By: Scott Shifferd, Jr.
Some beliefs and practices set the church within the Bible apart from most named churches today:
The Resurrection of Jesus attests to His sinlessness and equality with God as Jesus is the fullness of Deity bodily (2 Cor 5:21; Col 2:9). Therefore, the words that Jesus taught and gave to His apostles are without error (John 6:63; 16:12–13; 17:8).
Love is the great quality of Christ’s disciples who are known by their love for God and one another so they keep God’s commands (John 13:35; 14:21–24; 1 John 3:10, 16; 5:1–3). Christ’s followers care for the needy (Acts 2:44–45; 4:34–35; 20:34–35).
The Bible is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching to make the person of God complete unto every good work (2 Tim 3:16–17). The first disciples were devoted to the apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42). The apostle Paul declared, “Maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you” (1 Cor 11:2b). Jesus spoke against traditions of men that reject God’s commands (Mark 7:1–9).
Baptism was a burial in water immediately done for repentant believers unto the forgiveness of sins and is the moment of salvation (Acts 2:38; 16:32–33; Col 2:12–13; 1 Pet 3:21). Jesus commanded baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit to make disciples (Matt 28:19–20). One baptism is essential to the Christian faith (Eph 4:5).
The Assembly is when churches in the Bible gathered to break bread for the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 10:16–17; 11: cf. 1 Cor 16:1–2). The whole congregation came together not for people to display gifts for a show but for the congregation to praise God and to edify one another with encouragement (1 Cor 14; Heb 2:12; 10:24–25). In assembly, the congregation sang making melody with one voice, with intelligible words, and without musical instruments (1 Cor 14:15; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).
Leadership in biblical churches was made of men as God created man first and gave man the role of servant leaders in the church and the home (Eph 5:23–24; 1 Tim 2:13–14). In the Bible, elders were pastors who led each church (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet 5:1–3). The apostles helped appoint elders in each church who were men that met specific qualifications (Acts 14:23; 1 Tim 3:1–7; Titus 1:5–9).
Marriage consists of one man and one woman for life. Jesus taught this by God’s creation of male and female to become one flesh (Mark 10:6–9; cf. Gen 2:24). Jesus allowed divorce and remarriage upon sex outside of marriage (Matt 5:32; 19:9; 1 Cor 7:10–11).