Featured in the November, 2004 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
Clubs have value.
Whether it is a garden club, photo club, travel club, book club or Rotary,
Lions or Kiwanis, every club has a purpose and serves a function.
Clubs attract people with similar interests. All these clubs and societies
are of human origin.
A real Biblical local church is not just another club.
A true church is not of human, but divine origin, for Jesus said, I will
build my church” (Matt. 16: 16:18). This cannot be said of any other
Because we have religious liberty in our country there is no government
“bureau of standards” for churches. Yes, there are fakes and frauds and many
people don’t know the difference.
7 Marks of a Real Church
Acts 2:41, 42
- It was the day of Pentecost and Peter just finished preaching about
Jesus Christ, crucified, buried and risen from the dead, and a real church
is made up of those who savingly believe on Jesus Christ, or as the text
puts it, “they accepted Peter’s message about Jesus Christ.”
- These who believed were baptized. Clearly, baptism comes after the
believing. There are over 5,000 instances in the book of Acts alone where
believing preceded baptism and no instances to the contrary.
- They were “added”, that is they joined with the church in Jerusalem
- They held to the “apostles teaching”. The basis of their belief was not some
creed or catechism, but the very Word of God set forth by the apostles.
- “Fellowship”. These people regularly assembled with fellow believers.
- The breaking of bread”. They observed the Lord’s Supper.
- “Prayer”. These people were noted for privately and corporately praying to God.
The word “church” is never used in a careless or vague way in the Scriptures. In
the New Testament, it appears 112 times referring to a visible local church. It
is the church in Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth or Rome. Individual
believers publicly identified with these particular local churches. In New
Testament times, there were no floating or unaffiliated believers. They were
members of Biblical local churches.
The picture of the believers in the Bible never represents him as
isolated from other Christians. The believer is pictured as a branch on the vine (John 15:1-8), the sheep in the flock (John 8:1-14) or a
member of a body (1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
Even a casual reading of Acts indicates that these believers made a serious
commitment to Jesus Christ and His church. Jesus and His church were not
peripheral in their lives, but central.
Jesus thought so much of His church that “he bought it with his own
blood” (Acts 20:28). What do you think about the Lord’s Church?