What is a Biblical Church?
There are many kinds of churches today. Many of these churches usually have affiliations with certain system of belief and church practices such Pentecostalism, Reformed or Anglicanism. How does one choose a church that is biblical and right in the eyes of GOD?
For us to decide what is right or wrong, there must be a standard. For the believer, the bible is the standard. Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony (the bible): if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light (no truth) in them. Therefore, if one wants to find out what a true church should be, then the standard must come from the Word of GOD.
There are certain distinguishing traits of a biblical church that we must all bear in mind as we go in search of a biblical church, a church that is a new testament church.
What are Marks of a New Testament Church?
(How Do I Know If A Church Is A New Testament Church?)
2 Tim 3:16 – 17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: / That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
The BIBLE was given to man by inspiration of God. Because it is God’s Word, it must be our supreme and ultimate rule for doctrine and practice. It refers not only to the principles and practices of the church, but also to any questions about relationships, family, financial matters, even direction in life and how to love GOD and to fear Him in every area of our life. Any time we have a question concerning doctrine or practice we must find the answer in the Bible and follow its guidance (2Tim 3:16; 2Pe 1:20-21; Heb 4:12; Ac 17:11; Ps 119:105).
The Bible Is The Final Authority In Matters Of Faith And Practice.
AUTONOMY OF THE LOCAL CHURCH
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Every local church is to be AUTONOMOUS. This means that the church is self-governing, self- supporting and self-propagating. Christ alone is the head of every local church (Ephesians 1:22; 5:23). No human authority has the right to control the belief and preaching of a local church. Each local church has the authority to scripturally discipline members that refuse to confess sin (Matthew 18:15-19). It has the authority to send forth missionaries (Acts 13:1-3). It has the authority to receive the offerings of God’s people for the furtherance of God’s work (1Cor 16:1-2; Romans 15:25-26; Mal 3:8-10; 2Cor 9:6-7; 1Cor 9:13-14).
The Church Is To Be Autonomous In Its Governance And Beliefs Accountable Finally Only To The Lord Jesus Christ.
PRIESTHOOD OF THE BELIEVER
Rev 1:5 – 6 And from Jesus Christ … Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, (salvation) /And hath made us kings (rulers) and priests (priests) unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
“Priest” is defined as “one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediator between humans and God.” Every believer today is a priest of God and may enter into His presence in prayer directly through our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ. No other mediator is needed between God and people. As christians, we can study God’s Word and apply it, we can pray for others, and offer spiritual worship to God through our giving and our service. We all have equal access to God — whether we are a preacher or not. 1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 5:9,10
The New Testament Church Believes In The Priesthood Of The Believer.
The local church practice two ordinances:
(1) baptism of believers by immersion in water, identifying the individual with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Matthew 28:19,20). This practice was specifically given in the Great Commission and therefore in loving obedience to GOD, we insists that it be practiced in the local church for every born again believer. There are three requirements for proper biblical baptism: the right candidate, the right method which is immersion and the proper authority (the new testament church). These principles will be further elaborated in the pamphlet “what is biblical baptism?”
(2) the Lord’s Supper, or communion commemorating His death for our sins. The Lord Jesus specifically instituted this practice for the church to always remember the broken body and the shed blood of Christ. This is an important practice that every church member has a biblical, loving obligation to attend to whenever it is practiced. 1 Corinthians 11;23-32
There Are Only Two Ordinances Of The Lord Church: Baptism And The Lord’s Supper.
INDIVIDUAL SOUL LIBERTY
Romans 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
All men has SOUL LIBERTY. Soul Liberty is the belief that every individual, whether a believer or an unbeliever, has the liberty to choose what he wants to believe. No one has the right to force his belief on another through threats of pain or persecution. Based on this teaching, it is important to understand three truths: 1. We have the right to choose what we want to believe but because only the Bible is true, therefore those who choose contrary to the Bible will be held accountable by God (Phil 2:12-13; Romans 14:12); 2. We may not force a person to believe in the bible, but when they believe error or things that are wrong, we may disagree
in word and stand for the truth which does not amount to imposing but to defend the truth for its own sake; 3.
We Have Soul Liberty.
