CHRIST'S TRUE CHURCH TODAY
1. To teach the gospel to others we must understand the church.
2. The church is a valuable & necessary part of God's eternal plan for our salvation - Eph. 3:10-11.
a. Jesus died for His church - Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:25.
b. Jesus built it - Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47.
c. Jesus is its Head & its foundation - Eph. 1:22; 1 Cor. 3:11.
d. It is the body of Christ - Eph. 1:22-23.
e. It is the house (family) of God - 1 Tim. 3:15.
3. To say the church is unimportant, unnecessary, the invention of man, etc. is to deny the word of Christ!
4. Yet, there are 1000's of churches today - All claiming to belong to Christ, yet all speaking & practicing different doctrines.
5. How do I know which one is right? Are any of them right? Should I belong to any of them? How to do become a member of NT church?
6. Investigate the church of Christ:
I. NO CREED BUT CHRIST. [Creed: (credo) - "I believe"]
A. Jesus Christ Is The Object Of Our Faith - Jno. 8:23-24.
1. The object of our faith is not the church, baptism, the Lord's Supper, or anything else commanded us by the Lord.
2. Object of our faith is Jesus Christ - Jno. 8:23-24; 20:30-31; Acts 8:36-37.
3. To obey His commands is to believe in Christ to save us, not in the act itself (cf. Baptism, Mk. 16:16; Lord's Supper, 1 Cor. 11:24).
II. NO RULE OF FAITH & PRACTICE BUT THE REVEALED WILL OF CHRIST, THE NEW TESTAMENT.
A. We Follow Christ's Word In All Things - Matt. 28:18; Col. 3:17; Heb. 1:1-2. How?
B. The Bible Is Man's Only & All-Sufficient, Infallible Guide Spiritual Matters - 2 Pet. 1:3-4; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.
1. The Bible is our basis & common ground for unity - Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Gal. 5:19-20.
2. Creeds, manuals, disciplines, confessions, catechisms, etc. build up human parties & sow discord, division & strife:
a. If creeds are just "what the Bible teaches," then why have them, and why do they differ?
b. If they are more than the Bible, must reject them - Rev. 22:18.
c. If they are less than the Bible, must reject them - Rev. 22:19.
d. If they are the same as the Bible, unnecessary! - 2 Jno. 9
3. Let us go "back to the Bible" & stay there!!
III. TO ACCEPT THE BIBLE AS ONE'S ONLY "RULE OF FAITH & PRACTICE" IS TO .
A. Wear No Name But Christ's - Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16. Reasons:
1. Salvation is in/by no other name - Acts 4:12.
2. Christ is not divided - 1 Cor. 1:12-13 (Human names promote division).
a. Christ was crucified for us.
b. We are baptized into His name (Acts 19:3, 5)
3. God is glorified in this name (1 Pet. 4:16).
B. Arrange No Organization But The Local Church - 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1.
1. Organized & authorized to accomplish collective action of saints:
a. Edification (assembled worship, spiritual teaching) - 1 Cor. 14:26.
b. Evangelism - Acts 6:4; 1 Ths. 1:8 (2 Cor. 11:8).
c. Benevolence (needy Christians) - Acts 11:27-30.
2. Presumption on man's part to organize human societies, auxiliaries, ministries, etc. as adjuncts to the local church! Jesus equipped the local church with all the organization it needs to accomplish its work!
C. Offer No Worship But That Which Is Authorized In The NT - Jno. 4:23-24 (spirit - from heart, sincere; truth - God's word).
1. Worship is not entertainment, ceremonial or vicarious.
2. Worship is each Christian actively honoring of God:
a. By breaking bread - Acts 20:7.
b. By singing - Eph. 5:19.
c. By teaching God's word - Acts 20:7 (2:42).
d. By praying - Acts 2:42.
e. By giving as God has prospered us - 1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:7.
3. No man can successfully condemn this worship! Agree & unity!
D. Live A Life Devoted To Jesus Christ - Matt. 28:19-20; Lk. 6:46; Jno. 14:15; Rom. 12:1-2.
1. The church of Christ is the only church we read about in the NT.
2. We must follow the NT or we are not a church of Christ! (Rev. 2:5)
3. Will you allow Christ to add you to His church?