How the Church that Christ Built is Not a Denomination

This article is written with great care, concern, and compassion for the souls who are looking for God’s people, the church that Christ built. Jesus oversaw the church that He built and bought with His blood (Matt 16:18; Acts 20:28). Where is the church that Christ built?

One may first identify the church of Christ by their love and unity. Jesus instructed his disciples that all people can identify His disciples by their love for one another is as Jesus loves His followers (John 13:34–35). Jesus prayed that the church become one (John 17:20–21). The churches of Christ strive to speak the same thing with no divisions and be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment (1 Cor 1:10). The churches of Christ strive diligently not to be a denomination since sectarian religious parties are a work of the flesh and those who do such will not inherit the kingdom of heaven (Gal 5:19–21).

The Church is God’s People as God’s House

The church is God’s people and God’s spiritual house (1 Pet 2:5). That is church is described as a house put together perfectly by Jesus Christ. Christ’s Spirit spoke through the apostle Paul to Timothy expressing, “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15).

God has a house that supports the Truth, the word of God (John 17:17). God’s House is often neglected as one can see when comparing Jesus’s church to many churches in the world today. God’s house is the church of the living God.

Jesus Built God’s House, the Church

The writer of Hebrews wrote about Jesus,

For this One has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as He who built the house has more honor than the house […] but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end. (Heb 3:3, 6)

Jesus is over God’s house. Christ said that He would build His Church as He called it “My church” (Matt. 16:18). Therefore, the church is the church of Christ that Jesus bought with His own blood (Acts 20:28).

The most expensive and greatest institution to ever be established is the church of Jesus Christ. Jesus purchased the house of God. He built the church with Himself as the cornerstone and His Apostles and prophets as the foundation. Christ’s Spirit spoke about the house of God in Ephesians 2:20, “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone.” Upon this foundation, Christ said through the Apostle Peter that each Christian is a stone built into the house of God (1 Pet 2:5).

Christ is over the house of God for He has bought with His blood. Therefore as Jesus said, He has all authority (Matt 28:18–20). Jesus designed and built His house. Jesus is sinless and infallible and so are His words (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 John 3:5; 1 Pet 2:22). Therefore, no one has the right to modify God’s House, the church, because Jesus built it. Jesus gave His words to His Apostles, so that we know how to conduct ourselves in the House of God (John 15:20; 17:8). Therefore, Christians can maintain today the church as Jesus built.

The Leadership of the Church that Christ Built

The apostle Paul wrote that Timothy and those who he taught would know how to conduct themselves in the House of God, the church of living God (1 Tim 3:15). Paul was speaking specifically about how God organized  house was organized by each congregations being governed by qualified elders and served by qualified deacons (1 Tim. 3). Jesus built His Church to be pastured and overseen by an eldership in each congregation (Acts 20:28–30; 1 Pet 5:1–3). The apostle Paul and his associate Barnabas “appointed elders in every church” (Acts 14:23), and Paul instructed Titus to “set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you” (Titus 1:5).

Paul instructed the elders at Ephesus saying, “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to pastor the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). Elders are the only church pastors mentioned in the Bible. However, many churches today call their preachers and ministers “pastors” when they not meet the qualifications. Christ gave these pastoring elders a great responsibility to oversee the church. The apostle Peter wrote to church elders telling them to, “Shepherd [pastor] the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away” (1 Pet 5:2–4).

These elders were to meet specific qualifications and by this they are made overseers by the Holy Spirit (1 Tim 3:1–7, Titus 1:5–9). Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 3:2–7,

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

The apostle also wrote Titus giving qualifications,

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it (Titus 1:5–9)

Qualified elders are essential to the House of God. This is by Christ’s design. No one should change what God has put in order. Each person must consider if he or she is in God’s house and a part of His people.

The Church is God’s Temple for Worship

Jesus also built His House as His temple for worship (1 Cor 3:16–17; 2 Cor 6:16). The congregations that make up the House of God worship God whenever they can. However, they also worshiped when they gathered together for the assembly. In the New Testament, the whole congregation gathered together in what was called “the assembly” (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 14:23; Heb 10:25). They gathered at other times, but when they gathered for the assembly, they worshiped on the Lord’s Day by partaking of the Lord’s Supper along with prayers, teaching, singing, and giving to the collection. The assembly gathered to praise God and to edify the minds of the congregation,  and to encourage one another for love and good works (1 Cor 14:6; Heb 2:12; 10:24). The writer of Hebrews urged and instructed saying, “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Heb 10:24–27).

