What is a Bible church?
Question: "What is a Bible church?"
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Complete Guide to Christian Denominations: Understanding the History, Beliefs, and Differences by Ron Rhodes.
Bible churches are those which profess to adhere to the Bible as their standard of faith and practice. However, they are of no particular Christian denomination (non-denominational), so there is no formal prescribed belief system to govern them. Any church in any denomination, as well as any non-denominational church, can use the words “Bible Church” in their name, and therefore, each one would need to be examined for their particular beliefs and practices. Some Bible churches originate from denominational pastors or groups who find themselves differing from the traditions within their denomination, and therefore, Bible churches may closely resemble the denomination they came from (with slight differences in emphasis and tradition).
There seems to be a common theme among many of the non-denominational Bible churches which stems from the fact that they emphasize Bible teaching. Bible churches usually believe that God is One and that He has a triune nature of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They believe and preach the God-ordained Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Bible churches usually believe the core Christian foundation doctrines of salvation by faith in Christ alone, redemption through the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the renewing of the mind by the Word of God, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Bible churches tend to emphasize Christian service, discipleship, and fellowship as necessary for a believer’s spiritual maturity. They believe in the coming return of Jesus Christ, the Day of Judgment, the thousand-year reign of Christ, eternal life for those who believe, and eternal hell for those who do not. Bible churches usually practice the common Christian ordinances of baptism in water and communion, the singing of songs and hymns, and teaching and preaching from the Bible with the purpose of life application. They are usually interested in the great commission of the Lord Jesus Christ—the spreading of the gospel for the salvation of people’s souls with a heavy emphasis on making disciples. Thus, Bible churches are considered Evangelical.
Bible churches do not usually believe, or at least do not teach nor emphasize from the New Testament, the baptism in the Holy Spirit as modern Pentecostals describe it, with the patterned evidence of speaking in tongues as it happened in the book of Acts. Bible churches are not considered full gospel, Pentecostal, or charismatic; they do not believe in the gifts of the Spirit as being those of supernatural power for signs, wonders, and miracles through believers today. They do not usually emphasize divine healing and miracles or the laying on of hands for healing, believing that the biblical pattern of miracles and healings ceased, either at the completion of the biblical canon or with the death of the apostles.
Again, because each Bible church is unique, each one would need to be viewed distinctly. For anyone who is searching for a home church, here are four good principles for choosing the right one: 1) Choose a church where the Bible is taught rightly and thoroughly (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). 2) Choose a church where the people strive to love and serve one another. 3) Choose a church where the pastor is genuine and seems to love his people. 4) Seek God’s wisdom (James 1:5) and will in prayer for a church home, and choose the church of God’s leading.
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