The Church of Christ is much maligned in the world today. If people would only read the Bible as they read any other book and give considerable thought to understanding it, there would be a greater understanding of the Church. However, those who oppose the Church revealed in the New Testament spread lies (intentionally or unintentionally), about the Church, which grow as a cancer eating away at the truth. It then behooves members of the Church of Christ to live in such a manner that people with see the transformation in our life. Then as opportunities present themselves to exalt the Church by speaking the truth in its defense. I am thankful to have you read the things presented in these articles (many of which you may not have thought of), to aid you in understanding what is the Church of Christ.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST DECLARES THE PLAN OF SALVATION
“But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” (I Cor. 2:7-8). The word mystery given emphasis in this quotation was a term used of generals and captain in the military who made battle plans which they kept hidden or secret from their enemy until the time of execution. Once executed it was impossible for the enemy to make preparation. In this way, it increases their chances of victory. In like manner, God had a plan for saving humanity, but the precise details of His plan were not made known until the time to actuate it. His plan called for Jesus to be crucified, the plan which the princes and rulers of the world did not have knowledge. If they had known the details, they would not have killed Him. If I may use a worldly expression, “they played into God’s hands” by slaying the Lord. Without His death, the plan would have been stalemated. To benefit from this plan man has a part to play. Our part is to listen to God’s word as proclaimed in the Gospel giving us evidence to believe. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17). No faith—no salvation, “without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6). Faith enables us to accept Christ as the payment for our sins. By faith we recognize our sinful condition and a change of mind take place as to how we want to live from this point forward which leads us to repentance. “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” (Rom. 2:4). We gladly tell of our desire to obey the Lord in all things by confessing Him to be God’s means of salvation. “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8:37). Finally we obey the Savior to receive His promise of forgiveness, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mk. 16:16). Obedience to these stipulations is necessary if we are to receive the blessing offered by the Lord. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Heb. 5:8-9). On the other hand, to reject the words of Jesus brings condemnation. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” (Jn. 12:48). In his writing, James makes known the necessity of obedience by pointing out that without obeying our faith is of no value. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (Js. 2:17). That reveals that a faith without a compliance with God’s commandments is worthless—is dead. The Church of Christ declares this simple plan of salvation.
THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS THE CHURCH THAT ADHERES TO THE TEACHING OF THE NEW TESTAMENT ON GIVING
On the very day the Church was established there is evidence that giving was given emphasis. Upon 3,000 responding to the Gospel invitation, they observed the teaching of the Apostles. “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42 emp. BO). Fellowship here is a specific as are all the other things in the passage. Doctrine refers to the teaching of the Apostles who were to instruct baptized believers in “all things the Lord commanded” (Mt. 28:19-20). Breaking of bread is the Lord’s Supper, and ordinance imposed by Apostolic authority upon Christians (I Cor. 10:16-17; 11:2, 23-26). Prayer is an indulgence practiced regularly by every Christian, but is also a specific avenue of worship when disciples assemble (I Cor. 14:15). In equal fashion, fellowship is the sharing of Christians financially in the work of the Lord (I Cor. 16:1-2). A quick outline for giving is presented by the Apostle in First Corinthians chapter sixteen at verse two. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (I Cor. 16:2). Since each congregation assembled “on the first day of the week” (Acts 20:7), what better time than to ask them to give? As disciples, we know from this when we are to give. As surely as there is a first day, Christians are to give. No Christian would entertain the thought of assembling on the first day without eating the Lord’s Supper, well, the same language is used regarding our giving. Can we worship scripturaly without giving on the Lord’s Day? That is the when we are to give. The passage continues “let everyone of you.” Every person, husband, wife, father, mother, boy and girl, widow and the unmarried. This story was told by a preacher. “A little boy with a nickel in his hand sat next to a well dressed dignified lady as he watched the collection basket nearing. The lady made no effort to get any money to give. He saw the basket get near her when he leaned over and said, here lady you give my nickel and I’ll crawl under the seat.” He knew that everyone should give. That’s the who. “Lay by him in store.” This means that something was to be separate for the purpose of casting it into the treasury. A clear statement regarding the purpose of it. