UNDERSTANDING THE CHURCH

On this page, the reader will find some of the primary elements that make a church pleasing to Jesus Christ.

  • Any person who wants to understand the church must understand the Bible correctly.

    • The scripture is sufficient​ for all matters of faith and practice.

​"All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)

  • Scriptural diligence and accuracy are necessary to avoid shame at Jesus' return.

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

  • The church that is pleasing to God is a loving church, united in spirit because it is united in the Holy Spirit and one with every other church of regenerated souls. 

"Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves." (Philippians 2:1, 2)

  • The motivation of a church to love Christ is the forgiveness of His sacrificial death. 

"Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” “You gave Me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, has not ceased to kiss My feet." “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Luke 7:43, 45, & 47)

  • The church that is pleasing to God has a humble and servant leadership.

“They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. “But do not be called Rabbi (scholar, respected by his accumulation of facts; heart knowledge goes unseen); for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. “Do not call anyone on earth your father (one who imparts life, disciple-makers can only be a channel through whom God works); for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. “Do not be called leaders (a master-teacher or professor, only Christ is the master-teacher); for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. “But the greatest among you shall be your servant. “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted." (Matthew 23:7-12)

  • Humility is a very difficult concept to understand and even harder to put into practice 

“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant." (Luke 22:26)

  • The previous command is not by men, but it comes from the Son of God. It is never a small matter when Jesus commands His people how to behave, particularly when humility is in view. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. To be opposed by God should never be taken lightly. 

  • The greatest resource of the shepherd, pastor, the elder is to be knowledgable of the Word of God. Therefore, every pastor needs to take very seriously Paul's admonition from 1 Corinthians 8:1-3. 

"Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant (puffs up, inflates in the Greek, gives a big head), but love edifies. If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him."

  • It is essential to be known by God because to be intimate with Him, as the Bible describes intimacy with God, is to possess eternal life (John 17:3). When we think we know, we are filled with pride because we do not know our hearts. It is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, we are more likely to be wrong about what we think we know about ourselves. 

  • The church that is pleasing to God is separated from the world. 

"​Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever." (1 John 2:15-17)

  • First, we are commanded to love, not the philosophy of the world, which in short is let us eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die. In that belief, we have no faith in God's word, His promises, or His will. There we live for ourselves and do not acknowledge God's presence at best. 

  • Second, we are commanded to love, not the things of the world because to do so would mean we place the items given before the One who gives them to us. Such an honoring of things before loving God is idolatry

  • The church that is pleasing to God does not place a hyper separation between laity and laymen, teacher and pupil, or shepherd and the sheep.

"​But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. These things I have written to you concerning those who are trying to deceive you. As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him." (1 John 2:20, 26-27)

  • Every born again believer in Jesus Christ has an anointing from God, which as symbolized by the Old Testament is smearing with oil to picture our receiving the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He makes God's word real to us and it's truths clear. 

  • God-given shepherds that are older in the Lord, and learned the scriptures and matured over time and circumstance, and who walk by faith are to be followed. Learning is never to be scholarly, cerebral, or haughty. The scripture can be taught by men but the depth of heart knowledge comes from God alone. 

"And He gave... the pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11, 12)

  • In Greek, the word "some" is not present, but the definite article is. The text should read, "...and He gave the pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of service to the building up of the body of Christ."

  • There is no number attached to the pastor or teacher. That is not to say that gifts don't vary from believer to believer because they do, and some men are very gifted. However, the equipping of the saints for the work of service builds up the body of Christ. It is not merely the teaching of some; it is the ministry of all. As stated at the top under discipleship, learning to take ownership maximizes the growth of any local assembly. People can become very frustrated when they are gifted, and their gifts find little place in the church or are not welcome by those in leadership. 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THIS SUBJECT  YOU CAN GO TO THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER page located under GROWING IN GODLINESS located on the top menu. 

 

  • The church that is pleasing to God is filled with people who are born-again, regenerate believers who possess the Holy Spirit of the one true and living God, so as far as the fruit of the Holy Spirit is observed. 

"Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”(John 3:3) 

"Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  (John 3:6, 7)

  • The church is not a building; it is not something you go to; it is a family of born again Christian people. The people that make up the church are part of a new race, which is no longer descended from Adam but has been bought by the blood (life, death, and sufferings) of Jesus Christ. 

  • The church is not a place where good morals are proclaimed to people dead in their sins. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is declared to the church for their edification and the salvation of the lost. It is where believers serve Christ out of appreciation for being saved, and not where sinners try to work out their salvation by dead works. 

  • The church that is pleasing to God is where repentant sinners gather to pray, hear the word of God proclaimed, and have fellowship with one another through the breaking of bread and by living transparent and humble lives as forgiven sinners. 

"So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls. They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:41, 42)