The church of Christ


The church of Christ is not a denomination founded by man nor a part of any religious organization founded by man. It originated in Heaven in the mind of God and was set up on earth in the city of Jerusalem on the first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Lord (Ephesians 3:8-11; Acts 2). Instead of working with denominations, members of the church of Christ plead that all believers in Jesus Christ heed His prayer for unity and become one in His blood-bought body, the church (John 17:20-21; Ephesians 4:4-6; Acts 20:28).


The foundation of the church of Christ is Jesus Christ Himself (1 Corinthians 3:11). A building is only as strong as its foundation. The same is true of a church. Only Jesus Christ has a right to build a church for He alone is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:13-19).


The belief or creed of the church of Christ is based upon the great truth that “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Just before Jesus returned to Heaven, He commanded His apostles to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Apostles and evangelists of the first century, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, wrote down the teachings of Jesus. This we have in the New Testament. We have no other law, guide, or standard of authority. This is truly a creed that needs no revision. It is perfectly suited to the changing conditions of man in all countries, cultures, and climates of the world in all the centuries until Jesus comes again (2 Timothy 3:16,17)!


The designations used by the church of Christ are only those which are found in the New Testament. In Romans 16:16, we read: “The churches of Christ greet you.” Christ said, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). The name “church of Christ” simply means that the church belongs to Christ for He is its purchaser and builder (Acts 20:28). Salvation is found only in the name of Christ (Acts 4:11,12). It is called “the church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2)


The worship of the church of Christ is plainly given in the New Testament. Jesus said: “God is Spirit: and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The day Christians worship is Sunday, the first day of the week, the “Lord’s Day” (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10) and they worshipped in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The acts of worship which are specified by God are: singing, preaching, praying, giving, and the Lord’s Supper. When they met to worship, the early Christians ate the Lord’s supper (Matthew 26:26-29; Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). They sang praises to God without the aid of man-made musical instruments (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Hebrews 13:15). They offered up prayers to God through Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:1-8). They heard the preaching of God’s Word (Acts 2:42; Acts 20:7; Matthew 28:20). They gave as God had prospered them (1 Corinthians 16:1,2).


The music of the church of Christ is singing. This is the only kind of music that is authorized by God in His word for the worship of His church (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). Singing is commanded of all Christians, not just a favored few. Choirs, quartets, solos, and choral groups are not mentioned in the New Testament. Therefore, there is no authority for such! Instruments of music such as pianos, organs, drums, guitars, et cetera are not mentioned by the New Testament either. To use such is to go beyond what God has written. It is sinful (2 John 9-11; Revelation 22:18,19)!


The finances of the church of Christ are free-will offerings of the members as God has prospered them. They are given upon the first day of the week when the Christians meet to worship (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). They are to be used for the work of the church in preaching the Gospel of Christ and helping the needy (Mark 16:15; 2 Timothy 2:2; Galatians 6:10). Other means of raising money for the work of the church such as garage sales, auctions, suppers, festivals, taxes, and tithes are not commanded in the New Testament. Therefore, they are done without the authority of Christ 2 John 9- 11).


The organization of the church of Christ follows the simple pattern given in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is the only Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22,23; Colossians 1:18). The headquarters of the church of Christ is in Heaven where the Head, Jesus Christ, is (Acts 1:9-11; Acts 2:30-33). Christians in each community meet together to worship and serve God (Acts 20:6-7; 1 Corinthians 1:1,2). Each one of these congregations is a “church of Christ” and as a whole are “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16). Each local church of Christ is self-governing (and independent of all the others) under Jesus Christ, the Head. They are led by men known variously as “elders” (Acts 14:23), “bishops” (Philippians 1:1), or “pastors” (Ephesians 4:11). These different designations all refer to the same office (Acts 20:17,28; Titus 1:5,7; 1 Peter 5:1-4). These leaders must have all the qualifications given by God before they can serve in the eldership (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). Deacons are servants of the church (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-13) who also must be qualified before they can serve. Evangelists are preachers of the Gospel (2 Timothy 4:1-5). They may serve local churches under their elders or carry the Gospel into new areas (1 Timothy 1:3; Acts 8:5-40; Acts 21:8,9).


The membership of the church of Christ is made up of all those that are saved (Acts 2:47, Acts 2). One enters the one true church by obeying the Gospel (Romans 6:16-18; 1 Peter 1:22,23). This obedience includes hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17), believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Mark 16:16), repenting of one’s sins (Acts 2:38), confessing Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Acts 8:37), and being buried in baptism for the remission of sins (Romans 6:4; Galatians 3:26,27). When one obeys these commands, the Lord adds him to His church (Acts 2:47; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

Members are called “disciples” because they are learners of Jesus (Acts 6:1). They are called “saints” because they are set apart from the world (1 Corinthians 1:2; Philippians 1:1). They are called “children of God” because they have been born again into His family (John 3:3-5; 1 John 3:1). Sometimes they are called “believers” because they trust in Jesus Christ to save them (Acts 5:14; John 8:24). They are “members” because of their relationship with one another in the body (1 Corinthians 12:27). Members of the church of the Bible are also called “Christians.” Isaiah the prophet foretold God would give this new name to His people (Isaiah 62:2; Acts 11:26; Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).

Only One Church

Jesus promised: “Upon this rock, I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). He did not promise to build many denominations! He promised to build His church! He died for His church (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25). Nowhere does the Bible say Jesus built a denomination! Nor does the Bible teach Jesus died for any church established by man! No salvation is promised to those out of Christ but instead they “shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). He died for only one church, the one He bought with His own blood. The church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22- 23). There is one body (Ephesians 4:4, Colossians 1:18). Therefore, there is but one church! Jesus is the Saviour of His body (Ephesians 5:23-25). If we want to be saved, we must be in His body. We cannot be saved in a man-made church! Why not become a member of the church of Christ today so that you may have eternal life?

The Bible Condemns Division

Jesus prayed that all who believed in Him would be one (John 17:20-23). Paul rebuked the church at Corinth for being divided: “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Christians are commanded to mark those who cause division by teaching a different doctrine (Romans 16:16,17).

God’s Plan of Salvation

· Hear the Gospel of Christ - Romans 10:14; Romans 10:17

· Believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God - Mark 16:16; John 8:24

· Repent of our sins - Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38

· Confess Christ before men - Matthew 10:32, 33; Romans 10:10

· Be Immersed (Baptized) into Christ - Galatians 3:27; I Peter 3:21; Acts 22:16

· Live Faithfully for Christ - Revelation 2:10; 2 Peter 1:10; 2 Peter 3:18

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