Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The church of Christ

Romans 16:16

The churches of Christ salute you.

Did Christ send his 12 Apostles out to teach 12 different doctrines?  Did he tell Matthew to teach the Luthren Doctrine or ask Peter to start the Catholic Church?  Is it possible he commanded John to preach the faith only doctrine?  Of course this sounds ridiculous of course Christ only taught one doctrine, that of Christianity.

Mark 16:14  Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15  And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Take note of how he said “preach the gospel”, singular, not the gospels or your gospel and then he goes on to specify what he wanted them to preach to the whole world.  Salvation, he that believes and is baptized shall be saved.  After the Lord was ascended they then did as he commanded and went out into all nations and preached salvation as taught by Christ.  And hence the new testament Church was begun, the church of Christ.

The church that Christ came to earth to suffered and died for, is the new testament church.  Was Martin Luther or John Smyth born of a virgin or crucified to save man from their sins?  Then why would we name the church after such men rather than the one that died for it?

Matthew 16: 13  When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14  And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15  He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18  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.

19  And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

We see that the church was established here on earth, by the son of God, our savior coming to earth willing to die on the cross to be resurrected so that men could have their sins forgiven and be apart of the body of Christ .  He told Peter that he was going to build a church that even Satan and hell could not have power over, an institution that would last forever. 

From this time of establishing his church and promising his disciples that nothing would come between it, why would some man come along and think he needed to restore or start it a new?  Any religion that would call its name after some man is assuming that Christ’s church failed and that it would take some mortal man to restart it.  We have the blue print of the church of Christ found in the words of God in the bible, and do not need some man to rewrite or reinvent the way they think the church should be.  Just by going to the scriptures we are able to follow Christ and save men as the Apostles did during the beginning of the church.

Acts 2: 40  And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Here we have the first example of those Christ’s apostles going out and preaching salvation by baptism, adding to the church such as should be saved.  Take note that people were being added to the church generations before Charles Taz Russell or Mary Baker Eddy were even born.

Those who are saved are added the church as set up by God.  It is not something that men gather together and decide if someone should be allowed in their religion.  It was those that obeyed God in getting their sins forgiven in the waters of baptism that were added to the church of Christ.

Take note that in verse 47 it says “the church”, not churches or denominations, because there was only one church that a person could be apart of and have their sins forgiven by God and have the hope of eternal salvation.

Take these next two scriptures together…

Eph 1: 22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.


Eph. 4: 4  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

5  One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The church, being the body of Christ, who is over it, specifying that there is only one as there is only one God and one baptism.  So if there is only one body or one church then what we to do with the thousands that exist today?

It’s like the saying of if you want to hide a tree you plant it in a forest.  In order for Satan to hide the vessel that would take our sins away and give us a hope of heaven, he would just simply surround it by that which would look and seem similar to the real thing.  So today you have all these religions claiming the name of Christ and claiming that they are teaching salvation under the name of Christian, but not teaching the way Christ taught for man to be forgiven of his sin. 

You have religions teaching belief or faith only without works, and saying that baptism is not necessary.  They can be teaching everything 99% correct, but if salvation is not taught correctly then sin is not forgiven and you are not added to the church of Christ.

Matthew 7: 21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Just because you profess and call on the name of God does not mean you are of Christ or doing his will.  It must be done his way and not in a way that man has seen fit to serve him.  He that calls on the name of God must be doing his will and following his commandments in order to be recognized as a child of God.



Knowing right from wrong…

To follow the conscience is making the choice of good over evil.  This is what separates us from the beast, in that we make choices and know why we make those choices.

Acts 23:1  And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.

Every choice that Paul made was made with the knowledge that he did what he thought was right, every choice he made, he believed to be right and good.

Acts 24: 16  And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

It’s an exercise to follow your conscience, something that must be done diligently if I am going to see results within myself.  You cannot just talk of following your conscience, yet do nothing when it comes to time for you to make a choice of good and evil.

2 Cor. 4:1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

3  But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Entrusting ourselves to every man, in teaching him and showing him what a good conscience is.  For Satan has blinded the hearts of man so that they no longer have a conscience that works as it should.

1 Tim. 1: 18  This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

1 Tim 4: 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;