How Is a Church to Function, Scripturally
Today’s churches do much the same as the Saducees and Pharisees did. They take the simplicity of scripture and faith and write many rules and conditions about it. Church function is very simply stated in scriptures.
It foundation, of course is Jesus Christ, Who gave Holy Spirit gifts to His saints so that He could build the church through them as they waked in the Spirit.
There are very few “rules” to follow.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mark 12:30
If that is not the basis of all a church is and does, then it is not a church. When we love God in that way, we love His people, His ways, His scriptures, HIs kingdom, His laws. Every sin and thing that goes wrong in our life or the life of a church happens ONLY because something is loved more than Him.
And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31
The second is only the reaction people have to one another because they love God and love those He has created, just as He does. We are to be expressions of God’s love to one another.
If those two commandments were followed, there would be no conflicts, no problems in personal lives or in the church. That does not mean that the worldly and the fleshly will not persecute those who obey those commandments. Scripture clearly shows that is not the case.
Scripture gives examples regarding what that looks like in practice.
- Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Romans 12:10 Do we honor our brethren? Do we prefer their growth above ours?
- I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:1-3
- Let brotherly love continue. Hebrews 13:1
- Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 1 Peter 1:22
- Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 1 Peter 2:17
- Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8,9
God does not abide phony love
- My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18
- Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:11
- If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:20
In order to love properly as God loves, we must discard the world’s definition of love. God’s love is always intent on His eternal perposes and bringing each saint into the fullness of their calling and giftings so that we may bring Him glory. God’s love is focused on conforming His saints into His image, earthly happiness and joy needs to be sacrificed for the joy and happiness of knowing Him.
Before any discussion of differences can be addressed, the above areas must be brought before the Lord.
The church has adopted the world’s understanding of leadership as one who controls another. It is based on titles and position. God’s leaders a chosen based on accounatability. They must answer to God regarding how they lead. They are part of the way God builds His church (discussed later as part of Ephesians 4). They must do nothing other than lead by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. They do not dictate, but are called to declare the Mind of God in areas where the church would otherwise be at a standstill. They are subject to the Spirit as He may speak through those he is accountable to lead. No voice is to be ignored, and each saint must consider the words and actions of the leader and test them to see if they be of the Spirit. How one goes about confronting a leader or a brother or sister regarding differenences in understanding is address later on this page.
A leader is not a boss. When rebellion occurs, the rebels are rebelling against God if the leader has spoken God’s words. A true leader reacts like Moses did. He warned the rebels, and then stood aside and let God handle them. That usually happens after the process of Matthew 18: is followed (discussed below)
- But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; (servamt) Matthew 20:26
- Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
How to Resolve Differences
In three short verses, God shows us how to resolve all differences and rebellion
- Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Matthew 18:15-17
This assumes that those in the church are walking in the Spirit and are spiritually minded. When one is not walking in the Spirit or spiritually minded, they are not participating in the life of the church and should remain silent..