WHAT DOES THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BELIEVE ABOUT THE BIBLE?
The original autographs of the sixty-six books, which make up the Bible, are considered to have been divinely inspired, by which it is meant that they are infallible and authoritative. Reference to the Scriptures is made in settling every doctrinal question and pronouncement from the Scriptures is considered final.
The Bible is full of history, prophecy, literature, and philosophy. It is also the the greatest love story ever written. It tells the story of how the Creator of all mankind, and everything in our world and beyond, stepped down to earth in human form to rescue mankind. It tells of one who loved mankind so much that He was willing to send His own Son to die for you, for me, and for us. It is the most beautiful of love stories. It is more than a book. It is more than just words on a page. It speaks forth the message of hope to all mankind. What a great God we serve!
WHO, HOW, AND WHY DOES THE CHURCH OF CHRIST BAPTIZE?
Baptism is a very misunderstood concept in the modern religious world. In fact, it is one of the most controversial of issues. Thus, we seek to go back to the simplicity of Scripture on the matter.
The early church baptized by full immersion. We see in every conversion in the New Testament that baptism is full immersion for the remission of sins. No sprinkling, or pouring, is found in Scripture. Infants were not baptized. Only accountable believers were immersed for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21).
In the salvation of man’s soul there are two necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s grace is so great because He makes salvation possible. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). No man deserves salvation because his choice to sin has separated him from his God (James 1:14-15; Romans 3:23,6:23). The love which God feels for man led Him to send His Christ into the world to redeem man (John 3:16; Hebrews 2:10). The life and teachings of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the good news of salvation to man is God’s part in salvation.
Man’s response is also necessary if man is to have salvation. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Jesus clearly set out man’s part in the following way:
• Jesus said one who hears what the Father says will come to Him. “It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me” (John 6:45).
• Jesus said one must believe He is Lord. “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24).
• Jesus said one must repent, which involves godly sorrow and a will to change the direction of one’s life. “No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (Luke 13:3,5).
• Jesus said one must confess Him as Lord. “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
• Jesus said one must be baptized to be saved. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
• Jesus said one must be faithful until death. “…be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE LORD’S SUPPER?
Another place where you may have noticed a difference between churches of Christ and other religious groups is in the Lord’s Supper. This memorial supper was inaugurated by Jesus on the night of his betrayal (Matthew 26:26-28). It is observed by Christians in memory of the Lord’s death (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). The emblems – unleavened bread and fruit of the vine – symbolize the body and blood of Jesus (1 Corinthians 10:16).
The Scriptures teach that we are to meet on each first day of the week (Sunday) to worship and break bread. Churches of Christ are different from many in that we observe the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week. A central part of the worship is the eating of the Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7). It is the privilege and responsibility of the follower of the Christ to remember Jesus’ sacrifice on the first day of the week, as the early church did.
WHAT ROLES DOES MUSIC HAVE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH?
God created the perfect instrument for worshipping and praising Him – the human voice. It is the only one that can unite sound and words. It is the only one that is accompanied by the heart, the soul, the mind, and one’s strength. Thus, acappella singing is not only the one authorized form of musical worship, but is simple, beautiful, and does not call for professionals. One does not have to have a beautiful voice, know how to read music, or be a loud singer. God calls and asks for our whole body to sing forth melodies from within us. One cannot do such by passively sitting and just listening!