For the congregation edified one another in the assembly. Paul instructed the order of the assembly “that the church may receive edification” (1 Cor 14:6). For the assembly was to “be done decent and orderly” (1 Cor 14:40). Congregations gathered to worship, to encourage one another, and to be edified in knowledge. In assembly and all times, Christians are to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). The Jesus and His apostles commanded not to worship in vain by the traditions of men (Mark 7:5–13; Col 2:20–23).

In the Christian Scriptures, congregations gathered into the assembly to partake of the Lord’s Supper, a meal established by Jesus, and these Christians were to pray, sing, learn from teaching, and give to the collection (1 Cor 11:20–34; 14:15, 26; 16:1–2). Jesus built the Church, and the order of these things are perfect and complete as  Christ established the church. Others have altered and modified these activities of the assembly adding to the church and taking them away from the House that Jesus built. Jesus revealed about the Lord’s Supper, “I will no longer drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God” (Mark 14:25). What right does a person have to change “the fruit of the vine” in the Lord’s Supper into anything else? Did not Christ make it correct the first time? What right does any person have to change the praise of “the fruit of the lips” into musical instruments and body percussion (Heb 13:15)? Christians keep the simply purity of what Christ made perfect.

The Scriptures also teach that the assembly was on the first day of the week, which is the day when Jesus rose from the dead, met with His disciples, sent His Spirit, and established the church. This is called the Lord’s Day (Luke 24:1ff, Acts 20:7, Rev. 1:10). Luke reported, “On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight” (Acts 20:7). This breaking of bread was the breaking of bread of Christ’s body as seen in 1 Corinthians 10:16.  In 1 Corinthians 16, Paul instructed that the first day of the week was the day for storing up into the church’s collection (16:1–2). John referred to “the Lord’s Day” when Jesus was in the midst of the congregations (Rev 1:10). For when two or three are gathered in Jesus’s name, Jesus is in the midst of them. For this reason, congregations gathered as a whole on the first day every week (Heb 10:24–25).

Encouragement to Enter the Church that Christ Built

These are some essential characteristics of the House of God, and much which is lost among Christianity today. This minister writes this with great concern in heart to encourage everyone to turn the Christ and the church that He built. Many souls do not even know how to enter the House of God. When the church was established, God added the baptized who were saved to the church (Acts 2:41, 47).

Few know that there is only one baptism (Eph 4:4). This one baptism was done in Jesus’s name. For this one baptism was started being commanded by Christ. See, Jesus instructed His Apostles, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 28:19). God commanded that believers enter the church through baptism (1 Cor 12:13; Col 1:24). When Jesus rose, he revealed, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Before baptism, one must believe and confess faith in Jesus to be the resurrected Lord (Rom 10:9–10), and they must repent from their wicked deeds (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30).

Baptism partakes of the reality of Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection for the forgiveness of all sins (Col 2:12–13). Salvation comes from rising with Christ (Eph 2:4–6). Paul revealed, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Rom 6:4–5). The death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is the Gospel (1 Cor 15:1–4). The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom 1:16). Baptism is the moment of salvation when God forgives one’s sins and washes them away (Acts 22:16). Peter revealed, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet 4:17). Peter declared, “Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pet 3:21; cf. 1:3).

 


See other sources about the churches of Christ by watching this video on their beliefs and practices by clicking this link, “Searching for Truth,” or briefly read specific points of beliefs go to “Who are the Churches of Christ?” Consider this article too, “Are the Churches of Christ the only Ones Going to Heaven?

Be aware that there are those with the name “church of Christ” on their sign who do believe the above and have no affiliation with the churches of Christ. These are denominational churches who vary in many doctrines and practices. These claim to be denominations by separate titles like “progressive,” “international,” and “united.” Know that the churches of Christ have been around long before these denominations. Seek the church that Christ built.

