11 thoughts on “DEBATE : So called Church of Christ vs Church Of God The Bibleway of the Apostolic Faith. When ad…”

  1. The Pentecostal has it wrong. To be baptized in Jesus' name means by His AUTHORITY (as in "stop in the NAME of the law" – it appeals to authority). Anyone with just a cursory understanding of hermeneutics can see it's not referring to given names. That makes absolutely no sense from a salvation standpoint.

    Further, patting himself on the back ("OH! I'm feelin' good!") does nothing to strengthen his argument. Neither does standing in his opponent's face in an antagonistic fashion, as if trying to intimidate him. These are things someone does when they've lost the debate.

  2. An Explanation of the Church of Christ

    It is not a stylish or proud church. You will find it is very simple. It does not propose to feed vanity with a display of vain things. Its aim is not to amuse or enter- tain those who attend it services. It exists in your community simply as a body of Christians pointing all who look its way to Jesus Christ as God's Son, the hope of the world. Its doors are open to those who from the quiet depths of their hearts would out to God in simple worship and obedient living.

    You may be surprised to find that there isn't much ready-made for you in this church. There is no ready-made creed such as you find in many places. You take the Bible and make it your guide as you believe everything it teaches. There are no ready-made order of worship. Each church our Lord arranges is its own order in harmony with the items of worship described in the New Testament. There is no ready-made music. Everyone makes his own, from his heart, as early Christians did. Eph. 5:19.

    You may be surprised to find that this church is free under Christ as its only Head. It has no organic connection with any other congregation, but is bound by a unity of faith with all those everywhere who "speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent."

    In this church every Christian is a priest. There is no distinction between the "clergy" and "laity." We believe that all Christians are called "to be saints." Their gifts and functions may differ, but their status before the Lord is the same. Jesus Christ is our High Priest.

    This church is the outward manifestation of the deep conviction in many hearts that simple apostolic Chritianity can be produced today by the same living Word which produced it in the first century. We do not claim perfection as human beings. We were all sinners who were saved by the grace of God upon our trusting obedience to the gospel. We seek to humbly serve Jesus and to urge others to do so. Our aim is to glorify God by exalting Christ in our lives and teaching. Truly, to be a free Christ- ian, without dictation from man, is a glorious privilege.

  3. ALSO:

    The Church Belonging to Christ
    Somewhere there is a church, which is not man’s church, but is the church of (belonging to) Christ. Christ said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). Christ thought the church important for He purchased it with His own blood, Acts 20:28. Christ is the head of His church, His body; and He is head of, and purchased, only ONE body, ONE church, Eph. 1:22ff., 4:4-6.

    Obviously, the church belonging to Christ is not a material building, 1 Pet. 2:4-10. The word “church,” collective noun, literally means “the called-out,” and is used in the Bible with reference to “called-out” people; men and women who obey the call of the gospel, 2 Thess. 2:14, are “called out of darkness” (error) “into His marvelous light” (truth). The church of Christ in the New Testament (N.T.) is simply the church belonging to Christ.

    The church of Christ was established in A.D. 30, the first Pentecost after Christ’s resurrection, when a multitude of people heard gospel proclaimed, believed it, and obeyed the commands “repent and be baptized” for the remission of sins, Acts 2:22-47. God calls men through His word, John 6:44-45, 63, and people are added to the church today just as they were in N.T. times, when they “gladly receive His word and are baptized,” Acts 2:41, 47.

    Each Christian realized that his salvation was made possible by the blood of Jesus Christ, and hence considered himself a servant (slave) of the Lord, Rom. 6:1-10, “belonging to” Him. The individual’s activities and obligations, even those resulting from domestic, civic, and social relations, were discharged “as to the Lord,” 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Co. 3:17-24. The Christian “glorified God” both as an individual, and through his part in the collective work of the Christian community, Phil. 4:1-11; 1 Cor. 10:31.

    The church as a whole likened unto a kingdom, with Christ as King, Col. 1:12-18, and His followers as citizens. The kingdom is “within,” Luke 12:20-21, and one draws near the kingdom as he comes to understand the truth, Matt. 12:34. Christ reigns in the hearts of individual Christians who receive His word and serve Him, Col. 3:13-17. The church, in this sense, is not a functional unit; i.e., the whole body of citizens participate in no collective action – do not “function as one.” The New Testament provides the external organization for the universal church, no hierarchy, no officialdom; but to the contrary, teaches “one is your Master, even Christ, and all ye are brethren” (Matt. 23:8; Matt. 20:25-28). Faithful Christians will not go beyond this.

