one Spirit, one hope; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father. (See: Ephesians 4:1-6) You don’t have to know very much about what is believed and practiced by most professing Christians to realize this does not describe what most churches are about. However, this describes the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. (See: Jude 1:3)
The apostle Paul rebuked the church at Corinth for the divisions among them. They were saying, I am of Paul, I am of Apollos and I am of Cephas. Paul rebuked them by stating clearly, you are carnal and walk as men. Today a parallel to this is practiced by most members of the church which is His body, “I am a Methodist”, “I am a Baptist”, “I am a Lutheran”, etc., and sad to say most Christians think this is the way it is supposed to be. (See: 1Corinthians 1;10-13 & Chapter 3) Many preachers and bible teachers know this truth. Some do away with any need to practically walk in these truths by describing the church described in the bible as a mystical, invisible church rather than being the only church described in the Bible that is practical, and would be very visible—if the biblical instructions were followed. (See: Mat 5:16, John 13:35, & 17:21 & :23)
ALL MEMBERS OF THE RIGHT CHURCH (which includes all believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior) SHOULD be endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It should be our commitment to speak the same things and be joined together in the same mind and the same judgment. (See 1Corinthians 1:10, & Ephesians 4) In doing this, rather than divide and take a name to identify us apart from our fellow members of the church which is Christ’s body, we will endeavor to resolve differences, that we might speak the same thing.
Believers should not join or support or help build something in the way of a church which is not authorized and described in the Bible. If we are a part of such an organization and want to be submissive to The head of The church, Jesus Christ, we will obey the instruction, “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” (See 2Corinthians 6:14) This will facilitate our ability to, “cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God”. (See:2 Corinthians 7:1)
Man-made religion or churches do two things the Bible condemns; one is to join saved and unsaved together in representing Jesus Christ to the world, and the second, is contrary to the word of God dividing brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ from each other. Both are condemned in the Bible therefore both are sin.
The following is a summary of the characteristics of “the right church“—meaning the only one described in the Bible to which all believers are joined by the Head of the Church, Jesus Christ.
1. Jesus Christ is the head of the church.
2. Jesus Christ is the membership committee.
3. The church operates in the name of the head of the church— Jesus Christ.
4. All of the members have accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
5. All who have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior are and are considered to be a member of one body in the bible.
6. The church, being the pillar and ground of the truth earnestly contends for the faith once delivered to the saints and is committed to “rightly divide” the word.
7. There is a commitment to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace, with all Christians everywhere.
8. The Bible is considered the final and complete revelation from God for the function of His people and His Church.
When you find a group of Christians who live and work together as stated above, you will find a representation of the right church”.
– Robert A. Grove