About Scott J Shifferd

Minister, church of Christ in Jacksonville, FL. Husband and father of four. Email: ScottJon82[at]yahoo.com
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church of Christ, Restoration Movement and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to How the Church that Christ Built is Not a Denomination

  1. Erin Himes says:

    I have a question…my son is in a committed relationship with a member of the Church of Christ. My son has been born and raised a Roman Catholic. He keeps telling me that the two are both Christian and based on the same beliefs. If that is the case than why does he have to receive the sacrament of Baptism again? Why does he have to leave our Church? Does this have to occurr for him to remain in this relationship with this young woman he plans on marrying? I am so confused about this and I have to admit I am heartbroken. I’ve spent my whole life struggling to make sure my children have a wonderful Roman Catholic upbringing. I would like someone to explain this process to me. He is Twenty one years old, I am not trying to stop him. He is an adult that needs to make sure this is the right decision for him.

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    • Erin Himes,

      Your son certainly does need to make sure that he is making the right decision. I’m going to speak very plainly and with as much gentleness as I can. In the churches of Christ, his commitment will be to Jesus Christ and His teachings. I think that you would certainly like that. He should not do this simply for his love. I can see how you would be heartbroken after committing your family to the guidance of the Catholic Church and for your child to leave. I would say that he is certainly leaving the Catholic church. The Church of Christ is very simple and Bible-based, and to the best of my knowledge, the Catholic Church would be the same as the Church of Christ if the Catholic Church did not have the traditions that are not in the New Testament. The churches of Christ put the words of Christ before all others and those words of the Bible before any church and the leaders thereof, which includes the priesthood and bishops of the Catholic church. We teach that baptism is only immersion and not sprinkling (Acts 8:35-38) and only for believers (Mark 16:16). We teach that this is for salvation (Acts 2:38, 22:16, Rom. 6:3-7, 1 Pet. 3:21). Therefore, he has been taught that the Catholic baptism is not the baptism that Jesus commanded and he will to obey Jesus by being baptized by immersion. He will no long be a Catholic, but only a Christian with no ties to any protestant or Catholic churches. The churches of Christ teach that there is one Church (Matt. 16:18). Most converts to the churches of Christ that I know were Catholic. The churches of Christ do reject much of Catholic tradition to follow a simpler form of Christianity according to Christ’s words. The churches of Christ see the hierarchy of the Catholic church as another religious authority in addition to what Jesus taught and yet we respect the belief in Jesus found among its members.

      There is no standard process except that the bride and the father decide together about her marriage (1 Cor. 7:36-38). Your son’s girlfriend must have very strong convictions, and she may have committed herself openly to marrying only a member of the Church of Christ. This is not religious teaching of the churches of Christ, but it is common that those who marry from the churches of Christ have this conviction to only marry those of like faith. There is no specific teaching forbidding the marrying of someone outside of the Church and we believe that if married to an non-believer then we must remain married to them (1 Cor. 7:11ff).

      Feel free to ask more questions. May God bless you.

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      • Erin Himes says:

        Thank you for your response. I really don’t understand how this all works. He has always been very very proud of being Roman Catholic. And please do not think I am trying to put Church of Christ in a negative light by any means. I don’t know anything about it other than what you have told me. I just don’t think he should be pressured into anything and I think that is what is happening. He is getting letters from the Church which are very nice. The evangelist took him and his girlfriend out to lunch which was very nice. I almost feel like they are taking away his choice and his ability to make a clear decision. I’m going home to speak with him tonight and show him what you said in your response to me earlier. Thank you again for clearing somethings up for me. I still believe he should be able to love whomever he wants and still remain his own person or at least be true to himself.

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  2. Jeff says:

    I don’t know of anyone in the church of Christ who doesn’t know who Alexander Campbell is, but to call someone a Campbellite means you are following Campbell, not Jesus. You don’t follow the preacher, though he may be a good guide and leader. You follow the Bible…the Word of God…the teachings of Jesus. That is why none of us want to be called Campbellites. It’s like the Lutherans. Martin Luther told them not to call themselves Lutherans, because he didn’t think it was appropriate. He did not want them to follow him. So, guess what they call themselves today. The point is, if we don’t correct those who erroneously label us Campbellites, it would be misleading. If we didn’t correct those that call the preacher “reverend” or “pastor” then we would be misleading them by not letting them know that the Bible says they shouldn’t be called that. You can call church of Christ members non-intellectual. All they need to know is the Bible. It doesn’t matter if they know anything else past that. The Bible hasn’t changed. It may have been bound, and divided into chapters and verses, but it’s the same that the early church had. They all had the teachings of God, through the Holy Spirit and apostles. The churches shared the letters that make up the New Testament. It helps to have an understanding of where the church became corrupted and turned into something that it should never have been, and then all the denominations split off from that. However, one could know none of this, pick up the Bible, and start worshipping as God would have us do, and follow His commands. Anyone who does that, and does it as He commanded, will be added to THE church…the only one mentioned in the Bible…the original church…not a denomination. That is what Campbell and others were trying to do in the Restoration movement…not get followers of their own or start a new denomination. Until people get that, they can argue until the cows come home…or until Jesus returns might be a more accurate metaphor. The point is, there are many in this world who want to argue. They like to argue. It’s almost their hobby. And getting offended easily helps them in their hobby. I’m worshipping like the Bible says. There is one church. I am part of that church. Those who are not part of that church, by doing what Jesus says to do, are not going to inherit the Kingdom of God. If that offends you, then you are offended by God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Take it up with them. Perhaps you will get to argue with the ones who matter on Judgment Day. You may want to start studying for your finals now by reading the Bible instead of arguing based on man’s views though. Personally, I think many are afraid that they might offend somebody, and are afraid to say these things to others, which may be why you think they are “lying by omission.” However, most in the true Lord’s church wouldn’t have a problem quoting scriptures, and we need to do that more. Not everyone who attends worship at a church of Christ are automatically saved. They could come every week and never get anything out of worship, or ever open a Bible. They may go out and live non-Chirstian lives all week and come sit in the church pew every Sunday. They may also never do anything to help others find the way to salvation, as we are commanded to do. I don’t know who you have talked to in the past, but you can’t judge the entire church of Christ on a few members. We are allowed to judge people, but based on the Word of God…not on our own judgment. In other words…God has told us how we will be judged concerning many things, and if we see people doing these things, and the Word of God tells us how they will be judged for doing those things, we should let them know…and it’s not us judging them really, but how God is going to judge them…and we know it because we have the Bible.

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  3. Ken Sublett says:

    I have collected the recent Progressive Church of Christ’s presentation by Jay Guin in New Wineskins Forum. It’s true: when you tamper with the Word of Christ sends you strong delusions so you cannot read black text on brown paper. It would be amusing if it was not so prophetically evil

    http://www.piney.com/Jay.Guin.Reviews.html

    As for the Jewish Bible, the “progressives”–all the way back to Babylon (Rev 17-18) missed the point that a fork of the road was taken by the Israelite leaders by engaging in musical idolatry at Mount Sinai. Even a reader of Acts 7 would know that God turned them over to worship the starry host: the Bible and Jewish Encyclopedia said THAT is who they worshipped whatever they called their god.

    The Holy Convocation was defined for the Church in the Wilderness: since they were under Christ the Rock, we might call it The Church of Christ. The historic Church of Christ has sought to follow that pattern so that the assembly is WORD OF CHRIST centered.

    Peter in 2 Peter 1 made the “memory” he and others left for us the ‘prophecies and prophecies made more perfect’ as the pattern. We are built upon the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles and not on the sacrificial system.

    http://www.piney.com/2.Peter.1.html

    Peter, Paul and all of the Greek literature identifies singing AND playing an instrument as THE meaning of witchcraft or sorcery. No one can stick pins in a dolly but they can TAKE CAPTIVE your mental or spiritual nature: even the Simpliest Simon in recorded history knew that people used instruments to “make the lambs dumb before the slaughter.” It CERTAINLY works, doesn’t it.

    The marks in sight and sound says Christ in Isaiah 30 of God driving His enemies into “hell” will be the wind, string and percussion instruments that Lucifer–the singing and harp playing prostitute brought with him/her/it into the Garden of Eden.

    Christ inspired the prophets (1 Peter 1:11; 2 Cor 3; Rev 19:10) and he defined the future REST DAY in great detail including the prophecy of the INSTRUMENTAL SMITING of Jesus Christ. He also defined baptism quite parallel to Mark 16:15, 16.

