The Blessing of Autonomy

Church building in the trees

One characteristic of the Lord’s church that makes it different from most churches of men is autonomy. Autonomous local churches are not linked together in or through some larger organizational structure.

Why did the Lord design the church to be this way? Obviously, we cannot always know every reason behind instructions that have been given in the Scriptures. Our responsibility is simply to follow the Lord’s instructions whether we understand the reason behind them or not. However, we can look to the Bible to see what has been revealed that would indicate certain blessings of autonomy.Continue Reading

The Real Pharisees (Part 16): The Pharisees Overemphasized Making Converts

The Real Pharisees

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matthew 23:15).

One might wonder how it could be possible to overemphasize making converts. After all, one of the principal works that we have been given – both individually and collectively – is to try to turn people to the Lord. The New Testament places a good deal of emphasis on making converts.
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How Could the Whole World Have Been Taught?

Globes

In his letter to the church in Colossae, Paul said, “The gospel…was proclaimed in all creation under heaven” (Colossians 1:23). When Jesus gave His apostles the Great Commission, He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Paul indicated that by the time he wrote to the Colossians, this had been done. How is that possible? Let us consider the record in the book of Acts.
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Looking for a New Church

Church Building

The Pew Research Center has recently come out with some new information about how Americans search for a new congregation with which they can worship. The findings were interesting and I believe this information can be helpful as we seek to reach those in the community around us.
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The Church Gathered Together

Two Men Praying

Togetherness is a characteristic seen in the Lord’s church throughout the book of Acts. Let us briefly consider the examples of the church gathering together and see what lessons we can learn.
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Congregational Cooperation

Cooperate

From time to time, it is good to revisit questions that brethren have debated in the past. If we fail to do this, there is a danger that the next generation can fall into the same errors that faithful brethren once opposed. A lack of understanding leads to apostasy. This was what happened to the Israelites after Joshua and his generation were gone: “There arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals” (Judges 2:10-11). We should try to prevent such apostasy through teaching.

The question we will consider here is this: Can local congregations work together? If so, how? This issue has been called congregational cooperation or church cooperation. In this article, we are going to consider what the Bible has to say that will help us answer this question.
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Church Membership

Church Attendance Board

The term “church membership” is not used in the New Testament. However, it is certainly a Scriptural concept. Paul clearly taught the concept of church membership in his letter to Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:14-30). Notice the following verses in particular:

For the body is not one member, but many” (1 Corinthians 12:14).

But now there are many members, but one body” (1 Corinthians 12:20).

Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

In this article, let us consider the topic of church membership. As we do, we will ask three questions: (1) What is church membership? (2) How do we become members? (3) What are members to do?
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