Some Questions About the
Church of Christ Answered
When people encounter Christians
who worship with churches that identify themselves as “churches of
Christ” there are a number of questions that arise about who we are, what
we believe, and why we do what we do.
This morning I’d like to try to address some of these so that, if
you are not a member of the church of Christ you might better understand who we
are. If you are a member, we offer
the study to you as well so that you might be better prepared to answer such
questions when they arise.
“Why do you claim to be non-denominational?” The
Bible condemns religious division, and doctrinal diversity (1 Corinthians 1:10). Denominationalism is built on both
concepts. We believe that if we
reject all doctrines and practices not found in Scripture, and follow all that
is found in Scripture we can be nothing more (and nothing less) than a
congregation of Christians who are a part of the Lord’s church.
“Isn’t the name ‘Church of Christ’ just a
denominational title?” No.
Romans 16:16 refers to those in the Lord’s church as
“churches of Christ”. 1 Corinthians 1:2 refers to the Christians in
Corinth as “the church of God”. Hebrews 12:23 speaks of the same people as part of the
“church of the firstborn.”
Church of Christ is simply one of many scriptural
designations concerning to whom the church belongs. It is not, however, an exclusive title but an identification
“Do you identify yourselves with all groups who call themselves a
‘Church of Christ’?”
No. (2 Thessalonians 3:6 ; 2 John 9-11) If we are to remain true to our
aim of restoring New Testament Christianity we must not identify ourselves with
any practices or teachings not found in Scripture regardless of what those
involved in them may call themselves.
“Do you only believe in the New Testament?” No. We believe that all scripture is
inspired. However, scripture
itself teaches that certain parts of it apply to specific times and peoples (Jeremiah
Jesus instituted the memorial service called the Lord’s supper He
declared the coming of this New Covenant
in His blood (Luke 22:20). He
taught in John 12:47,48 that it would be His words that judge men on the last
day. Hebrews 8:13 points out that the Old Covenant was to vanish away. So, while the Old Testament is valuable
and instructive, in this age the New Testament is the binding pattern for man.
“Why do you teach baptism is essential for salvation?” The
Bible does not teach that baptism is the sole requirement for salvation. Neither does it teach that faith is the
sole requirement for salvation.
Rather, faith and obedience are described as the human response to
God’s offer of grace to mankind (Acts 2:37-41, 47).
Bible teaches that when one is scripturally baptized they are added by the Lord
to His church—made up of those saved by His grace. Baptism isn’t the only
thing. This text shows that we
must repent. Further, Romans
10:9,10 teaches us that we must believe and confess Christ before men.
not just do as the Bible
teaches? We realize that
this runs counter to what much of the world teaches but all we can do is appeal
to scripture (Galatians 3:26,27).
“Why don't you use muscial instruments in worship?” If
the New Testament is to be our pattern for life and worship we may follow it
with the confidence that it reveals the manner in which God would have us to
worship Him. While the New
Testament describes singing as an act of church worship to God it does not
teach the use of mechanical instruments.
Colossians 3:16 Christians are urged to teach and admonish one another
“...In psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your
hearts to the Lord.”
Ephesians 5:19 says much the same in urging Christians to speak to one
another “...In Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making
melody in your heart to the Lord.”
Under Old Testament law instruments
were commanded. Yet, the New
Testament contains no such commands, examples, or necessary inferences. In addition to this history bears
witness that the church for centuries abstained from the use of mechanical
instruments in worship. To follow
the New Testament we must reject such an addition.
“Why don’t you believe in modern day miracles?” Bible
miracles were events in which the laws of nature were altered to bring about a
deed God wished to occur. The
Bible teaches that miracles were intended to confirm and reveal the Word.
what Jesus says before performing His second sign (John 4:48). Look what was said about the use
of miracles after Jesus ascension (Mark 16:20). Yet, the Bible also promised that when this purpose was
accomplished they would come to an end (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). Note: Context is partial
we believe that God hears and answers the prayers of His Children (James 5:15), the indication is that He
does so through His providence and natural law rather than miracles as they
occurred in Bible times.
“Why are you opposed to church tradition?” Jesus
taught that following human traditions, when they oppose the Word of God is
vain worship (Matthew 15:8, 9).
Many traditions taught by
churches throughout the world have no scriptural basis and must therefore be
“Do you believe you are the only ones going to heaven?” Since
the Lord’s church by definition is made up of the saveed—only
members of the Lord’s church will be saved. However, we are not
presumptuous enough to judge our own (or anyone elses) faithfulness to
God. He will judge all men’s
deeds and hearts through Jesus Christ and His word. The Bible teaches that all who abide in the Word of God will
be saved and that those who do not will be lost (John 15:1-8). We believe that
all who do what the Bible teaches will be saved. Don’t you?
Conclusion. It is our hope that you might be
persuaded this very morning to leave behind the confusion of the world and
accept the pure simplicity of New Testament Christianity. We could hear your confession of faith
and baptize you into Christ and you would become a part of the Lord’s
Kyle Pope 2009