when we were still without strength, in due time
Christ died for the ungodly..Romans 5:6
What Is The Church of Christ?
Only Christ has the authority to say what the church is and
what Christians should teach. We believe the church today
should be the same as that in the New Testament in organization,
name, worship, law of conversion and in principles of Christian
living. Members of the church of Christ realize their own
personal weaknesses and shortcomings, but they believe that
the whole structure of Christianity rests upon the divinity
of Christ and His resurrection (I Corinthians 15:14).
Members of the church of Christ hold that the New Testament
writers were inspired of God and believe, therefore, that
the New Testament is true and contains the final and, complete
revelation from God to man (John 16:13; II Timothy 3:16-17;
Jude 3). Members of the church of Christ believe that the
Old Testament was also inspired; however, that as a part of
Gods eternal plan it was only a preparation or "tutor
to bring us to Christ" (Galatians 3:24).
The New Testament teaches that the Old Law was "blotted
out, taken out of the way, and nailed to the cross" (Colossians
2:14). When the Old Law was abolished the new and better covenant
went into effect (Hebrews 8:6-7; 9:15-18). Following the New
Testament as the rule of faith and practice and the Old Testament
as example (Hebrews 8:5; Romans 15:4), members of the church
of Christ purpose to speak where the Bible speaks and to be
silent where it is silent.
Only the New Testament Serves as a Rule of Faith
We believe that to subscribe to any creed other than the
New Testament, to refuse to obey any New Testament command,
or to follow any practice not sustained by the New Testament,
would be adding to or taking from the teachings of God (Galatians
1:8; Revelations 22:18-19).
The New Testament reveals that God has vested "all authority"
in Christ (Matthew 28:18), and that Christ serves as God's
spokesman today (Hebrews 1:1-2). Since the New Testament alone
sets forth Christ's instruction to his disciples, it alone
must serve as the basis for all religious teaching and practice.
This is fundamental with members of the church of Christ.
We believe that teaching the New Testament without modification
is the only way to lead men and women to become Christians.
The first members of the Lord's church accepted the apostle's
teaching as infallible and final (Acts 2:42). However, before
long some began to teach and practice things different from
the apostle's teaching.
Such a departure from sound doctrine was forecast by New
Testament writers in their warnings against digression (Acts
20:29-30). In spite of these injunctions, from the beginning
of the second century through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance,
one departure after another followed until the church in organization,
worship and teaching was vastly different from the church
of the New Testament. History records that innovations introduced
included: Church offices unauthorized in the Scriptures; the
creation of a special clergy; religious councils to decide
matters of organization, worship and doctrine; sprinkling
substituted for immersion and the sprinkling of infants; and,
the addition of instrumental music to the worship.
At the close of the Middle Ages, many religious leaders rebelled
against the ecclesiastical authority and practices of the
Roman church. They pleaded for the full authority of the Bible
in matters of religion. Chief among these great men were,
Martin Luther, John Calvin and Ulrich Zwingli. Followers rallied
around the reformers, and unfortunately their teachings eventually
crystallized into many creeds. Thus followed the era of denominationalism,
with different groups springing up everywhere, each with its
peculiar name, organization, doctrine and practice.
In the late 1700's men of different denominations, studying
independently of each other in various parts of the world,
began to ask, "Why not go back beyond denominationalism
and beyond Roman Catholicism to the simplicity and purity
of the first century church? Why not take the Bible alone
and once again continue "steadfastly in the apostles'
teaching and fellowship" (Acts 2:42)? "Let us,"
they said, "plant the same seed (Luke 8: 11) that the
apostles and first-century Christians planted, and let us
be Christians only, as they were." These men pleaded
with all others to throw off denominationalism, to throw away
human creeds, and to follow the Bible. They taught that nothing
should be required of people as acts of faith except that
which is evident from the scriptures. They emphasized that
going back to the Bible does not mean the establishment of
another denomination, but rather a return to the original
church. This, we believe is the only safe pattern. We humbly
cherish the hope that we today are following this pattern
set forth in the New Testament. It is our only rule of faith
Establishment of the Church of Christ
Members of the church of Christ contend that the church was
established on the first Pentecost following the resurrection
of Christ ... in A.D. 33 in the city of Jerusalem. The prophet
Isaiah said: "And it shall come to pass in the latter
days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established
on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the
hills and all the nations shall flow unto it. And many people
shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain
of Jehovah, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will
teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out
of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from
Jerusalem" (Isaiah 2:2-3).
