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Bible Answers: Is the church doing God's will?

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“What tests does the Bible give to let us know if our church is doing God’s will?”

The possible answers to this question are myriad. We could say we have “correct doctrine;” or, we are in the “right” denomination and have the right traditions, an assumed line of succession and/or the proper ecclesiastical structure.
We could say we are socially active and respond appropriately to moral concerns.
We could say that we have great worship and teaching and that people are joining the church — obviously these must be signs that we are doing God’s will.
None of these answers are inherently wrong.
Most of them could claim some biblical validation (though at the risk of straining the text a bit in some cases.)
At the bottom line, there is essentially one answer: a church is doing God’s will when, in its life and work, it looks and sounds like Jesus.
Scripture is clear: Christ is the Head (Source, Leader) of His church (Eph. 1:23; 4:12; 5:30; Col. 1:18, 24; 2:19).
He did not establish a certain denomination, or church polity, or tradition. He said precious little about “correct doctrine” (mostly that it is oppressive). He did say the church was His and that He would build it (Mt. 16:18ff).
A church doing God’s will actively and intentionally “embodies” Christ (I Cor. 12:27).
This church keeps Christ at the center of its preaching and teaching (I Cor. 1:18-23).
As the Lord, or Master (Rom. 10:9), Christ lives in and through its worship, fellowship, and program (I Cor. 2:2; Col. 3:11). He prescribes the way church people treat each other (Jn. 13:34-35).
A church that looks like Jesus is self-sacrificing and single-mindedly loyal to God. It values people over legalisms, extends grace to sinners and loves children. It breathes humility, meekness, and forgiveness and proclaims Christ’s kingdom, one of hope and a future.