Finding A Biblical Church
In most cases, finding a good, Biblical church may take some time.
What Does The Bible Say About The Church?
The following is quoted from an article on the Grace to You web site:
The church is:
- Proclaimer and protector of divine truth (1 Timothy 3:15; Titus 2:1, 15).
- Chief place for spiritual edification and growth (Acts 20:32; Ephesians 4:11-16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 2:1-2; 2 Peter 3:18).
- Launch pad for world evangelization (Mark 16:15; Titus 2:11).
- Only institution Christ promised to build and to bless (Matthew 16:18).
- Gathering place of true worshipers (Philippians 3:3).
- Most precious assembly on earth because Christ purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 1:18; Revelation 1:5).
- Earthly expression of the heavenly reality (Matthew 6:10; 18:18).
- Realm of spiritual fellowship (Hebrews 10:22-25; 1 John 1:3, 6-7).
- Environment where strong spiritual leadership develops and matures (2 Timothy 2:2).
I write so that you will know how one should act in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. - 1 Timothy 3:15
#1 - The Church Web Site:
Look for a doctrinal statement, or a statement of "what we believe" or "what we teach" on the church's web site. If there is none, don't bother with that church. Doctrine is not important to them. If it states something such as, "We follow the Westminster Confession of Faith," pass them by. Doctrine is not important enough to them to actually write out what they believe.
If the doctrinal statement is short, and states things such as, "We believe in the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit." make a note to investigate and find out exactly what they mean. Many unBiblical churches can make a statement such as that and mean, for example, there are three separate gods. Or they may believe there is one god who on Monday and Wednesday is the Father, and on Tuesday and Thursday is the Son, and on Friday He is the Holy Spirit (modalism).
Look for a doctrinal statement that has some detail to it, so you actually know what they believe.
#2 - Basic Questions to Ask
Be upfront and tell the pastor you are looking for a church to attend, and would like to ask a couple of questions that will help you understand what the church believes and teaches.
The first question I ask the pastor is, "What do you believe about creation?" If he does not believe in a six day creation, about 6000 to 10,000 years ago, then I move on to the next church. This is a very simple question that requires a simple answer. It quickly weeds out churches that do not believe what the Bible says.
My second question is, "Who is Jesus?" This is an important question, but one that I've found some pastors can so muddy with big "theological" words so as to make their answer incomprehensible. What you are looking for is a pastor who can correctly explain who Jesus is, in a way you can understand. This answers two questions: (1) Does the church believe in the true Jesus Christ? (2) Can the pastor teach?
Who is Jesus?
- He is the one uncreated God, the Son, the second person of the Trinity.
- He is the creator.
- He is our Savior.
- When on earth, He was fully man and fully God.
- He was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, was crucified and died to pay the penalty we've earned as a result of our disobeying God, then on the third day He rose from the dead.
- He is the head of the church.
Jesus is not an angel. He is not the brother of Lucifer. He is not a created being.
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. - Colossians 1:17-20
My third questions is, "What must I do to go to heaven?" If the answer involves baptism, attending their church, obeying the church leaders, sincerely seeking god, striving to do the deeds god wants you to do, living a good life, or anything else you must do, then walk out. That's not the gospel. There is nothing you can do to get yourself saved. Jesus did it all. Trust Jesus, that's the answer.
My fourth question is, "What does Biblical love look like? We are commanded to love. What does that mean?" If the answer has anything to do with feelings or tolerance, you are looking at an unBiblical church. Biblical love is serving and helping others with their true, real needs. Please read our page about Biblical love.
#3 - Attending the Church
Everything can look good, however you may not know the full truth until you have attended the church for a while. Also recognize that no church, nor pastor, is perfect. And if you should find THE PERFECT church, once you start attending, it will no longer be perfect. However, as a foundation, the church needs to believe in and teach the essential beliefs of Christianity:
- There is one God.
- The deity of Christ
- The Trinity, there are three persons in one God.
- Salvation is by grace alone.
- We are saved by faith alone, which is a gift of God.
- Salvation is through Christ alone.
- Jesus was dead and He rose from the dead on the third day (the resurrection).
Keep in mind the head of the church is Jesus Christ. The focus of the church is ALWAYS JESUS.
Links to information on other web sites:
Fundamental Priorities of a Good Church
What is the Purpose of the Church?
Who Is Jesus Christ?
How do Beliefs About Creation Impact the Rest of Theology?
JESUS IS THE:
WORD OF GOD
He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. - Revelation 19:13
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being. - John 1:1-3
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. - John 1:14
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. - Romans 10:17
But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name. - John 20:31
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." - John 14:6