What is the Church of Christ
We are undenominational and have no central headquarters or president. The head of the church is none other than Jesus Christ himself (Ephesians 1:22-23).
Each congregation of the churches of Christ is autonomous, and it is the Word of God that unites us into One Faith (Ephesians 4:3-6). We follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and his holy Apostles, and not the teachings of man. We are Christians only!
It is our hope and desire that you will feel comfortable and completely at ease in the worship service. Our worship service will contain only those acts of worship authorized in the New Testament:
- Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs will be sung by the congregation (Eph 5:19, Colossians 3:16)
- Public prayers will be offered (I Tim 2:1-3)
- The Lord's supper (the memorial of the crucified Christ) will be observed each Sunday by all who have obeyed the Gospel (Acts 20:7)
- Members of the congregation will give into the treasury in order to spread the Gospel and to ensure that those in need may be taken care of (I Corinthians 16:1-2)
- A sermon from God’s word will be delivered and attendees will be given an opportunity to obey the Gospel or rededicate their lives to Christ (Acts 20:7)
To Obey The Gospel
Before we can respond to God we must realize our lost spiritual condition:
Isaiah 59:2 - your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, so that he will not hear.
1 John 3:4 - Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.
Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;
Since we are sinners we must realize that we cannot earn our salvation:
Ephesians 2:7-8 - that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
In order to be saved we must respond to God's offer of grace and mercy. We must believe in God and in Christ Jesus through hearing his gospel:
Matthew 28:19-20 - Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Romans 10:17 - So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.
John 3:16 - For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.
James 2:20-24 - But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar? Thou seest that faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect; and the scripture was fulfilled which saith, And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God. Ye see that by works a man is justified, and not only by faith.
We must repent:
Luke 13:3 - I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all in like manner perish.
Acts 17:30 - The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent:
We must confess the name of Christ before men:
Matthew 10:32 - Every one therefore who shall confess me before men, him will I also confess before my Father who is in heaven.
Romans 10:9 - because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:
Be baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins:
Mark 16:15-16 - And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.
Acts 2:37-38 - Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 3:26-27 - For ye are all sons of God, through faith, in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ did put on Christ.
1 Peter 3:20-21 - that aforetime were disobedient, when the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water which also after a true likeness doth now save you, even baptism, not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the interrogation of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ;
Once inside Christ, live a life of faithful, loving, obedience to Christ:
Revelation 2:10 - Be thou faithful unto death , and I will give thee the crown of life.
If you have not obeyed the gospel, why not do so today?
Acts 22:16 - And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on his name.
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).
"And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47b).
What is the church of Christ?
The apostle Peter once wrote, "Sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord: being ready always to give answer to every man that asketh you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, yet with meekness and fear" (I Peter 3:15.) Christians are admonished to be ready at all times to give a reason for the faith which they hold.
By the very nature of the situation, it is not possible for me, or anyone else, to speak officially for the churches of Christ throughout the world. The answers to the questions which follow are, therefore, my own. They have the added merit, however, of expressing the general beliefs and convictions of most members of the churches of Christ.
It is primarily a plea for religious unity based upon the Bible. In a divided religious world, it is believed that the Bible is the only possible common denominator upon which most, if not all, of the God-fearing people of the land can unite. This is an appeal to go back to the Bible; It is a plea to speak where the Bible speaks and to remain silent where the Bible is silent in all matters that pertain to religion. It further emphasizes that in everything religious there must be a "Thus saith the Lord" for all that is done. The objective is religious unity of all believers in Christ. The basis is the New Testament. The method is the restoration of New Testament Christianity.
Are the churches organically connected?
Following the plan of organization found in the New Testament, churches of Christ are autonomous. Their common faith in the Bible and adherence to its teaching are the chief ties which bind them together. There is no central headquarters of the church and no organization superior to the elders of each local congregation Congregations do cooperate voluntarily in supporting the orphans and the aged, in preaching the gospel in new fields, and in other similar works.
How are the churches of Christ governed?
In each congregation which has existed long enough to become fully organized, there is a plurality of elders who serve as the governing body. These men are selected by the local congregation on the basis of qualifications set down in the Scriptures (II Tim. 3:1-8). Serving under the elders are deacons, teachers, and evangelists or ministers. The latter do not have authority equal to or superior to the elders. The elders are shepherds or overseers who serve under the headship of Christ according to the New Testament, which is a kind of constitution. There is no earthly authority superior to the elders of the local church.
What does the church of Christ believe about the Bible?
The original autographs of the sixty-six books which make up the Bible are considered to have been divinely inspired, by which it is meant that they are infallible and authoritative. Reference to the scriptures is made in settling every religious question. A pronouncement from the scriptures is considered the final word. The basic textbook of the church and the basis for all preaching is the Bible.
