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;

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brotherly Love

Romans 12: 10 

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Doing my part, and looking after my own soul is the best way that I am going to be useful and caring to my brethren.

Really caring for the things of the church and for my brethren will begin in caring for my own self and house first.

“No country is stronger than its homes.  No home can be what it ought to be when God is ignored and his word is not studied.”

The love of my own soul must first be there and then the love for my home and brethren will be automatic, something that will be natural.

1 Thess. 4: 9  But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.

Those that you share a common bond with and like interest, are those that you most likely get along with and are able to share with, when that bond is broke it is because of some out side thing that make breaks up those like interest.  IE differences in opinion such as pc or mac, Ford or Chevy. 

Opinions and expressing them strongly is what will break that bond of brotherly love.  As long as God is leading the way in my life and discussions then things will be alright with me and my brethren.

Heb 12: 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Wherefore see that I also am compassed about with so great a cloud of brethren as well, what great people all picked of God and yet I would allow petty things get between us?

Lay aside those things when they first enter the mind, so that I will not be weighed down them in my race to the finish line.

Looking to Jesus who is the author and finisher of my faith, only he is going to be able to help me see who I really am and how to change me into what I need to become.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Being Merciful

Being Merciful

Showing care and concern.

2 Tim. 1: 16  The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

17  But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

18  The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

Because he showed mercy to Paul, Paul in return asked that God give him mercy.

He treated Paul as a brother and treated him with all respect despite the things that were going on with him.  Despite the fact that this was Paul, and Apostle of the church, I believe that this man was by nature merciful and would have given the same care to any Christian that would come into his care.

Does my mercy apply equally to all my brethren and children?  Am I quicker to extend my mercy to one individual over another?

Rom. 11: 29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

30  For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:

31  Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.

God is happy to give us his grace and is merciful in giving us salvation.  I must in turn have the mind of God in passing this gift in showing mercy to those around me that are affected by my example and words.

Jonah 4: 4:1  But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.

2  And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.

3  Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.

This is what it means to be merciful…

(1)   Slow to anger.  (2) Great kindness.  (3) Forgiving.
Jonah saw that this was the mind of God, but because of his anger, he was not willing to show the same mind and have mercy on the people of Nineveh.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Authority of the Church

Authority of the Church

The Church is not a person or collection of people that decide what rules need to be followed.  The church is much greater than what a man can ever be.

If I live my Christianity for men and the praise of men, then I will look at it as a man made institution instead of something Holy that was created by God.  To challenge or not believe what the church is about is to challenge God and his righteousness.

When I challenge the churches authority, it is because I have doubts or unbelief in what God has called me to do.

Acts 20: 27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

The counsel of God is available to me through the Church.  Take heed to myself… How do I measure up to the counsel of God? Are my doubts and thoughts these grievous wolves that he talks about that I need to warning against?

The church was purchased with the blood of Christ, and it is my responsibly to be watchful and take to heart the warnings and not be one that would be full of unbelief and be drawn away from the faith.

1 Cor. 11: 17 Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse. 18 For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. 19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Do I come together for the worse, because when I hear the things that are taught by the church I doubt them or grudge them.

Am I divisive in the things that are church teachings?  Am I divided and a heretic within my heart?

I must approach the things of the church with a soft heart, having a hard heart no matter whether I am right or wrong will get me nowhere.