What is the Church of Christ? Is it just another denomination? Are there any
characteristic beliefs that make it different from the hundreds of churches
dotting the landscape of our world today? Perhaps we can answer these questions
for you, but first let me address a common fallacy circulating in some religious
circles i.e. that Alexander Campbell founded the Church of Christ. This rumor
exists in part because Mr. Campbell was a leading figure in the effort to
restore pure New Testament Christianity in this country over one hundred fifty
years ago. Preaching the old Jerusalem gospel, and demanding a "thus saith the
Lord" for what we believe and practice is a far cry from building a church.
Campbell did not build the church of Christ, Christ did. (Mt. 16:18) In fact,
Campbell did not build any church. He merely carried the good seed of the
kingdom from place to place and planted it in the honest hearts of the hearers.
Those who responded, obeyed the gospel (Rom. 1:16), not the teachings of Mr.
Campbell, and became Christians (Acts 11:26) not Campbellites.
In an attempt to
introduce you to the Church of Christ, let me first of all introduce you to the
people. Who are these people? According to the Bible, they are a group of
individuals who have, because of their faith in Christ, embraced Christianity.
(I Cor. 11:l-2) They are Christians (Acts 11:26) and feel honored to wear the
lovely name of Jesus. In fact they are Christians only i.e. they wear no human
names or appellation. They gather weekly to remember the death of their founder
by celebrating the Lord's supper. (Acts. 20:7; I Cor. 11:23-33).
should note that the Church of Christ is not a denomination. We do not owe our
existence to Campbell, Luther, Wesley, Calvin, or any other man. We are not
descended from any such group, but rather owe our existence to the Lord himself.
We pass up all human movements by going back to the beginning of the church in
Acts 2. Since Jesus teaches that the word of God is the seed of the Kingdom,
(Lk. 8:11) we believe that anywhere and anytime the pure word of God is
preached, the results will be what they were in New Testament days and times.
Thus the New Testament becomes our blueprint for what we teach and practice. If
it is not found there, then we reject it. If it is taught there, then we accept
and practice it. We do our best to reproduce the church which Christ set before
the world in faith, in doctrine, and in practice.
This is the reason we refer to
the church in terms used only in the New Testament. Such as "Church of God"
(Acts 20:28); "Church of the Lord"; "Churches of Christ" (Rom. 16:16) etc. Since
the church belongs to Christ, and is the, bride of Christ, and since he built
the church, it seems only right that we wear His, and only His name.
of Christ subscribes to no human creed. We have no creed but Christ and the New
Testament scriptures. We believe the word of God to be inspired. To us it is the
perfect revelation of God's will to man, and cannot be changed without
disobeying God. (Jno. 8:32; Gal. 1:6-9; Rev. 22:18-19; Jno. 17:17) Since the
rulings of church councils are not inspired, they are not binding upon God's
The Church of Christ is not governed by an earthly board of directors,
with a president or superintendent acting as head. Christ is the only head of
the church. (Eph. 1:2 and Col. 1:18) Each local church is self-governing and
independent of other churches. Bishops and Deacons exercise leadership in local
churches. These men are selected by the church in accordance with New Testament
regulations. (Titus 1 and I Tim. 3.)
Finally, the Church of Christ may not be
joined as one joins a denomination. Rather people are added by the Lord to the
church, when they obey the gospel. In order for the Lord to add one to His
church, the individual must believe, (Heb. 11:6); repent, (Acts 2:38); confess
Christ, (Rom. 10:9-10); and be baptized for the remission of sins, (Act. 2:38, I
Pet. 3:21). At this point the Lord adds the converted to the church (Acts 2:47).
One never is voted into the church, or works his way into the church, or buys
his way into the church. Only through obedience to the gospel does anyone enter
the Church of Christ. Wouldn't you like to know more about these people and
their message? If so why not talk with the ones who have made this article
available to you. Remember to be in Christ means everything. Don't delay your
obedience. (By Ronny F. Wade)
Let The Bible Speak is broadcast each Sunday morning on various television stations
throughout the country. Hosted by Evangelist Kevin Presley, the program deals with
a variety of Bible subjects to help you understand and appreciate the salvation
that God has provided through Christ. We believe the Bible is how God reveals His
will for the salvation of man. God is telling us in the scriptures what to do in
order to be saved, and how to live a life that is pleasing to him once we are saved.
It's all there in scripture if only we will listen to what it's saying.
Check your local listings to see if Let The Bible Speak is broadcast in your area.