Summary: In answering the question we want to define what God wants as a corporate body
Where Is The Church Today? By Gerald Van Horn
Text. Acts 2:42
In answering the question we want to define what God wants as a corporate body of believers. Where is the church today? Begs for an answer. Some said. “Oh I know where the church is located !” Others may say, “I know when it meets. I meets each Sunday at 10:45 a.m. (Put your own time in) The question is not directed at the geographical location nor the time that it meets. We see churches in America almost on every corner. How do we know which one is Apostolic(follows the doctrine and the teachings of the Apostles) and a New Testament church? Can we know by the shape of the building? Can we know it is a New Testament church by the size of a cross on it or other religious decorations?
Let us clarify the question. We are asking what is the true Apostolic-New Testament church today? Is there such a thing and if there is how do we go about identifying with it? To properly answer we must first define what a church is. Our forefathers during the reformation brought to us a clear definition of what a church is.
1. The true church is a place where all the Word of God is proclaimed and taught.
2. The true church is where the ordinances are Scriptural, obeyed and celebrated.
It is a great definition to ever come from man. That simple yet profound definition has had an impact on churches since that time. As great as the definition is I must add a third definition that will further identify
the true New Testament church.
3. It must be a place where the Holy Spirit is welcomes, honored and welcome to do the work of Jesus on the earth.
Let’s take each one of these definition and perhaps we will see where the church is today:
#1. The true church preaches all the Word of God.
I Timothy 3:16 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, and
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
The church is the place where the truth is declared by teaching or preaching. It is the truth and
nothing but the truth.
Philippians 2:15-16 “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke
in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. V.16
Holding forth the word of life;
The church not only preaches and teaches the New Testament but the Old Testament as well. All of the
Word of God is infallible, inspired and inerrant.
Infallible-incapable of being mistaken in a matter of doctrine.
Inerrant- incapable of mistakes.
Every chapter, every verse is fully the Word of a Devine God. We hold it forth as such.
Illustration: Pillars and columns support a building and hold it together so does all the Word of God. If we take a pillar out it will weaken the building and it may weaken the structure. If we just teach and peach the
New Testament truths only or just Old Testament truths we weaken the structure of the corporate body. We believe that it not only supports the church but it holds the church together. It gives crudenas to the church being a bonofide New testament church.
What the Word of God is Not:
1. It is not your personal testimony. You testimony mat be based on the Word of God but is still your testimony. See 2 Peter 1:19 “We have also amore sure word of prophecy…”
On the day of Pentecost Peter did not preach his personal experience but he preached the Word of God.
Psa. 16:9-10, Joel 2:28, Eech &:14, Gen. 3:15, Isa.53, Psa.22 to mention just a few.
2. The Word of God is not our personal prejudices. One who teaches and preaches their own prejudices
does not teach and preach the Word of God. It may be their own opinion and we dare not substitute it for the Bible. We may have every right to an opinion but it should be stated as such.
3. The Word of God is not necessary our preference. Revelation 10:9-10 Tells us that it may be bitter and sweet. Those Scriptures that tickle the pallet may be easy to digest but can result in spiritual diabetes.
If the Word of God is preached and taught it may be bitter as well as sweet.
The Word of God is God breathed. Preaching and teaching God’s Word is the number one business of the church. The church should not exist for entertainment. But it should be an enjoyable experience. When you go to church it should be an opportunity to hear God’s Word. 2 Peter 1:20-21. “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” God said it, I believe it and that settles it.