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (II Cor 9:7). Our first day giving is not to be a haphazard affair as we might hand an approaching beggar something, it is to be something we have set our heart upon as a part of worship, not because we are compelled, but because we want to. This is the where of giving. As God hath prospered him. Our giving is determined in proportion to what we have earned. The command is issued fairly so that everyone can comply with it, whether having little or much to give. We are not bound by the tithe as commanded under the Old Testament but by the thought that “God loveth a cheerful giver.” God who gave so much prompts us to have the same love for His Cause in the world and give accordingly. Why a Christian can contend for pure preaching, scriptural singing, obedient prayer, exactness in the Lord’s Supper and then think that giving any and every way is all right is beyond me. People who have every comfort and appliance in their houses, lavish automobiles, plenty of clothing, cell phone for themselves and their children that do everything except wash dishes, have misplaced their love when they are stingy in giving to the Church. Shame on us! The question should not be how much must I give but how much should I keep. This is a description of the amount of our giving. That there be no gatherings when I come Paul was making his way to Corinth and he wanted them to be ready with their funds. This removes the need for special collections. It is much easier to regularly and systematically give than to try to heap together a large amount on occasions when a need arises. The Church of Christ is the Church that adheres to the teaching of the New Testament on Giving
The Church Of Christ Is The Church That Accepts The Bible Definition Of Marriage
Today it is being broadcast on the news that the Presbyterian Church has granted the right of their ministers to perform marriages between GAY COUPLES in states where it is legal, (this article is written over a month before publication, due to scheduling). Are we to suppose “if the law said to kill everyone that is not Presbyterian we could do it?” Everything that is legal cannot be done by those honoring Christ. In addition, these marriages may take place in their houses of worship. It does not shock me that such a step has been taken because it has not been too long since they said that GAY people may be ordained to the ministry in that organization. This decision is just another step into iniquity. GAY is a chosen word used by certain people to stand for homosexuals. It has become the popular and politically correct sentiments of the country to accept these marriages as equal to and acceptable the same as what is called “traditional marriage” between a man and a woman. The Presbyterian Church is the largest denomination that claims Christianity (about 3,000,000 members) to make that a part of Church Doctrine. I predict that others will soon follow suit. I know that all the members of that church are not in agreement with the policy of the leaders, therefore, I am not ready to make a blanket indictment against all the members. In fact, this move obviously is with the wish that they will grow in number as their membership has been declining. How that will work out in the future time will tell. At present, some congregations among them have already seceded from the main body. While our politicians take such ridiculous positions to gain votes, they may learn that politics and religion do not mix and do not operate on the same principles. I do wish that Presbyterians will take a serious look at not only the deviation in this instance, but will also seriously look at other doctrines the Presbyterian Leaders have imposed on the people that are not a 32nd cousin to Bible teaching. It is a sin to belong to an organization that holds the Bible in contempt. “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither…effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…” (I Cor. 6:9). Add to these words, the statement “Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.” (I Cor. 5:13). It is not my purpose presently to argue the merits or demerits of civil or equal rights. On this issue (which is not an issue with Bible believing people), an appeal to the teaching of the Bible is made as would be made with any other subject. The matter then will be settled. To begin with, I remind you of what was said about the man and woman in the beginning. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen. 1:26). When God took a rib from Adam’s side and created a woman He brought her to Adam. The inspired record declares, “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” (Gen. 2:22). That should settle the matter, there is a difference in a man and a woman making it necessary for one to select a companion from the opposite sex. The Lord Jesus commenting on the matter, reaffirmed the truth, Matthew records it in chapter 19, “Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Verses 4-5). The marriage of homosexuals is a repudiation of God and a denial of Jesus Christ as Lord. The grand Apostle to the Gentiles wrote, “when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were they thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools…Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of
their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Rom. 1:21-27). If language could be clearer, I surely do not know how. Let it be said, that GAY
people can turn from their iniquity and bring their unholy desires under control and God will forgive them, just as He will forgive any other sinner, no matter how vile. Can a child rapist be forgiven? Yes, but not while practicing his grievous deeds. It is useless to say that the molesters are born that way. We cannot do as the Presbyterians who are trying to bring God down to man’s level of iniquity. Man through Christ must be lifted up to God’s standard of living. In the above context, Paul went on to write, “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Rom. 1:32). He means not only do GAY people practice their vile sin, but also seek to win others to the same view and practice which gives them pleasure. If this were not true, homosexuality would die. The only way it can continue is by conversion. Any Christian (contrary to the words and actions of our President), is tearful when others are overcome with sin, yet we cannot—cannot condone such atrocities against God. The Presbyterians are like the religious leaders of Jesus’ days on the earth, accepting the traditions of men for doctrine making void the word of God (Mt. 15:7-9). The Church of Christ is the Church that accepts, teaches and practices God’s definition of marriage. Barney Owens 1505
Planning is thinking.
It is doing things in the mind before accomplishing them in reality