The Church of Christ is a church that is founded upon the teachings of the New Testament. We use the New Testament as our sole basis in everything we do. Jesus gave His apostles the “keys to the kingdom” (Matthew 16:19), and they set forth the Biblical commands for how we are to conduct ourselves in service to God. It is said of the first century church that “they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
The Church of Christ is a church that is overseen by an eldership. The New Testament uses a few terms interchangeably to describe the work of those that oversee the local congregation: elders (1 Peter 5:1), bishops (1 Timothy 3:2), pastors (Ephesians 4:11), presbyters (1 Timothy 4:14), overseers (Acts 20:28) and shepherd (1 Peter 5:2). The Bible always speaks of the eldership in plurality meaning there is no one single elder of any congregation; they are to oversee and “feed the church” (Acts 20:28).
The Church of Christ is a church that has men that serve as deacons. The deacons are special servants that oversee different components of the church. Paul tells Timothy that the work of a deacon is an office that greatly assists the local congregation (1 Timothy 3:8- 13).
The Church of Christ is a church that does not use any kind of mechanical instruments in the worship service. Nowhere in the New Testament is the use of instruments authorized. In Ephesians 5:19, we are told, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;” (Ephesians 5:19) and elsewhere to those in the city of Colossae, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16). In both passages, we are told that we use our heart and admonish each other as we sing. You will not find a piano, guitar, or praise team – we all grab a provided hymnal and sing praises for the Lord.
The Church of Christ is a church that partakes of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. We learn that when Paul came into the city of Troas, “upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). Since every week has a first day, we partake of the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. 1 Corinthians 11:26 reads “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.” Since the Lord Jesus Christ has not returned – as all will know and see, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, and that will be the end of the earth – we continue weekly to observe the Lord’s Supper.
The Church of Christ is a church that prays to the Father through Jesus Christ. We do not pray to someone on this earth or anyone that has departed this earth, we pray to the God who created the world simply by speaking it into existence (Genesis 1). Jesus Christ states, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). We ask all things to be done in accordance with the Father’s Will, and we ask it through the name of Jesus Christ.
The Church of Christ is a church that preaches Bible things in Bible ways, and calls Bible things by Bible names. We do not shy away from preaching the truth, even if that message may be viewed as unpopular to some. Just like Paul instructed Timothy, we “preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2). We do this because we know that truth sets us free (John 8:32) and the Word of God is truth (John 17:17).
The Church of Christ is a church where all members love one another and have the same goal of being faithful to God. Jesus said it best by stating, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). In keeping His commandments, we will love one another because God is love. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7).
The Church of Christ is a church that believes and teaches there is only one way of being saved according to the New Testament. Jesus stated that we must believe in Him, “I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins” (John 8:24). After believing, we must turn from our wicked and sinful ways; Biblically, this is known as repentance. Jesus again said, “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3). After deciding to turn from sin to Christ, we must be willing to make a public confession just like the Ethiopian Eunuch stated in Acts 8:36 that we believe Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; in doing so, we know we will be confessed to the Father: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32-33). The culmination of these steps is being baptized – meaning immersed in the original Greek language – into Christ as seen in Romans 6:3-4 and Galatians 3:27. Jesus, once again, said it best in Mark 16:16: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Baptism is not the end of the journey but merely the start as we must remain faithful to the end (Matthew 10:22), that is to death (Revelation 2:10).
The Church of Christ is a church that is looking forward to visiting with you – and soon!
[Written February 2023 for a county-wide publication. Reproduced for readingtheword.net]