Within The Context Of American Society, We Have Strayed

1652 WordsFeb 13, 20177 Pages
Within the context of American society, we have strayed from the true purpose and identity of what the church was originally created to be. When we hear the word, “church,” we think of a building, a mere location where believers gather together every Sunday. The church of America might believe the essential elements of the church are an air-conditioned sanctuary, ten different ministry opportunities, and a full band to lead worship. While none of these things are necessarily bad, they do not comprise the biblical model of what the church was created to be. The church can be divided into two components: the Universal Church and the local church. Once a person becomes a believer, they are part of the Universal Church, the body of believers…show more content…
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus commands His listeners to “repent for the Kingdom of God is near.” In Acts 3:19, Peter says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” One cannot enter into a relationship with God without repentance, which is why it is the first essential element of the church. Repentance and faith in Christ turns a person away from his or her sin and allows that person to enter into the grace of God. Repentance is a central command of Christ to the church, and so it must be a central command in our churches today. The second characteristic Peter considers to be essential is baptism. Jesus himself was baptized; so believers of the church today must also be baptized. In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus gives His final command as, “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” If Jesus considered baptism worthy and necessary enough to be in His final command, it is something we should put into practice today. The command to be baptized is found multiple times throughout the book of Acts and also in the rest of New Testament, thus, making it an essential element of the church today. In Acts 22:16, Paul is told, “And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.” Baptism is the first step of obedience as a
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