On the Local Church

Beloved,

First, thank you for your faithfulness and prayer. We are grateful for you taking the time to visit this site for the resources, here.  I want to make sure that we clarify something for you though; I need to make sure that you understand where we stand on church membership.

1. Exploring the Truth is not a church We are an organization that comes alongside the church. Our goal is to provide materials that are supplementary to the teaching you would regularly receive in church. The materials we offer will help you to disciple your small group members, or in the case of some of our international brothers, it may help in regular preaching.

2. Everything Christ does in the world today is done through the local church. It is the role of the pastor of the local church to be the primary caretaker of the flock of Christ and to equip them. Missions, evangelism, discipleship, are all done through the local church. Remember that the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews admonishes us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together Hebrews 10:25)

3. What is the local church Since this website is doctrinally Baptis, our definition of a local church will have a distinctly Baptist flavor:

a local church is an organized congregation of immersed believers, associated by covenant of faith and fellowship of the gospel; observing the ordinances of Christ; governed by His laws; and exercising the gifts, rights, and privilege invested in them by His Word; that its officers are pastors and deacons, godly men whose qualifications, claims and duties are clearly defined in the Scriptures. We believe the true mission of the church is the faithful witnessing of Christ to all people as we have opportunity. We hold that the local church has the absolute right of self-government free from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations; and that the one and only Superintendent is Christ through the Holy Spirit; that it is Scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other in contending for the faith and for the furtherance of the gospel; that each local church is the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation; that on all matters of membership, of polity, of government, of discipline, of benevolence, the will of the local church is final.

1 Corinthians 11:2; Acts 20:17–28; 1 Timothy 2:12; 3:1–13; Titus 1:5–9; Acts 2:41, 42

Beloved, we are grateful you are with us and we are encouraged that you are growing in grace. It is our joy to come alongside the church and to assist you whereever possible. If you have not yet found a church where you have covenanted in membership and are giving of your time, talents, and resources, let me encourage you to do so; the richness of the Christian faith is lived out in the community of the faithful. If you need help to find a good church, reach out to me via the contact form and I will help you get plugged in.

Grace to you,

Matt

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