Do members of the church of Christ believe in the virgin birth?
Yes. The statement in Isaiah 7:14 is taken as a prophecy of the virgin birth of Christ. New Testament passages such as Matthew 1:20, 25, are accepted at face value as declarations of the virgin birth. Christ is accepted as the only begotten Son of God, uniting in his person perfect divinity and perfect manhood.
Why does the church of Christ baptize only by immersion?
The word baptize comes from the Greek word "baptizo" and literally means, "to dip, to immerse, to plunge." In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptism as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and a resurrection.
Is infant baptism practiced?
No. Only those who have reached the "age of accountability" are accepted for baptisms. It is pointed out that the examples given in the New Testament are always of those who have heard the gospel preached and have believed it. Faith must always precede baptism, so only those old enough to understand and believe the gospel are considered fit subjects for baptism.
Do ministers of the church hear confession?
No. Ministers or evangelists of the church have no special prerogatives. They do not wear the title of Reverend or Father, but are addressed simply by the term Brother as are all other men of the church. Along with elders and others, they do counsel and advise those seeking help.
Are prayers addressed to saints?
No. God the Father is considered the only one to whom prayers may be addressed. It is further understood that Christ stands in a mediatorial position between God and man (Heb. 7:25). All prayers are therefore offered through Christ, or in the name of Christ (John 16:23-26).
How often is the Lord's supper eaten?
It is expected that every member of the church will assemble for worship on each Lord's day. A central part of the worship is the eating of the Lord's supper (Acts 20:7). Unless providentially hindered, each member considers this weekly appointment as binding. In many instances, as in the case of illness, the Lord's supper is carried to those who are hindered from attending the worship.
What kind of music is used in the worship?
As a result of the distinctive plea of the church - a return to New Testament faith and practice - a cappella singing is the only music used in the worship. This singing, unaccompanied by mechanical instruments of music, conforms to the music used in the apostolic church and for several centuries thereafter (Eph. 5:19). It is felt that there is no authority for engaging in acts of worship not found in the New Testament. This principle eliminates the use of instrumental music, along with the use of candles, incense, and other similar elements.
Does the church of Christ believe in heaven and hell?
Yes. The statements of Christ in Matthew 25, and elsewhere, are taken at face value. It is believed that after death each man must come before God in judgment and that he will be judged according to the deeds done while he lived (Heb. 9:27). After judgment is pronounced he will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.
Does the church of Christ believe in purgatory?
No. The absence of any reference in the scriptures to a temporary place of punishment from which the soul will eventually be released into heaven prevents the acceptance of the doctrine of purgatory.
By what means does the church secure financial support?
Each first day of the week the members of the church "lay by in store as they have been prospered" (1 Cor. 16:2). The amount of any individual gift is generally known only to the one who gave it and to the Lord. This free-will offering is the only call which the church makes. NO assessments or other levies are made. No money-making activities, such as bazaars or suppers, are engaged in. A total of approximately $200,000 is given on this basis each year.
What is the belief of the church of Christ concerning divorce?
Because of the statements made by Christ in Matthew 19:3-9, and elsewhere, it is believed that marriage is binding until death. The only exception is in the case of adultery on the part of one of the parties to the marriage. In such cases it is believed that the innocent marriage partner is no longer bound by the marriage ties. Divorces, for the myriad causes known to modern society, are not recognized as scriptural.
Does the church of Christ have a creed?
No. at least, there is no creed in the usually accepted meaning of that term. The belief of the church is stated fully and completely in the Bible. There is no other manual or discipline to which the members of the church of Christ give their allegiance. The Bible is considered as the only infallible guide to heaven.
How does one become a member of the church of Christ?
In the salvation of man's soul there are two necessary parts: God's part and man's part. God's part is the big part, "For by grace ye have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no man should glory" (Eph. 2:8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God's part in salvation.
Though God's part is the big part, man's pert is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man's part can be clearly set forth in the following steps:
(1) Hear the Gospel. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shell they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14).
(2) Believe. "And without faith it is impossible to be wellpleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him" (Hebrews 11:6).
(3) Repent of past sins. "The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent" (Acts 17:30).
(4) Confess Jesus as Lord. "Behold here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, if thou believeth with all thy heart thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God" Acts 8:36-37).
(5) Be baptized for the remission of sins. "And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
(6) Live a Christian life. Ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light" (1 Peter 2:9).
If you have further questions regarding the plan of salvation or wish to become a child of God through baptism feel free to contact any Elder or Deacon or our Preacher Bro. Robison at 304-845-8001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.