SAVED, BAPTIZED CHURCH MEMBERSHIP
Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Local Church membership is restricted to individuals who give a believable testimony of personal faith in Christ and have publicly identified themselves with Him in believer’s baptism. When the members of a local church are believers, a oneness in Christ exists, and the members can endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. We do not baptize babies because it is clear they cannot communicate their salvation.
Acts 2:41-47; 1 Corinthians 12:12; 2 Corinthians 6:14; Ephesians 4:3
The Church Membership Must Be Saved And Immersed.
TWO OFFICES IN THE CHURCH
God has appointed the offices of PASTOR and DEACON for the leadership of the local church. The pastor is to be the head of the church, under Christ (Ephesians 4:7-12; 1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5; Acts 14:23). The deacon is a servant of the pastor to help minister to the physical needs of the church (Acts 6:1-6; 1Timothy 3:8-13). The lives and testimonies of the pastor and deacon must be in accord with the qualifications outlined in Scripture. That is not to be taken to mean that there cannot be other men put in places of ministry and are in charge of it such a printing ministry, Sunday school and so on.
There Are Only Biblical Two Officers In The Local Church
The word separate has the principle being set apart from sin and wrong and living in the principles, spirit of GOD’s word. There are three types of separation in the bible:
THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
Matthew 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.
God established both the church and the civil government, and He gave each its own distinct sphere of operation. The government’s purposes are outlined in Romans 13:1-7 and the church’s purposes in Matthew 28:19 and 20. Neither should control the other, nor should there be an alliance between the two. Christians in a free society can properly influence government toward righteousness, which is not the same as a denomination or group of churches controlling the government.
1 Peter 1:15 – 16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; / Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
The bible is very clear that worldliness, our flesh and Satan himself can influence us to do wrong. The best way to keep ourselves pure for GOD’s work and His purpose, is to decide in our hearts to not be involved in things that will cause us to sway and sin against God and to decide to live for GOD. When we know listening to rock music and watching violent movies will cause our spiritual lives to be affected, we will intentionally separate from these things so as to be pure for the Lord’s work.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Do I Join A Biblical Church?
The first requirement is to ensure that we know that we are saved. The next step is to present ourselves to be baptized. The process in Ambassador is to
- – Write your salvation experience
- – Share it with the pastor who will then see if there is a proper of understanding ofsalvation and baptism
- – When the interview has been prayerfully concluded, the pastor will set a date for thecandidate to share the testimony with the local church
- – The church will then vote to admit the candidate based on their hearing of thetestimony of salvation Matt 16:18
2. I was formerly from a church of another denomination and I was already baptized by immersion in the previous church. Can I join the church based on my immersion from the previous church?
The answer is that you will have to be baptized scripturally before joining Ambassador Baptist Church. The reason is twofold:
- – To admit an individual from another church that is not of like faith would be saying that we agree with the doctrines of your former church, and that we cannot do because we would not be showing faithfulness to the Lord Jesus and His word.
- – Because of the doctrine of church authority in baptism, an essential teaching of the bible that is not taught today. To baptize, the church must be authorized by the Lord Jesus and the criteria for authorization is the teaching of the whole counsel of GOD by the church and that they based ALL their teaching on the bible alone. To depart, minimize or deny any doctrine of the bible is treason and sin against GOD. And when a church does not, she loses her authority to baptize.
When a church has erroneous teachings and practices such as infant baptism, sprinkling, speaking in tongues, we will have to make a stand for the truth of the bible and inform the candidate that he or she will have to be baptized scripturally. Though unpopular, it is an important position we because of faithfulness to the word of GOD and to our Saviour whom we love.
3. I am from another denomination and I would still like to join Ambassador Baptist Church and I am willing to be scripturally baptized, what must I do?
We humbly praise the Lord for your willingness to do so. The steps to join are as follows:
- To go through a series of 8 sessions to introduce and share with you what we believe to be the biblical positions that we take on the salvation, bible, church and its related teachings, separation, giving and other important practices of the church.
- After the candidate has gone through and are convicted by the teachings of the word, to then proceed to the baptism process of writing the salvation testimony, going through the pastoral interview, sharing before the church and the church voting to admit the candidate by baptism.