What Is The Church Of Christ?
The church of Christ is an independent, autonomous, non-denominational body of people who seek only to do that which is found in the Word of God. Paul wrote: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Colossians 3:17). The divine mandate of the church is, “has God authorized it”; thus, we must have Biblical authority for what we do.
Peter wrote, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (II Peter 1:3). The Bible is the inspired, inerrant, perfect Word of God; with nothing more needed for our understanding of salvation, worship, and daily life. We seek only to follow the pattern given to us in the New Testament when it comes to our worship and in everything else we do.
Back To The Bible
If the church as God planned it and Christ built it is to exist in any age, there are certain principles to which men must be committed. As surely as any of these principles are abandoned, so surely will the New Testament church cease to exist. Consider these necessary principles:
A Commitment To The Absolute Authority Of Christ. His authority is emphasized each time the New Testament calls Him “Lord”. His miracles were for the purpose of establishing His Divine authority and identity (John 20:30-31). This commitment includes the recognition that the church belongs to Him, and He alone has the right to determine every feature of it. Until all men who claim to follow Christ allow Him alone to be head of the church, religious confusion will reign.
A Commitment To The New Testament. As The Final Authority In Religion. Christ expresses His authority through the New Testament alone. No alleged later-day revelations (eg., The Book Of Mormon) nor prophets (eg., Joseph Smith) can be accepted by people who are serious about the New Testament church. It is inspired for our understanding of God and His plan of redemption through His Son. However, neither does the Law of Moses govern men anymore (Col. 2:14).
A Commitment To The New Testament Plan Of Salvation. The only plan of salvation in the world is the one made possible by the cross and revealed in the New Testament. It requires man’s belief in Jesus, a response of repentance, confession, immersion in water, and living a faithful Christian life. Baptism either is or is not necessary for salvation – it cannot be both. The New Testament says it is necessary (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 2:16; Romans 6:3-4; I Peter 3:21).
A Commitment To The Identity Of The New Testament Church. Jesus built according to His own wise plan. He prescribed its terms of entrance, its designation, its worship, its works, and how it is to be organized and financed. If the identity of the church is unimportant, why is anything about it important?
A Commitment To Proclaiming The Gospel As The Foremost Task Of The Church. Jesus had one great work and purpose – to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Such is likewise the compelling cause of His church today (I Timothy 3:15).
We at the Centerview Church of Christ are striving to return to the Bible for guidance in worship (John 4:23-24), daily living and relationships with family and friends (II Timothy 3:16-17; Psalms 119:103-106).
How Does One Become A Member Of The Church Of Christ?
By Batsell Barrett Baxter
In the salvation of man’s soul there are 2 necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s part is the big part, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift if God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Ephesians 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 part 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 clearly set forth in the following steps:
Hear the Gospel. “How shall they call on him whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
Believe. “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” (Hebrews 11:6).
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).
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).
Be baptized for the remission of sins. “And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized everyone 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).
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 marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9).
Now that you are aware of a church in the 20th century which is built according to the blue prints of Christ’s original church, why not become a member of it? In becoming a member of it, you will be called upon to do nothing which you cannot read in the New Testament. You will then live and worship just as the apostle-guided Christians of the first century did.
Not only is this return to New Testament Christianity a wonderful basis upon which all believers in Christ can unite, it is absolutely solid ground. If we do just what our Lord commanded we know that our salvation is certain. Come with us as we go back to the Bible, back to Christ and his church!