About Our Congregation
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Our congregation is a local congregation of the churches of Christ, a worldwide fellowship of congregations which maintain unity of organization, doctrine and purpose based solely upon the New Testament authority of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Colossians 3:17). Churches of Christ recognize no central human authority, such as a "mother church," an earthly headquarters, a president of a denominational body, a conference, or a head of the church other than the Lord Jesus Christ. Rather, churches of Christ function locally and autonomously under the leadership of a plurality of elders (Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4. A study of these passages also reveals that the terms elder, bishop, pastor or shepherd, and overseer are used interchangeably). Churches of Christ endeavor to function doctrinally in compliance with the Holy Spirit inspired instructions of the Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 4:6), seeking to duplicate as much as possible the church that is revealed in and approved by the New Testament. Consequently, the Lord Jesus Christ is recognized as the sole head of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:13-18), and the New Testament as the code by which He governs His church (Galatians 3:24-25; Hebrews 8:4-13; 9:15-18) and to which His church must be in submission (John 14:15).
What is the church of Christ?
It is the church that is revealed in the New Testament. The word "church" is translated from the Greek word ekklesia, which is a compound of two other Greek words: ek, which means "out of" and kaleo, which means "to call". Thus, the church is the "out called" ones. In the New Testament the word "church" first occurs in Mathew 16:18 where it is used in a general sense to refer to all who belong to it (Matthew 16:18; also Ephesians 5:23-25). The word trenaslated as "church" is used in a local sense, referring to the Lord's people in one congregation or particular geographical area (1 Corinthians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1). The church is not given a proper name by inspiration, but it is designated by the following terms: The "body of Christ," (Eph. 1:22-23); the "bride of Christ" (Rev. 21:9); "church of God" (Acts 20:28); "church of the living God" (1 Tim. 3:15); "church of the first-born" (Heb.12:23); the "family" of God (Eph. 3:15); the flock" of God (1 Pet. 5:2); the "fold" of Christ (Jn.10:16); the "general assembly" (Heb. 12:23); "God's building" (1 Cor. 3:9); "God's husbandry" (1 Cor. 3:9);"God's heritage" (1 Pet. 5:2); the "habitation of God" (Eph. 2:22); the "heavenly Jerusalem" (Gal.4:26); the "house of God" (1 Tim. 3:15); the "house" of Christ (Heb. 3:6); the "house hold of God" (Eph. 2:19); "the new Jerusalem (Rev. 21:2); the "pillar and ground of the truth" (1 Tim. 3:15); a "spiritual house" (1 Pet.2:5); the temple of God" (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 6:16); and "churches of Christ" (Rom. 16:16).
The Establishment Of The Church
The beginning of the church is discussed in
Old Testament prophecies such as Isaiah 2:2-3 and Micah 4:1-2.
It is here seen that the house of God, the church (1 Timothy
3:15) would be established in the "last days", which is
the New Testament age (Hebrews 1:1-2; Acts 2:16-17). The
church would be "established in the top of the mountains,"
for example, in the midst of other governments (the Roman Empire
and her vassal states), and "exalted above the hills,"
surpassing all civil governments. It would be established
when the "word of the Lord' went forth from Jerusalem (Acts
10:34-35), and "All nations shall flow unto it," that
is, people of all nations would enter it (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark
16:15-16; Acts 10:34-35).
The Organization Of The Church
In the church in the universal sense, the New Testament reveals no central earthly organization. Over the church in this sense the Lord Jesus Christ presides as "head" (Ephesians 1:22-23), and "the blessed and only potentate." (1 Timothy 6:15). God established that each local congregation be completely autonomous, or self governing under Christ. There is no organic governmental relationship between congregations, but there is a definite order or organization to be found in each congregation (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5).
Worship In The New Testament Church.
A special day was ordained for the New
Testament church as a day of assembly and worship (Hebrews
10:25). On the first day of the week the New Testament
church assembled to "break bread" (Acts 20:7). On
this day they also made a contribution to the Lord's work (1
The Mission Or Work Of The Church
The work of the church may be stated briefly under these three items: Evangelism, which is to preach the gospel to others (Ephesians 3:10; Acts 8:1-4; 13:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 1:8), edification, which means that the church is to strengthen and edify its own members (1 Corinthians 14:12; 2 Corinthians 12:19; Ephesians 4:16,29), and benevolence, which means that the church must also minister to the poor and needy (Galatians 6:10; Romans 12:13; 15:25-27; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; 9:6:11).
Membership In The Church of Christ
Membership in the church of the Lord was
considered vital in the days of the apostles and remains vital
today. Christ died for the church, and the ransomed were
members of it (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25).
Since the church is the "bride of Christ", we are not
espoused to Christ when we are not in it (Revelation 21:9).
The church is God's dwelling place, and we must be in it for Him
to dwell in us (Ephesians 2:19-22). To be delivered to the
Father when the Lord returns, we must be in His kingdom, which is
His church (1 Corinthians 15:24).
Thus, by obeying the will of the Lord in salvation, we are added to the saved/church by Him (Acts 2:41, 47).
Please take a moment to read "It's A Matter of Choice" by clicking on the underlined title.
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