    The organizational structure of the church of Christ is limited to that which pertains to a single congregation. As there are functions of the church which require collective action, we find Christians in N.T. times working together in units which we may call local churches, or congregations, 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1). The saints of a given locality accepted overseers, Acts 20:17-28, appointed from among their number, who directed the activities and served as shepherds of the local company, 1 Pet. 5:1-3. These shepherds were not “Lords over God’s heritage,” but ruled by example their own flock.” Each local church was an independent functional unit, having her own elders, Acts 14:23, and making her own decisions, 1 Cir, 16:3. The organizational structure and polity of the local church is the sole means authorized in the N.T. for the collective action of Christians in things peculiar to the Christian calling. This identifying characteristic remains today in the church belonging to Christ.

    The primary purpose of the church is to make known divine truth, Eph. 3:9-11; 1 Tim. 3:13. To this end the members of the early church “sounded forth the word of the Lord,” 1 Thess. 1:1-8, supported evangelists both in bringing souls to Christ and in strengthening and edifying saints, Phil. 4:13-16; 1 Cor. 9:6-16. The church also supplied emergency relief for her needy saints, Acts 4:34ff., and gave permanent support to her “widows indeed,” 1 Tim. 53-16. Hence, the work of the church could be briefly catalogued as self-edification, the spread of the gospel of Christ, and authorized benevolence. There is nothing in the New Testament to justify the modern “social center” conception of the church.

    Although each local church was intended to be a self-sufficient unit, the congregation that was unable to supply its own basic needs did not lack for concern and assistance from more able Christian communities, 1 Cor. 9:1ff. By concurrent independent action the churches with abundance supported preachers in new or weak fields, and supplied the needs of destitute congregations, Rom. 13:25-27. Contributions were sent as charitable gifts or wages, as the case might be, to the person or church in need, and there is no indication of a pooling of resources so that a plurality of churches might engage in collective action.

    Paul was the recipient of “wages” from many churches, 1 Cor. 11:8, and not the treasurer of a church combine. When many churches supplied the “want” of the poor saints in Jerusalem, 2 Cor. 8:19-24, Paul called this “alms,” Acts 24:17, not “ante,” (one’s proportionate part in a pool). The “messengers” of the churches, 1 Cor. 16:3, were means of conveyance only; “servants” and not “overseers” of this benevolent action; and were chosen by each church independently. Compare Acts 11:27-29. Thus the early church accomplished her purpose, taking the gospel to the then-known world, Col. 1:6, 23, and fulfilling her benevolent responsibilities. Faithful Christians today have full confidence in the all-sufficiency of God’s plan.

    The early church of Christ exhibited a profound simplicity in organization, work, and worship. This is, perhaps, the most striking difference in the N.T. church and the religious organizations of today, 1 Cor. 11:3. Man’s efforts to impress and accomplish by centralization and organization have been apparent from very early times, Gen. 11:1-9. Astute students of human behavior assign this as the result of an ingrained feeling of insecurity. The KEY to the difference in popular religions and the church of Christ is FAITH. True Christians, knowing it is not in man to direct his own steps, Jer. 10:23, put their trust in Christ. They walk by faith, not by sight, 2 Cor. 5:7. Their weapons are not carnal, 2 Cor. 20:3-6. They know that GOD IS A MAJORITY, John 12:48. There is no better way than God’s way, Rev. 22:13.

    The N.T. church had no creed of her own making – no human standards, no sectarian confessions of faith. Unity was achieved through the acceptance of a single standard of authority, the divine will as expressed in Jesus Christ, Col. 2:6-10. Inspired men delivered and confirmed the will of Christ, Heb. 2:3-4. and put this will in written form, Eph. 3:1-5, that we may, after their decease, “have these things always in remembrance” (2 Pet. 1:14ff; 3:1ff). The church that belongs to Christ must be content to speak where the Bible speaks, and remain silent where the Bible is silent, 1 Pet. 4:11.

