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WHAT MAKES A CHURCH A CHURCH OF CHRIST? Does it make a difference? Can we tell the difference? 1 Peter 3:15.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT MAKES A CHURCH A CHURCH OF CHRIST? Does it make a difference? Can we tell the difference? 1 Peter 3:15."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT MAKES A CHURCH A CHURCH OF CHRIST? Does it make a difference? Can we tell the difference? 1 Peter 3:15

2 2 House the Lord Built Church of Christ “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psa. 127:1) “…I will build my church…the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18) “…every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Heb. 3:4)

3 3 Christ and His Church Who do men say Jesus is? (Matt. 16:13-16) Who do men say Jesus is? (Matt. 16:13-16) – “Prophet of God…Good Moral Teacher…” – “Who do you say I, the Son of Man, am?” What do men say His church is? (Matt. 16:18) What do men say His church is? (Matt. 16:18) – “Cult… Legalists… Water Salvationists… Antis… Extremists…” – What does the Bible say His church is?

4 4 Christ and His Church In God’s eternal plan (Eph. 3:10-11) In God’s eternal plan (Eph. 3:10-11) God is glorified in the church (Eph. 3:21) God is glorified in the church (Eph. 3:21) – Christ is head; church is body (Eph. 1:21-23) – Christ only has one body (Eph. 4:4) – Christ is its chief-cornerstone (Eph. 2:19-20) – Christ is its Savior (Eph. 5:23) – Christ adds saved to church (Acts 2:47)

5 5 “CHURCH OF CHRIST” Universal Mt. 16:18; Heb. 12:23 Eph. 1:22; 3:21; 5:23 -All the saved- Universal Mt. 16:18; Heb. 12:23 Eph. 1:22; 3:21; 5:23 -All the saved- Local 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:2 Romans 16:16 - Congregations - Local 1 Cor. 1:2; Gal. 1:2 Romans 16:16 - Congregations -

6 6 Christ and His Church What makes a church a church of Christ? What makes a church a church of Christ? – We can be united in truth! Eph. 4:3-6 – Jesus tells us in His word & His truth settles the matter! Study to be approved, 2 Tim. 2:15 Study to be approved, 2 Tim. 2:15 Understand, Eph. 3:3-4; 5:17 Understand, Eph. 3:3-4; 5:17 Ready to give an answer, 1 Pet. 3:15 Ready to give an answer, 1 Pet. 3:15

7 7 What makes a local church a church that belongs to Christ? Makes a difference…We can tell the difference! Makes a difference…We can tell the difference! Not all agree… Not all agree… “The question arises, however, what if a congregation takes on a non-Biblical name, such as “New Testament Church” or “Fellowship of Christ”? Does it then cease to be a church of Christ? …

8 8 What makes a local church a church that belongs to Christ? “… Or in the area of organization, what if a Church of Christ follows the Baptist pattern of having the deacons run the church? I have known of such happening when the elders resigned. Does such a church cease to be a church of Christ when this happens? If so, does it once again become a church of Christ when it again appoints elders? …

9 9 What makes a local church a church that belongs to Christ? “… These questions relate to what is sometimes called “the marks of the true church.” It is commonly taught that for a congregation to be a church of Christ it must have the right name, worship, organization, teaching, etc. But while all these things are important, they are not what makes a congregation a church of Christ, either individually or collectively.” (Bruce Terry) What Makes a Congregation a Church of Christ (1982) Firm Foundation, 18May99

10 10 What Does Not Make a Church a Church of Christ? 1.Past accomplishments, Rev. 2:2-3, 5 (Heb. 6:9-12) – Continue in diligent perseverance, Rev. 3: Present reputation, Rev. 3:1 – Lord knows the truth Luke 13:23-27

11 11 What Does Not Make a Church a Church of Christ? 3.Just saying it is so, Rev. 3:14-19 (Prov. 14:12) 4.A sign that says it is so, Rom. 2:28-29 (9:6) – Not advocating a name change – Name identifies, Rom. 16:16 – Must be faithful to belong to Christ, Rom. 8:8-9 (Gal. 5:4-6) Luke 13:23-27

12 12 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? RIGHT HEAD: JESUS Submit to Christ’s authority Eph. 5:24; Col. 3:17; Lk. 6:46 (Matt. 28:18) Submit to Christ’s authority Eph. 5:24; Col. 3:17; Lk. 6:46 (Matt. 28:18) – Right head (Christ), Rev. 1:17-18 – Right heart, Col. 3:12-16 – Right living, Col. 3:1-11 Hebrews 3:4

13 13 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Sound Doctrine (preach & practice) Sound Doctrine (preach & practice) – Whole counsel of God, Acts 20:27 – No other, 1 Tim.1:3; 4:6; 6:3-5 – Hold fast this pattern, 2 Tim. 1:13; 2:14-16; 4:2-4 – Fellowship Christ, 2 Jno. 9; Rev.2:5 Hebrews 3:4

