What is the “Church of Christ”?
Matthew 16:18 (NIV) And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. So Jesus Himself built the church and based it on the confession Peter made. No man had any part in making it. And then I can read in Acts 2:47 (NIV) praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. God is the One who adds me or anyone else to the church. His church! No vote by anyone. Just God, when I am baptized. I am automatically added to His family. So it was established by Jesus and started meeting in AD33 when the apostles preached on Pentecost and 3000 were baptized. Jesus had already died and was raised to heaven. It has nothing to do with a building. It is a group of people who are NOT perfect, just forgiven and seeking to serve God.
What should I find there?
Is it based only on the Bible?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. So the Bible is designed to provide everything we need to be prepared for everything, including heaven! If I find it in the Bible then I should find it in that church. If they are doing something NOT in the Bible, there is something wrong! Jesus is the Head, not somebody – Colossians 1:18 (NIV) And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Will they welcome me just as I am?
I am NOT perfect. I don’t know everything yet. I may not act or dress like everyone else there. And I sure don’t want folks to look down on me or talk about me when I leave.
Galatians 3:26-27(NIV) You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. If I am clothed with Christ then nothing else really matters!
James 2:8-9(NIV) If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. There may be some folks who would think differently of me or not be really open to me but that is their problem. I am one of Christ’s family and that is all the acceptance that really matters!
Is it a place to collectively worship God in spirit and truth?
John 4:24 (NIV) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. I know that I am to worship all the time (Romans 12:1) and I know that when the rest of my church family is together I should be there also. I also know that Jesus told me to worship in a correct and passionate way (1 Corinthians 14:40).
Do they preach and teach the truth in a loving way?
Ephesians 4:15 (NIV) Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. I am NOT interested in getting beat over the head or threatened or told things which I can’t find in the Bible. It must be the truth – God’s word only!
Do they observe the Lord’s Supper weekly?
Acts 20:7 (NIV) On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight. The early church came together on Sunday (first day of the week) and they broke bread, which is the communion, or Lord’s Supper, as commanded by Jesus in 1 Corinthians 11:24(NIV) and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Is there passionate singing?
Colossians 3:16(NIV) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Interesting that I don’t read anything about any instrument. Singing is natural and obviously pleases God. So why add to it? I may not be able to sing well but I can sing.
Is there an opportunity to give to benefit others?
1 Corinthians 16:2 (NIV) On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Give on Sunday and it is supposed to be used to help others as the elders plan.
Is it a gathering where my kids and I feel like we can grow?
2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV) We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. That church was growing in faith and love. I need to grow in faith, love, understanding, everything!
Will I fit in and feel like I am a worthwhile part – a real “member”?
Romans 12:4-5(NIV) Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. I want and need to feel needed. I don’t want to just show up and leave. If this is really “family” I know I want to do my part. It may not be a big part yet but I will grow!
I am sincerely looking for a church that will be my spiritual family here on earth and this sounds like exactly what I want and NEED!
How can I learn more?
We are here to help you!
We would sincerely like the opportunity to talk with you more about this subject and share what God’s word says about it. As Jesus said, John 8:32(NIV) “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”