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  4. Forrest Charnock says:

    Seems a great hostility exists here. It is surely a fact some of the most frustrating conversations I ever had were with C of C members and they can give me a headache with their two-faced arguments but they are also God’s children and we are commanded to love them.
    The only ones I ever reached were ones I politely and lovingly showed the error of their logic to. The Campbell-Stone Movement was built on the idea you can argue people into agreeing with you. I have found that its descendants are very poor debaters. When they claim that history is irrelevant and they get all their ideas from scripture I ask them why they ignore the history in the Bible .
    The history in and out of the Bible shows that salvation is an act of grace, a gift from the God-Man Jesus Christ that cannot be added to , only received. The thief on the cross cannot be dismissed as being saved under the law because there is no record of anyone asking Jesus to save them in the Old Testament. True they were saved by believing He would come {The Messiah} but not by asking Him for mercy directly.
    This has never occurred to those brainwashed by the C of C and it has helped me a few times when I presented it as a question.
    Dear C of C member, I want to understand so could you show me where in the Jewish Bible people asked the Messiah to save them? Then shut up. If they are honest enough to say it never happened then you can ask them if maybe this way of dismissing the thief on the cross as proof we are saved by grace alone is a man made idea that has become accepted without a shred of evidence by the founders of their sect and passed on erroneously for the better part of 200 years. If they have not reverted to the brainless cliches at this point you might even convince them baptism is an act of obedience, not a bargaining chip to earn eternal life,

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    • My plea to you is to reconsider Christ’s words. Grace alone without faith? Or faith alone with grace alone? Yet, no one baptizes oneself. The one being baptized does not work and yet believes Jesus who said that faith and salvation preceded baptism in Mark 16:16. Friend, it is Christ who washes with water (Eph. 5:26). He is the source of salvation to those who obey Him (Heb. 5:8-9). I stand by the Gospel, which is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16). I have been saved by the Gospel by which I stand (1 Cor. 15:1-2). I have to faith to obey the Gospel, which is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:3-4). This is what Christians re-enact in dying to sins, being buried in baptism, and resurrected to newness life (Rom. 6:3-7, Col. 2:12-13). I have have been baptized into the likeness of His death. Can I be saved without doing this?

      How would you answer these questions before God? Is not baptism in Jesus’ name is baptism in water (Acts 10:47-48)? Do we not receive the forgiveness of sins through His name (Acts 10:43)? Did not Jesus speak of this baptism in Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:16? Is this baptism not the baptism of the Gospel?

      From the Jewish Bible, Isaiah 64:5, “You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness, Who remembers You in Your ways. You are indeed angry, for we have sinned — In these ways we continue; And we need to be saved.” The Psalmist cries out, “I will never forget Your precepts, For by them You have given me life. I am Yours, save me; For I have sought Your precepts.” “I cry out to You; Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.”

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      • Frank Cox says:

        Dear Scott:

        I implore you to be honest with yourself and admit you are twisting the words of God. The issue is that the C of C , as do the Roman Catholics so hated by your peers , teach works salvation . Here are your words:
        “My plea to you is to reconsider Christ’s words. Grace alone without faith? ”

        What on earth does that have to do with works salvation? To try and paint me as a person who believes that their is salvation without faith is silly. The Bible plainly teaches we are saved by faith , not by works. I believe in salvation by grace plus NOTHING.
        Nothing a sinful human could ever do could add or subtract from the redeeming blood of Christ which was split for you and for many. To claim it is possible to live a good enough life or get that your head dunked under water is necessary to complete the sacrifice of God Almighty humbling Himself to becoming a lowly human and suffering the horrible death of the cross is blasphemy of the highest order. No man deserves heaven save Jesus Christ , the God Man. I do not , you do not, the apostle Paul did not , Daniel did not , no one could, save Jesus Christ.
        As far as the fairy tale that the C of C existed before Campbell that is a lie from the pits of hell. The denomination did not exist even though their were likely churches by that name . Campbell started the C of C after being forced out of the Baptist church .

        Show me an organization called the Church of Christ before 1800.
        Born of water is not baptism , all humans are born of water. Either the Bible is the inerrant word of God or Christianity is false.
        There is no way to force a new interpretation on :

        Romans 10:13
        For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
        Romans 10:12-14

        Either you are mistaken in the belief that you must add to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ or the Bible is a pack of lies. The Bible does not say that Baptism is necessary for salvation and if it did that would mean the Bible is false. It say those who believe and are Baptized will be saved but it also says that all who believe will be saved.

