The Apostle Paul wrote what is generally referred to as Pastoral Epistles. These epistles or letters of doctrine were written to inform and teach pastors how to carry out their three most important duties. These duties are (1) guard against false doctrine, (2) protect public worship, and (3) develop mature leadership. These three duties are imperative for the growth of the church that Jesus Christ has built and is continuing to build, up until his glorious coming.
Sadly, there is a significant difference between the Body of Christ (the real church), and the various so-called local churches we see today. In order for a local church to be a member of the Body of Christ, it must adhere to the Word of God, and not by some doctrine or discipline created by men. The Word of God says there is one Lord, one Faith, and one Baptism.
The one baptism takes place at conversion, which is the moment you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. It is also at that moment when God seals you with His Holy Spirit and when Christ gives you spiritual gifts for the edification of His church.
More importantly, the moment you accept Christ, you become one of the many lively stones that make up a spiritual house called the Body of Christ, you also receive the free gift of eternal life, you are adopted by God as His son, thus becoming a joint-heir with Christ to the Kingdom of God, you also become a citizen of the Kingdom of God while on earth, and God declares and sees you as holy, righteous, perfect, complete and without blame in His sight.
The purpose of the local church is to help you to understand, believe and accept all of the things God has done for you at conversion by teaching you to walk by faith and not by sight. Sadly, however, the churches, that are created by men are deceiving believers into believing they have to earn what God has already given them. This deception or false doctrine results in many believers going back to the bondage of Egypt instead of walking into their promised land. You can never become who God say you are by working it out, but you can be who God says you are by faith.
For example, in some churches created by men, they teach the false doctrine that you have to speak in tongues in order to demonstrate or prove you have been given the Holy Spirit. In some churches created by men, they teach the false doctrine that you have to earn or work your way to heaven, when it is impossible for any person to do so. In some churches created by men, they teach you have to go on probation in order to be a full-fledged member of the church and/or pay in full every year, certain dues or claims. That is a lie from the devil and if you accept that, you have just subjected yourself to being controlled and manipulated by that local church for it’s benefit, instead of being controlled and manipulate by Christ for the glory of God.
In some churches created by men, they teach you have to work hard to be holy and righteous and if you become righteous and holy you will go to heaven and be a great person for God. Well, the truth of the matter is this: No one can become holy or righteous because you are already holy and righteous because of the work of Christ. Holiness and righteousness is a direct result of faith and not performance.
When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, He doesn’t see you as a member of so and so church. He sees you as a citizen of His Kingdom. That is why he tells every new convert, to first seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. In some churches created by men, they tell you to first seek their little kingdom and their idea of righteousness.
Many of us as believers have even deceived ourselves into attending local churches because of what that church believes and/or because of how they worship. There should not be a difference in what churches believe because there is only one faith and one lord. And God is not looking for churches that sing well, shout well, dance well, speak well and look good. He is looking for those believers who worship him in spirit and in truth.
Is it any wonder why He said, “Study to show thyself approved…Rightly dividing the Word of God.”