Question: What is a church according to the Bible?
Answer: On a visit to Athens the apostle Paul declared that God, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.
Jesus said to the woman from Samaria that an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: for such people the Father seeks to be His worshippers.
The emphasis in both cases is not on elaborate buildings, but on the true heart of the worshippers.
The New Testament is translated out of the Greek language into English, and we are grateful.
The word church is the translation of ekklesia, which means all who have responded to the call of God to trust in him and in his Son, and in another context a community of people called out to serve God. Also the local assembly that belongs to God in a specific town or city, and is part of that community of people serving God in the fellowship of his Son.
Wherever it is used in the New Testament it refers to the people and not to the building where they meet.
Question: How do you become a Christian?
Answer: Christians were so named for the first time at Antioch in Syria.
They were called this because they were followers of Jesus Christ. They trusted in God, and believed in the Gospel of God.
To truly believe the word of God is known as exercising faith. First believe that he exists whether people think so or not. Then accept that in the Bible we can hear God speaking to us.
It is altogether the work of God that this is possible for us, and it indicates the stirring of the Spirit of God in our hearts.
When we then read of the death of Jesus on the cross, and believe the Bible that he was dying for the sin of the world, so that we would no longer be condemned, a new life is begun in us that is eternal. It is eternal because it means the saving of the eternal soul.
Gratitude to God and to his Son takes over, and we hear the further call to leave our old ways, and obey the teaching of Jesus through his apostles.
He teaches us to find his disciples, be baptised in water, and added to a Church of God. Then there is the challenge of living as a Christian. But don't be put off by that. God has power to change us, but leaves us the choice to love and obey him.