The church that the Lord Jesus Christ built in the 1st century is the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, Isaiah 2:2-3, and was the eternal plan of God from the beginning, Ephesians 3:10. The church is one of three divine institutions revealed in Scripture: marriage, government, and the church. The church that Jesus built is not to be corrupted by outside influences. It is the responsibility of New Testament Christians to maintain the purity of the church.
We do this by maintaining the purity of the Word of God. To do this, children of God must learn, grow, and teach God’s Word. Whether the New Testament church is pure or not is based upon its faithfulness to the Word of God. If I do not know God’s Word how could I know what is or is not required? Therefore I must be a diligent student and “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”, 2 Peter 3:18. As I learn and grow spiritually I am to teach others the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 5:12-14 teaches “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” All Christians are babes in Christ at the beginning of their Christians walk. It is not a sin to be a babe in Christ, however it is condemned to remain one. One must mature spiritually to defend against those who would corrupt the Gospel and thereby corrupt the church.
We must maintain the purity of the Gospel plan of salvation. The Gospel is God’s power to save, Romans 1:16. To corrupt the Gospel is to ruin its saving power. A perverted Gospel has no power to save and is not God’s power. Clearly the Bible teaches that one (1) Must Believe – John 8:24; (2) Repent of Sin – Luke 13:3; (3) Confess The Name of Jesus Christ – Matthew 10:32; (4) Be Baptized For The Remission of Sins – Mark 16:16; and (5) Be faithful Unto Death – Revelation 2:10. To add to or take from God’s scheme of redemption is to destroy its saving power.
We must also maintain the purity of worship that God has commanded. Many today will have events they call worship which are more like a rock concert or a theatre production. There will be handclapping, hyper-emotionalism, instrumental music, ad infinitum ad nauseam. The problems come when those in the Lord’s church wish to be like “the nation around them” and begin to include such unauthorized acts into their worship assembly. Faithful children of God will maintain the purity and simplicity of worship authorized in the New Testament: Acapella Singing – Ephesians 5:19, Praying – 1 Timothy 2:1-2, Lord’s Supper – Acts 20:7, Preaching – Acts 20:7, and Giving – 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
And finally we must maintain the purity of the New Testament church by staying in the fight. It is incredibly sad when one hears that a Christian or even a congregation gives in and the purity of the local congregation is corrupted by denominationalism, worldliness, etc. If we are to maintain the purity of the church for which our Lord Jesus Christ died and gave His precious blood we must stay in the fight. 2 Timothy 2:4 teaches, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” The Christian soldier must let nothing interfere in his duty to the “Captain of our salvation”, Hebrews 2:10. This battle is to the death. The purity of the New Testament church is too important.