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The True Church

16 Jan 2017Other Essays

DEFINITION OF THE CHURCH

The church is a universal body that is composed of the true believers of Christ. The church began during the Day of the Pentecost, where believers of Christ convened in one place, were baptized by the Holy Spirit in form of tongues of fire (D. McCallum, et. al). The church does not refer to the physical church but to the true believers of Christ united by the Holy Spirit to glorify the name of the Lord. The church is universal in the sense that it defies geographical elements of its membership. It is local in the sense that the community of believers comes together in a common place where they can freely worship the Lord. For these reasons, I believe that the church is an organism because it is composed of people living in Christ and continue to grow in the image and likeness of God.

The church is visible because the true members of the church exhibit the characters or behaviors which identify them as the true member of a true church. It is invisible because its members have the inner characters that make her members have the assurance that they belong to the true church. Such invisible identities may come in the form of inner peace, the willingness and eagerness to follow Christ’s example. “The true Church holds to the core beliefs of Christianity without subtracting or adding to them” (M. Pate). On the other hand, a false church has doctrines that somehow deviate to any of the teachings of the Bible. It is important for a Christian to be actively involved in local church because it helps him to keep in communion with the other Christians so they can grow together in faith with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

PURPOSE AND FUNCTION OF THE CHURCH

The principal function of the church is to become a missionary or an apostle of Christ. The purpose of the Church is the "Great Commission", that is of proclaiming the Word of God, to grow in the Gospel of Christ and to die in the name of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.The church therefore exist in order to have a united body of believers who will minister in teaching all nations, in teaching them to observe the commandments of Jesus Christ and who baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19-20). The church function is to bring people t Christ by equipping them with faith from which they could star growing in communion with Christ. If people become believers and do the will of the Lord, they will become truly the light of the world.

I believe that the church, in whatever form it may have been organized locally has to be more concerned of its function. Because the universality of the church defies geographical elements, true Christianity disregards whatever denomination one belongs. The measure of a true church lies on how its members perform its purpose and function. Regardless of form: Catholicism, Born Again Christianity or other denominations, a congregation of true believers can still be members of the true church.

ORGANIZATION AND LEADERSHIP OF THE CHURCH

I believe that the Congregational form of church government is the most appropriate for a church to employ because it is in this form where the rights of the members are all considered and placed high regard. The election of elders to be the leaders of the church makes the church government more of a consideration of morality and spiritual status than of having a formal education and extensive knowledge of the Bible. A church government must be composed of the elders who will conduct ordinances, sermons and of conducting religious rites and ceremonies.

They may choose or let the people elect laymen who may assist them on other areas of the church’ undertakings like handling finances, the custody of its properties and on areas of organizing events. All of the offices or seats n the church government must be open to women. I believe that the primary criteria of choosing leaders are spiritual integrity and moral uprightness. It must not consider gender in offices that pertain to the ministry of the Word. However, on ministries that require manual and physical strength, this maybe applicable such as on church constructions.

It is because the church purpose is to bring believers closer to God and that can only be achieved when its leaders are of excellent moral and spiritual uprightness. As community of believers united by the Holy Spirit, the church must based its decisions on what the Bible stands. Decision must be consulted first to God in prayer and must also be presented to the members.

ORDINANCES OF THE CHURCH

Baptism is an ordinance given to the church to be administered to believers only (G. Herrick). It has to be administered by those who first repented from their sins and has to be done by complete immersion into the water and not by mere sprinkling of water (Acts 3:19). Baptism should be administered only to those who can already decide for themselves. This is because church membership, which is symbolized by baptism, should be a willful membership to be decided upon by the person only and not by anyone else. Because the child cannot yet decide for himself nor does he understand what baptism is all about, a child should not undergo baptism until the time that he can already decide and have repented for his sins.

The Lord’s Supper is an ordinance which symbolizes a Christian’s communion with Jesus Christ. It is important that Christians be able to participate in this ordinance in order to consistently remind us of the fact that Jesus once died on the cross for our sins. The ordinance should be observed at no specific frequency or time intervals. What is important is that the people should be given the opportunity to repent ad be cleansed first from their sins before they could partake into the ordinance.

This is because in order for anyone to symbolically receive the body and blood of Christ, he must be truly has a clean heart. The ordinance must be presided by leaders of the church, such as the priests for the Roman Catholics and the church elders for the other denominations. It should be clear that the ordinance should be done in the most solemn way because what is the central element here is the receiving of the body and blood of Christ, and for that His presence in the ordinance must be recognized and be given reverence.

MBI’S DOCTRINAL STATEMENT

Article I. God is a Person who has revealed Himself as a Trinity in unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit—three Persons and yet one God.

The Bible has been consistent in its claims and doctrines especially on the truth of the Holy Trinity. This evidenced by the connection of the Bible verses from both Old and New Testament which confirm each other’s truth.

Article II

The Bible, including both the Old and the New Testaments, is a pine revelation, the original autographs of which were verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Everything that was written in the Holy Bible was directed and inspired by Holy Spirit through the holy servants of God. These Words by the Lord were written for the purpose of directing and guiding the people into a life that is worthy of God.

Article III

Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, which is to say, He is Himself very God; He took upon Himself our nature, being conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary [2]; He died upon the cross as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the world [3]; He arose from the dead in the body in which He was crucified; He ascended into heaven in that body glorified, where He is now our interceding High Priest; He will come again personally and visibly to set up His Kingdom [4] and to judge the quick and the dead.

Jesus was born of a virgin woman through the power of the Holy Spirit, who came to earth in undressing His pine personality, lived real human life and died on the cross for the sins of the world. He remained Holy because He have not sinned and has resurrected to be with the His Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ will later come down to earth for judgment of the living and the dead, both the holy one and the sinful human beings.

Article IV

Man was created [5] in the image of God but fell into sin, and, in that sense, is lost; this is true of all men, and except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God; salvation is by grace through faith in Christ who His own self bore our sins in His own body on the tree; the retribution of the wicked and unbelieving and the rewards of the righteous are everlasting, and as the reward is conscious, so is the retribution [6].

All men were born of sinful nature and the only way to be saved from eternal damnation is through salvation, that is being born again by repentance and leaving the old sinful life behind. Salvation can only be achieved through the grace and by believing in Jesus and those who will live a life worthy of the Lord will have the everlasting life with the Lord in Heaven.

Article V

The Church [7] is an elect company of believers baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body; its mission is to witness concerning its Head, Jesus Christ, preaching the gospel among all nations; it will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air ere He appears to set up His kingdom [8].

The Church, which is composed of the true believers of Jesus Christ are commanded to spread the Good News to all nations and to bring all men closer to God. Believers, when Jesus come again to judge all men, will be rewarded with eternal life and be with the Lord in the newly created Kingdom of God.

WORKS CITED

  • Herrick, Greg. “Ecclesiology: The Church” Retrieved on July 10, 2007 from http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=731
  • McCallum, Dennis and Gary DeLashmutt. “The New Testament Definition of the Church” Retrieved on July 10, 2007 from http://www.xenos.org/classes/um1-1a.htm . adapted from “The Introductory Study Guide: Understanding Ministry”
  • Pate, Marvin C. “The Church” Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology. One True Church Claims. Retrieved on July 10, 200 from http://churches.net/churches/utmiss/Church/ONE%20TRUE%20CHURCH%20CLAIMS.htm

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