14 14 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Plan of Salvation (Acts 16:30) Plan of Salvation (Acts 16:30) – Hear gospel, Rom. 10:17 – Believe gospel, Mk. 16:15-16 – Confess faith, Rom. 10:9-10 – Repent of sins, Acts 2:38; 17:30 – Baptized, Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38 Hebrews 3:4

15 15 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Worship (Jno. 4:24; Acts 2:42) Worship (Jno. 4:24; Acts 2:42) – Prayer, 1 Cor. 14:15-16 – Singing, Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16 – Lord’s supper, 1 Cor. 11:23-26 – Preaching, Acts 20:7 – Giving, 1 Cor. 16:2 Hebrews 3:4

16 16 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Organization (Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2) Organization (Phil. 1:1; 1 Pet. 5:2) – Independent – Autonomous – Sufficient to do its work No adjunct human organizations No adjunct human organizations No sponsoring churches No sponsoring churches Hebrews 3:4

17 17 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Work (1 Ths. 1:3) Work (1 Ths. 1:3) – Care for needy saints, 1 Tim. 5:16; Acts 4:32-35 – Evangelism, Phil. 1:5-7; 4:15-16 – Edification, Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Cor. 14:26 Hebrews 3:4

18 18 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Marriage, divorce & remarriage Marriage, divorce & remarriage – Honorable among all, Heb. 13:4 – Do not put asunder, Matt. 19:6 – But I say to you, Matt. 19:9 – Bound by law for life, Rom. 7:2-3 – Only one exception, Matt. 19:9 Hebrews 3:4

19 19 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Fellowship (1 Jno. 1:3-4) Fellowship (1 Jno. 1:3-4) – Receive fellow workers for the truth, 3 Jno. 5-8 – Do not receive those who go beyond the doctrine of Christ, 2 Jno (Eph. 5:11) Hebrews 3:4

20 20 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? TEACHING & PRACTICE Holy living (1 Ths. 4:3) Holy living (1 Ths. 4:3) – Cease sin, Rom. 6:2 (Acts 19:18-20) – Living sacrifices, Rom. 12:1-2 – Bear fruit of the Spirit, Gal. 5:22-23 – Holy as God is holy, 1 Pet. 1:15-16 Hebrews 3:4

21 21 The Devil Objects! “It is certainly not the purpose of this article to condone false teaching. But to teach that a church must be doing or teaching everything exactly right in order to be a church of Christ is itself false teaching.” (Bruce Terry, “What Makes a…Church of Christ” ) 2 Cor. 11:3-4, 12-15

22 22 The Devil Objects! “DEMAND IMPOSSIBLE!” 100% doctrinal conformity, Jno. 8:32; 17:17; Eph. 3:3-4; 5:17 100% doctrinal conformity, Jno. 8:32; 17:17; Eph. 3:3-4; 5:17 Always been divisions, Acts 9:31 Always been divisions, Acts 9:31 We’ll have to “agree to disagree” Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4: 1-6; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1 We’ll have to “agree to disagree” Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4: 1-6; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1 2 Cor. 11:3-4, 12-15

23 23 Christ Commands! REMAIN FAITHFUL TO “THE FAITH” Some will depart the faith, 1 Tim. 4:1 Some will depart the faith, 1 Tim. 4:1 Truth, words of faith, the good doctrine, 1 Tim. 4:3, 6 Truth, words of faith, the good doctrine, 1 Tim. 4:3, 6 Hold fast word of life, Phil. 2:16 Hold fast word of life, Phil. 2:16 Jude 3

24 24 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? FAITHFUL TO DO GOD’S WILL Christians who do not do the Father’s will do not go to heaven, Matt. 7:21-23 Christians who do not do the Father’s will do not go to heaven, Matt. 7:21-23 – We must hold fast, Heb. 3:4-6 – Unity in truth is possible & commanded, 1 Cor. 1:10 Hebrews 3:4

25 25 What Makes a Church a Church of Christ? FAITHFUL TO DO GOD’S WILL Churches that do not do the will of Christ will not continue in fellowship with Christ, Rev. 2:5 (1:13, 20) Churches that do not do the will of Christ will not continue in fellowship with Christ, Rev. 2:5 (1:13, 20) Hebrews 3:4

26 26 A CHURCH OF CHRIST Right Head (Christ) Right Head (Christ) Right Teaching & Practice Right Teaching & Practice – Sound doctrine – True worship – Local organization – Spiritual work – Holy living

27 27 Christ is Among the Churches “He who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands” – The Lord knows who are His 2 Tim. 2:19 – Be faithful or Jesus removes the lampstand from its place! Rev. 2:5


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