ABOUT CHURCH OF CHRIST

PRINCIPLES OF THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH
During the late 18th century, men and leaders of different denominations throughout the world, each studying individually, began to question the establishment of denominations and creeds and some of the practices that were being taught. These men asked: Why not go back to the origins of the first-century church? Why not rely on the Bible as the only guide to our lives and worship, rather than the creeds of man that had been established over years of corruption in the church? These men encouraged teaching ONLY what the Bible taught, without additions or subtractions, which are both condemned in the New Testament (Galatians 1:6-9; Revelations  22:18,19).

EACH CONGREGATION IS SELF-GOVERNED
The restoration of the church of  Christ was not the establishment of another denomination, but instead was the abolition of denominationalism that had been destroying Christ's church. Each congregation is autonomous and independent of other congregations. They are not ruled by a bureaucracy formed by man to govern the activities and worship of the congregation. These type of organizations are not ordained in the New  Testament.

Congregations of the churches of  Christ are governed locally by the elders selected from among the local members.  These are men that meet the qualifications of an elder outlined in the Bible in  1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Deacons are also appointed in each congregation to help in service to it's members and in missionary activities. These are men that meet specific qualifications outlined in 1 Timothy 3.

FORMS OF WORSHIP
There are five primary forms by which churches of Christ worship. These forms are singing, praying, preaching, giving,  and partaking of the Lord's Supper, the same five observed by the first-century Christians. Jesus tells us in John 4:24, "God is spirit, and those who worship  him must worship in spirit and truth." To properly worship God, we must do so in a proper manner, in spirit and truth.

To worship God in truth, we must do so according to his Word, because his Word is truth (John 17:17). Therefore, we must not exclude that which is found in his Word, and we must not include anything not found in his Word. In an effort to worship in truth, the churches of Christ hold firm to the belief that we should Speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. In following this belief, there are two forms of worship practiced by churches of Christ that are different from most other religious groups: A Cappella Singing and Weekly Observance of The Lord's  Supper.

 

 A CAPPELLA SINGING

One of the things most often noticed about churches of  Christ is that we sing without the aid of any type of mechanical instrument of music. A Cappella singing is the only form of music used in our worship. The reason for this is simple. We are striving to worship according to the teachings of the New Testament. Therefore, since the New Testament does not ordain the use of instrumental music, we believe it proper to leave it out of our worship. To make use of instrumental music, we would have to do so without the authority of the New Testament, and therefore without the authority of God.

The following verses make up the complete list of New Testament scriptures on the subject of music. Notice the absence of instrumental music in these passages.

  • Matt.   26:30 - "And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives" 

  • Acts  16:25  - "... about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God  ..." 

  • Rom.  15:9  - "Therefore I will praise thee among the Gentiles, and sing to thy name"

  • 1 Cor.   14:15 - "... I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also" 

  • Eph.  5:18,  19 - "... be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns  and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart" 

  • Col.  3:16  - "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish one  another in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs with  thankfulness in your hearts to God" 

  • Heb.  2:12  - "I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I  sing praise unto thee" 

  • James  5:13  - "Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing  praise"


WEEKLY OBSERVANCE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
Another form of worship often noticed about churches of Christ is that the Lord's Supper is partaken of on the first day of every week. Most religious groups agree that the memorial supper was established by Jesus on the night of his betrayal (Matthew 26:26-28). Most also observe this supper in memory of the Lord's death (1 Corinthians 11:24, 25). The unleavened bread and the fruit of the vine used in the supper symbolize the body and the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 10:16). However, unlike many other religious groups, churches of Christ partake of the Lord's Supper on the first day of every week. The reason for partaking every week is due to our determination to obey the teachings found in the New Testament. Acts 20:7 reads  "And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them ...".

HOW DO I BECOME A MEMBER?
Churches of Christ do not have a  written set of procedures or initiation steps that must be met for you to obtain membership. The steps necessary for becoming a Christian, a member of Christ's church, are outlined in the New Testament. The steps taken by the Christians of  the first century which resulted in salvation will bring you salvation as well.  The establishment of the church is recorded in Acts 2 and all those who repented and were baptized were saved (vs. 38). Since that day, all who were saved were added to the church. Verse 47 tells us that God did the adding. For this reason there is no established criteria that must be met to be considered a member of  Christ's church other than those recorded in the New Testament. We have no authority to require any more of someone than their submission and obedience to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The conditions taught in the New Testament for  becoming part of Christ's church are:

  • The gospel must be heard - "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"  (Romans 10:17). 

  • You believe - "without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).

  • You  must  repent and turn away from past sins - "Repent ye therefore, and be converted,  that your sins may be blotted out ..." (Acts 3:19).

  • You must confess Jesus as Lord - Jesus said "He that confesses me before men, him will I  also confess before my father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32).

  • You  must  be baptized for the remission of your sins - "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins ..." (Acts  2:38).

  • Churches of Christ are known for putting an emphasis on baptism, but the emphasis is not as a church creed or ordinance, but as a command of Christ recorded in the New  Testament. Baptism is taught in the New Testament as an act that is essential to salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16). 

  • Baptism is performed as immersion by churches of Christ, symbolizing the death, burial,  and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 8:35-39; Romans 6:3,4; Colossians 2:12).  Immersion is used because the original Greek word from which the word baptize  comes means "to dip, to immerse, to submerge, to plunge." Sprinkling does not meet the New Testament definition of baptism and does not properly symbolize the burial of Christ as we are buried in the watery grave of baptism.

  • We also do not practice infant baptism because the New Testament teaches baptism for sinners who repent and turn to the Lord, believing Him to be the Son of God. Infants neither have sins to repent of nor can they affirm themselves as believers. 

  • Churches of Christ believe baptism to be an extremely important part of one's salvation.  The New Testament declares baptism to serve the following purposes:

  • John  3:5 -  It is to enter the kingdom of God Rom. 6:3,4 - It is to contact Christ's blood  by being buried with Him in death Gal. 3:27 - It is to get into Christ and put  on Christ Mark 16:16 

  • 1 Pet.   3:21 - It is for salvation 

  • Acts  2:38  - It is for the remission of sins Acts 22:16 It is to wash away sins

  • 1 Cor.   12:13 

  • Eph.  1:23  - It is to get into the church Christ died for the sins of the world, and an invitation has been extended to everyone (Acts 10:34,35; Revelation 22:17). His saving grace is available for all to choose. No one is predestined for salvation or for condemnation. Those who choose to come to Christ in faith, obedient to the commandments given in the New Testament, will be saved. Others will reject  His plea and be condemned (Mark 16:16). These will not be lost as a result of a  predetermined condemnation, but because they have chosen that path in this life.


Where are you in your life? We hope and pray that if you haven't accepted the salvation offered by Christ, that you will do so and become a member of His church.

If  we can assist you in any way please  call
Senior Minister:  Samuel G. Jones

1930 W.E. Roberts St.
Grand Prairie, TX
75051
972-264-9011


"A caring people reaching out to lead people to meet Christ and to be like him." 

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