Which Church to choose?
Reading: Acts 2:36-47
“The Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved”
(Acts 2:47)
New believers are usually advised in follow-up talks to attend a “spiritual” Church. How to identify a “spiritual” Church?
Local Churches can be broadly divided as Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal. The main difference is on how one understands the experience of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit. It is wrong to say that the Pentecostal Churches are all “spiritual” and others are not. In the Biblical sense, the word “spiritual” is the opposite of “carnal” or “natural.” Hence a spiritual Church would mean a Church without carnality. It is not the style of worship, the form of government, the mode of baptism or the method of breadbreaking that decides whether or not a Church is “spiritual.” The deciding factor is its character as a group and the lifestyle of its members. In spite of the fact that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit were in operation in the Corinthian Church (1 Cor 1:7; 14:12a), Paul calls it a “carnal” Church (1 Cor 3:1-3). If we honestly analyse today’s situation, there is always a mixture of spirituality and carnality. The percentage, of course, varies!
A Church is where one can “grow” into maturity following Re-birth. Some of the characteristics expected of a spiritual Church—
1. It should believe the Bible as the Word of God. It must provide solid Balanced Bible teaching which helps believers to grow steady and strong.
2. Worship should be rich in the “truth” content and enthusiastic in “Spirit” (Jn 4:23,24).
3. There must be a healthy relationship among the members of the Church. Upholding one another and sharing material blessings with the needy must be practised in the Church (Js 2:14-17).
4. It must be a Church where leadership is not vested on one man but responsibilities are shared.
5. The Church must keep missions and evangelism as its top priority. The Church must not be a clutch. Members should have the freedom to associate themselves with evangelistic agencies and involve themselves in any ministry of their choice.
Since no single Church has all these characteristics. Don’t expect too much and get disappointed. If disappointed, don’t get discouraged!
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