    It is rank presumption to attach the name of Christ to that which is not His, not in keeping with His will, Acts 19:13-16. It is wrong to call the Lord’s church by a human name, 1 Cor. 3:1-7. Christ was crucified for us; true Christians were baptized in Christ’s name, 1 Cor. 1:10-13. What could be more obviously right than that the church which belongs to Christ should wear His name, Rom. 16:16. Indeed, “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

    The seed of the kingdom is the word of God, Luke 8:11. We have been promised that this seed “endureth forever,” 1 Pet. 1:23-25. This seed, received in honest hearts and obeyed, will produce N.T. Christians, and the church belonging to Christ, TODAY, just as it did in the days of the apostles.

    We urge you to investigate the church of Christ in your community. The true church will have the characteristics described in this article, but it will not depend upon this or any other man-made article for its means of identification. You will be invited to ask for scriptural authority for all things said and done. N.T. Christians are “ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh…” (1 Pet. 3:15). Will you “search the scriptures daily, whether these things are so”? (Acts 17:11).

  4. What is the church of Christ?
    The English word "church" is translated from a New Testament Greek word "ekklesia"— "ek", out of, and "klesis", a calling. W. E. Vine says, "It has two applications to companies of Christians, (a) to the whole company of the redeemed throughout the present era, the company of which Christ said, 'I will build My Church,' Matt. 16:18, and which is further described as 'the Church which is His Body,' Eph. 1:22; 5:23, (b) in the singular number (e.g., Matt. 18:17, R.V. marg., 'congregation'), to a company consisting of professed believers …" The word "church" is always applied to people in the New Testament, never to some material building or some abstract idea of an invisible organization, unless you can conceive of people being "invisible."

    The various figures by which the church is described to us in the New Testament are often perverted to teach doctrines nowhere found in the Book. It is called the "house of God" (I Tim. 3:15), but it is people (Heb. 3:6). It is called a "body" (Col. 1:24), but it is people (Rom. 12:4,5). It is called a "kingdom" (Col. 1:13), but it is people (Heb. 12:28). It is called a "temple" (I Cor. 3:16,17). It is called a "building" (I Pet. 2:5), but always it refers to people.

    One of the figures by which the church is pictured to us is that of a bride. Before me is the December 7, 1963 issue of The Baptist Examiner in which Bob L. Ross has an article on the front page entitled: "What Is The Bride Of Christ?" From II Corinthians 11:2 he draws some conclusions which are opposed to the doctrine of Christ.

    He begins the article by saying: "Many people believe that all the saved compose the 'bride of Christ.' This is the common teaching of those who believe the universal, invisible church teaching." If all the saved do not compose the bride of Christ, then either bride is not all the church or the church is not all the saved.

    "Contrary to this, we understand the Bible to teach that a limited number of the saved compose the bride of Christ." If the bride of Christ is the church, and the bride is composed of only a "limited number of the saved," it must follow that there are some saved who are not in the church. That is the point we shall dwell on for the moment.

    "Some people have their thinking confused on this subject of the bride. They identify the bride of Christ as being all the saved . . ."

    Are all the Saved in the church?

    Since the church means "the called out," if we find who the called out are, we will know who all are in the church. Let us see who are called, how they are called, and where they are after they are called.

    To the "church of God which is at Corinth" Paul wrote: "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called" (I Cor. 1:26). To the Ephesians : "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called" (Eph. 4:1). The word "vocation" in the K.J.V. is rendered "calling" in the A.S.V. We are called with a calling. "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3:14). God calls in Christ. "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure" (II Pet. 1:10).

    These passages identify those called as Christians, members of the church, brethren. Not one person called (in the sense used in these passages) is out of the church! All are saved: have been forgiven of their sins.

    But how are they called? "… but be thou par-taker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but ac-cording to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (II Tim. 1:8,9). It is an holy calling. "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling . . ." (Heb. 3:1). It is a calling from heaven. "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Thess. 2:14). All in the church are "called out"; all those called out are called with a holy, heavenly calling by the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is very plain!

    Now where are those so called? "Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified" (Rom. 8:30). "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the Grace of Christ unto another gospel" (Gal. 1:6). "But we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light" (I Pet. 2:9). "That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory" (I Thess. 2: 12). "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body …" (Col. 3:15)

  5. The false church minister is shown because he lacks Scripture. He just gets angry and yells at the brethren. I would not want to attend "his" church.

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