The New Testament Church – What Is It?



The short answer is that the Bible gives sufficient information about the really important qualities of the church to allow one to recognize whether one is dealing with a church as described in the New Testament, or an institution which is more or less of human design.  At least five important characteristics of New Testament churches are easily identified in Scripture.  They are:

1.   The nature of the church

2.   The relationship of local churches

3.   The divine plan for leadership

4.   Roles and relationships among the people

5.   The mission of the  church

The fact that it is revealed that there is intense spiritual warfare waged against whatever God is building, accounts for the fact that there are many counterfeits in the world purporting to be the true church.

If you’re looking for a short article on the subject, please begin here.

For a more extended discussion, including the five characteristics of New Testament churches, please see here.

Communion Bread

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 2.09.16 PMUnleavened Bread and the Lord’s Supper

The question is sometimes asked as to why certain churches use unleavened bread for the Lord’s Supper while others use regular bread. All agree that no passage in the New Testament requires the use of either one or the other; thus the decision must be based on other considerations. The reasoning in favor of using unleavened bread is that since leaven is a picture of evil in the Bible, and the Supper was instituted at the time of the Jewish Passover making it likely that this was what the Lord used; we ought to do the same today. Sounds reasonable on the surface, but let’s take a look.

Grapes of Fellowship

Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 7.49.07 AMThe first has to do with the “appointing of elders,” and the second has to do with the “recognizing of elders.” Let’s think carefully about each. This is important because many churches have come to the conclusion, based on a careful study of Scripture, that there is no support in the Bible for the conventional one man Pastor type of church government. Moving toward a plural leadership of elders, they can become entangled in other problems and in some cases, the second error is worse than the first.