A Conversation Tool
As we continue our discussion of the Joy of Church Membership during the morning service this week I wanted to give you a resource that you can use to share our congregation with others. Providentially our church name can be used to share with people the type of church you attend and each individual word has a lot of meaning. Our “official” name is: Faith Bible Church, Orthodox Presbyterian.
Faith. Romans 1:16, 17, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, ‘The righteous shall live by faith.’” Faith Alone is one of the foundational doctrines of the Reformation and of Scripture. We trust in Christ by faith alone not by works. In sharing our church with others the word faith reminds us and those we visit with of the great doctrines of: Faith Alone, Christ Alone, Grace Alone, Scripture Alone, to the Glory of God Alone.
Bible. Westminister Shorter Catechism, question 2 states: What rule hath God given to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him? The answer is: The Word of God, which is contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, is the only rule to direct us how we may glorify and enjoy him. Share with others how the Word of God is of primary importance to our congregation. We value God’s, Holy, Inerrant, Inspired, Infallible, word. And you can share the meaning behind each of those words with others as well.
Church. We are a church. Not a social club. Not any other type of group. We are a covenant community of believers in Christ who have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus and we believe in being connected to a local body. This is how we are able to submit to proper Church government and discipline as well as hear the proclamation of God’s Word and take part in the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. Share with others why the Bible demands membership in a local body in order to obey God’s Word.
Orthodox. This word tends to scare people but it is rather simple when you think of the word “Orthodontist”. The job of an orthodontist is to straighten teeth. The word orthodox reminds us that we seek to follow straight or true doctrine. As a reformed congregation we have secondary standards in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. We look to these as not a replacement for Scripture in any way but as a summary of what the Bible teaches on key doctrines of the Christian faith. Consider them as helpful tools in teaching, Christianity 101. Many people claim to follow Christ or the Bible but everyone has different definitions. We seek to be connected to the church of history and follow orthodox or straight teaching.
Presbyterian. This refers to the form of church government we believe the Bible teaches. There are Hierarchical structures like the church of Rome. There are congregational structures that operate as a pure democracy. And there is what we see in the pages of Scripture in a presbyterian or representative structure. In fact, our form of Government in the United States was based on the representative church government found in Scripture.
Faith Bible Church, Orthodox Presbyterian. So, five simple words can give you a lot of information to share with someone who might ask you what type of church you attend. At least I hope this gives you some tools to engage in a conversation with others.