What is the true church of God?
Is the true church of God a certain denomination? Is it the Jehovah Witnesses, or the Seventh-day Adventist church, or maybe the Lutheran church or…? What does the Bible say about the true church of God? Let us look what God’s Scriptures have to say.
Matt 16:18 “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” NIV
The founder of God’s true church is Jesus Himself. He is the One building the church up and He guarantees that nothing, not even the gates of hell will overcome it.
Eph 1:22-23”And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” NIV
The head or leader of the church must be Jesus Christ! He is the reason for the existence of the church. Anything must be approved by Him first.
If your church looks dead, the reason is: John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” NIV
Remember, a church can do nothing without Jesus. He is our leader!
Eph 2:19-22 “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” NIV
The members of a church belong to God’s household, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone (the reason) of the church. We are all one family. In Jesus we are all joined together and we are build together to become a “dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit”. It doesn’t matter if you are a Baptist, or an Anglican, or a Pentecostal, we are all “joined together” “to become a holy temple in the Lord”
John 17:20-21 “I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” NIV
Jesus prayer for us is unity, not only unity among our members in a local church, but unity among all believers, including all Christian denominations.
1 Cor 12:13 “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free-and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”
It doesn’t matter which church you go to, as long as it proclaims the gospel message and its members let their lives be guided by God’s Holy Spirit and His Word, the Bible, which is inspired by God’s Holy Spirit.
1 Cor 12:25-26 “So that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” NIV
Instead of quibbling about differences, we should be united and show brotherly love towards one another.
1 Tim 3:15-16 “If I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great:
He appeared in a body,
was vindicated by the Spirit,
was seen by angels,
was preached among the nations,
was believed on in the world,
was taken up in glory.” NIV
The church being the pillar of truth, what is its truth? Paul explains it in summary form in verse 16: Jesus came on our planet to save us, died for us and was resurrected on the third day and was taken up to heaven. This message is being preached throughout the world! Its message is a message of forgiveness and reconciliation.
This is the message that was preached by Peter on Pentecost:
Acts 2:22-24 “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” NIV
Acts 2:32-34 “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. “ NIV
This is the message that was preached over and over by all apostles and all of Jesus’ disciples: Rom 1:16-17 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” NIV
This message is urged by Jesus to be preached around the world. We are promised Jesus’ assistance in this.
Matt 28:18-20 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” NIV
Rom 7:4-6 “So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature (not anymore! Hallelujah!), the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” NIV
An example of what this texts means in practical life is found in 1 Cor 6:15 “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!” NIV
A Christian is someone who will do what Jesus would do. Living a sinful life is out of the question!
In fact, God Himself says about His church 2 Cor 11:2 “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” NIV He wants you to be pure!
No wonder that the apostle Paul urges us to Eph 5:1-2 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” NIV
In summary, the true Christian church is a universal church whose members abide in Jesus and God and share the Good News (gospel message) with others.
1 John 2:24-25 “See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us-even eternal life.” NIV
My friend, do you know Jesus as your personal friend? Do you know that He is inviting you to become part of God’s family? It is time that you stop running from Him, and start running towards Him. It is time to experience a close relationship with your Maker, who wants you to become His friend. Why don’t you invite Him now into your life by answering His call at http://www.answers2prayer.org/saviours_call.html.
To understand who and what constitutes God’s true church, it must be from God Himself, and He mercifully promises to grant us all the knowledge and wisdom we need to understand His truth (see James 1:5; John 7:17, 14:26).
James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.
John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.
John 14:26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The wisdom which comes from God, that is found in His inspired word, the Bible, must be our ONLY foundation in trying to understand the truth. For all the different denominations out there that abound, if they are not Bible based, and lead of His Holy word directly from The Bible, then they are lead of lies and full of Satan. To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Isaiah 8:20.)
We must study God’s word for ourselves in order to know what is declared to be God’s church, and we cannot allow any man, or group of men, guide our conscience or do our study for us. There is only good or evil in this world. Light or darkness. And our Father’s word lists only two kinds of churches the pure righteous church of God (see Revelation 12:1-5; Ephesians 5:27), or the corrupt Babylonian synagogue of Satan (see Revelation 2:9, 17:1-6). The church of God is founded ONLY upon God’s light and HIS truth (see 1 Timothy 3:15).
The true church of God will keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. We must not worship God based on popularity but based on what God requires. We cannot do this ourselves, but if we go to him in prayer his Holy Spirit will lead us to the truth.
Those that worship God must worship him in Spirit and in Truth. The word of God tells you everything that God requires. You can only measure truth by using the word of God. Pauls tells us that the church of the living God is the pillar and ground of the truth.
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15
To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20
All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalms 25:10
O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. Psalms 43:3
Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. Psalms 119:151
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:23, 24
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17
He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 1 John 2:4
Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the LORD: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth. Psalms 96:12, 13
May God richly bless you all!