If you have believed, and have been baptized with the Holy Spirit as a confirmation from God, you need to join a group of believers. This group is called a church.
Not all churches are created equal. You need to find out as much as you can about each church before joining one. Some churches are actually “cults” in disguise. Some do not really proclaim the true Gospel. They teach salvation by good works or by joining their group only (i.e. exclusivism). Others promote idolatry rather than the true worship of God. Some churches are divisive, claiming to be the only true church while criticizing all other churches. Faith without love is really arrogance. Churches that are not living in love may not be a good choice for you.
The marks of a true Christian church are not really hard to discern. Their characteristics are quite obvious. They believe (and practice accordingly) the following convictions:
- Jesus Christ is the only true foundation of the church, not Peter or any other person (1 Cor 3:11).
- Eternal life is by grace through faith alone (Eph 2:9-10).
- Sound exposition of the Scriptures is a must (2 Tim 3:16-17).
- Use of biblical discipleship and discipline are necessary (Matt 28:18-20).
- Spiritual worship must be based on truth, not man-made rules (John 4:19-24).
If you find a church that has these “essential” marks, then try to find out about their vision. Even though a church may have all these marks, some may not have a clear vision. They are simply institutions trying to become successful or trying to survive. Try to discover their history and development. Some churches are started by divisive people, and so they continue to have a divisive spirit even today. Avoid such churches as much as possible.
Real Life Christian Communities is unique because we are a network of Missional Communities, Small Groups, and Simple Churches scattered everywhere but united under one vision. Click here to know more about us.
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