        1 John 5:12-14

        King James Version (KJV)

        12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

        This is either true , or the Bible is a pack of lies. No mention is made of Pagan works salvation .

        13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

        14And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

        <<

        >>

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        • Frank,

          Exactly, “Grace alone without faith?” is rhetorical referring to your contradictory positions of “grace alone” and yet “faith alone” while claiming “Christ alone”.Are we saved by grace, faith, and Christ? Yes. Faith is a work. Baptism is not. No one baptizes oneself. Those who reject baptism and slant Christ’s words on baptism have spiritual issue. Have you not read James 2:24? Have you not read Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, 22:16, 1 Peter 1:22-23, 3:21 and more? Works of obedience are essential (Jam. 2:24, 1 Pet. 1:22-23, Heb. 5:9). Yet, baptism is not even work, the only work of baptism is the faithful submission. Is it a work to call on the Lord since calling on the Lord is baptism according to Acts 22:16?

          Sir, your need primary sources that is two or more witnesses to affirm any truth even historical truth. History presents those who were called Vaudois, Lollards, Non-conformist Puritans, and Campbellites, of whom we all practice and believe the same. I challenge you not be a Baptist. Why be anymore than a Christian? Whatever you do to be a Baptist in a addition to being a Christian is an addition to Christ’s words and His church. If there is no difference between being a Baptist and a Christian, then why be a Baptist?

          When you reject baptism? You reject Christ. You reject His death, burial, and resurrection in Romans 6:3-7 where freedom from sin and salvation are by dying to sins and being buried by baptism into Christ’s death to be resurrected with Him. You cannot be resurrected without baptism, the one baptism (Eph. 4:4). You strike at Christ and the very gospel by which we stand and by which we are saved (1 Cor. 15:1-4).

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        • Frank,
          No more malicious slander. If you have some primary sources regarding your points on the history of the churches of Christ Jesus, then you can post them. No more baseless accusation. You need tow or more witnesses to bring a charge against the church elders of the churches of Christ (1 Tim. 5:).
          We could talk about Baptist church history too and what the Baptist church looked like before Fullerism, which is what you teach regarding works. The early Baptist churches of Christ starting from John Smith did not hold the beliefs that you do concerning works and rejecting baptism. They were simply Calvinist rather than free-will.

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  5. Gary Cummings says:

    You guys are so full of horse manure that I don’t have a shovel big enough to sort through your heresies, legalism, and down right bad theology. There may be some problems with the Progressive folks, but at least they have rejoined the whole body of Christ. They do not consider themselves to be the whole body of Christ as your cult/sect does. A long time ago back in my “mainstream COC” days, I spoke to him, wrote him, and then became friends with Leroy Garrett, and I have to say that these guys were/are very Spirit-filled and agape-love filled people. Jay Guin, one of the main elders of the Progressives, has left you guys in the dirt with your cherry-picked pattern. The Holy Spirit is a terrible being to waste in favor of a rationalistic sectarian pattern.
    Repent and believe the Gospel,
    Gary Cummings, M.S., M. Div.
    Ex-member and minister of the Churches of Christ (and glad of it)

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    • Jeff says:

      Gary, I am very sad for you.

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    • Bruce Morton says:

      Gary:
      You paint with very broad brush strokes. I will observe that “cherry-picked pattern” makes for an interesting sound-bite. However, I am convinced that believers in Christ face the same deceptions in the 21st century as they did in the first. Paul’s letters were written to address dangerous spiritual corruption, and interestingly Paul uses the word “pattern” in his letter to Timothy to describe a collection of teaching.

      Is it rationalistic to listen closely to the Word of the Lord? And to act on it? And to see that what was written then has as much relevance now? Based on many of the churches of Christ I have visited, the simple worship and the commitment to apostolic teaching speak well for a commitment similar to Jesus’ commitment in John 14:30. In the middle of a spiritual siege, we are to listen closely to the Lord’s Word.

      I am the author of a study entitled Deceiving Winds (Nashville: 21st Century Christian, 2009). I will offer a copy to you free of charge if an interest in reading. You may find some/much of interest. Please feel free to contact me at: MortonBLSL7@Earthlink.net.

      In Christ,
      Bruce Morton
      Katy, Texas

      Like

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