The expression, "Jehovah's house," refers to the
church (I Timothy 3:15). Every phrase of Isaiah's prophecy
was fulfilled on Pentecost, the record of which is given in
Acts 2. Isaiah said the church would be established in "the
latter days." Peter, on Pentecost, referred to this time
as being the "last days" (Acts 2:16-17). This marks
the fulfillment of the first phase of the prophecy. Next,
Isaiah said God's kingdom would extend its blessings to include
"all nations." Acts 2:5 tells us that on Pentecost
there were ". . . Jews, devout men, from every nation
under heaven." Acts 2:39 tells us that the new kingdom
was for these Jews, and their children, and all that are afar
off. The phrase "afar off" refers to the Gentiles
Christ had also told His apostles that "repentance and
remission of sins should be preached in his name among all
nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:47).
During his earthly ministry, Christ declared, "the kingdom
of God is at hand" (Matthew 3:2). "At hand"
means imminent or nearby, but not an accomplished fact. When
Jesus spoke the words of Matthew 16:18, "Upon this rock
I will build (future tense) my church," the church was
still in the future. In Mark 9: 1, Jesus told them that the
kingdom would be established during the lifetime of some of
those to whom he was speaking. Jesus further said that the
kingdom would come with power, and that the power would come
when the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles (Acts 1:8).
Acts 2:1-4 reads, "And when the day of Pentecost was
now come, they were all together in one place, And suddenly
there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty
wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like
as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them. And they were
all filled with the Holy Spirit. . . ."
Before the day of Pentecost all scriptural references to
the establishment of the church indicate it as a future event,
(Isaiah 2:2-4; Micah 4:1-2; Daniel 2:44; Matthew 3:1-2; Matthew
16:18; Mark 9:1; Matthew 6:9-10). After Pentecost the church
is spoken of as an established institution (Acts 2:47; Colossians
Name of the Church
The term, "church of Christ" is not used as a
denominational appellation. It is simply a descriptive term
indicating the fact that the church is the possession of Christ.
This is not an exclusive term to designate the church, because
the New Testament also refers to the church as: The church
of the Lord (Acts 20:28); The body of Christ (I Corinthians
12:27); The house of God (I Timothy 3:15); The church of God
(Galatians 1: 13); The church of the Firstborn (Hebrews 12:23).
These are all terms which show possession. They point to the
Lord as the owner of the church. Members of the church of
Christ believe it right to wear a name which gives honor and
glory to Christ. Salvation is in Christ's name (Acts 4:12),
and we are to do all things in the name of the Christ (Colossians
Organization of the Church
The church of Christ has no earthly headquarters, and no
universal organization. Each congregation is autonomous or
"self-ruled" and is independent of every other congregation.
Churches may cooperate in the accomplishment of good works,
but their autonomy is carefully maintained. We pray and believe
that the organizational pattern of the church of Christ is
divine in origin. Jesus Christ is recognized as the supreme
ruler over the church (Colossians 1:18).
No fallible man serves as earthly head over the church. The
sole unit of organization in the church of Christ is the local
congregation. Each congregation is separate and independent
in its government. Christ has delegated authority in the management
of the local congregation to the elders, pastors, or bishops
. . . three different terms referring to the same office (Acts
20:17, 28; Ephesians 4:1 1; I Timothy 3: 1; Titus 1:5). There
is a plurality of elders in every congregation (Acts 11:30;
14:23). The qualifications for these men are described in
I Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. They have no authority over
other congregations other than the one they serve.
The church of Christ also has a special group of men called
deacons. They serve under the direction of the elders. Their
qualifications are given in I Timothy 3:8-13.
The church of Christ also has men known as preachers (I Timothy
2:7), ministers (I Timothy 4:6), or evangelists (II Timothy
4:5. They likewise serve under the direction of the elders
of the local congregation. We do not refer to our preachers
with the term "Pastor," believing that this term
as used in the New Testament refers to those men who have
the oversight of the congregation. Neither do our preachers
assume religious titles such as "Reverend," inasmuch
as this term is used only one time in the Bible (Psalms 111:9),
and in this instance refers to God. We believe the New Testament
makes no distinction between so-called "clergy"
and "laity," and that preachers are no more worthy
of titles than other members of the church.
Bible Study: 10:00 AM
Worship: 11:00 AM
Worship: 2:30 PM
Bible Study: 4:00 PM
1211 Dorsey Ave.