Articles

There are many groups of people gathered today as religious bodies or congregations,  who identify themselves with the name “Church of Christ”.  There are also very similar names such as United Church of Christ, International Church of Christ, Church of Christ Scientist, Celestial Church of Christ, and to be certain many other variations.   Frequently, churches of Christ are differentiated in name by identifying their location before or after the name.  For instance, Kibby Street Church of Christ is a church in Lima, Ohio located on Kibby St.  It is critical to note: All churches utilizing the name “Church of Christ” do not teach the same doctrine.

There are many different names by which the Bible identifies the church.  From God’s word, here are a few different names written by men inspired by the Holy Spirit: “Churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16), “the church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2), “Body of Christ” (Colossians 1:24), “House of God” (1 Timothy 3:15), “church of the firstborn” (Hebrews 12:23), and “Bride of Christ” (Revelation 21:2).  There are indeed additional phrases to identify the church of our God in the Bible.  As individuals, we know Christ’s servants by one name: Christians.  Acts 11:26, God’s servants were first called Christians in Antioch.

Regardless of the name for which a church identifies itself, it is not the church of God if it is doctrinally different from the church found in the new testament of the Bible.

Many folks in the world today, young, old, non-Christian, and Christian do not know when the church was established nor its distinguishing marks.  It is immeasurably important to know the history of Christ and His church.  For those exploring salvation, finding the true church spoken of in the Bible cannot be a maybe.  In exploring views of the world today, some hear the words “Church of Christ” and their immediate reaction is, “Oh, they think they are the only true church!”  Again, the reader must understand that there are many groups identifying themselves by the moniker “Church of Christ” and the Bible identifies the church by many names.  The ultimate test of whether a church by any name is the “True Church” is doctrine.  Does the doctrine taught match what is taught in the Bible?  Thus, in answer to our question, who are the Churches of Christ?  They are a group of Christians trying to practice Christianity like it was practiced in the New Testament.

Does the church of Christ believe in the Old Testament?

Yes! Prophets of God delivered and wrote the Old Testament.  If it is from God, Christians believe it! There is much Christians would not know if they did not have the Old Testament. The Bible says the Old Testament was “the first covenant” and “Christ is the mediator of a new covenant” (Hebrews 9:15).  The Old covenant was for the Jews and our example.  The new covenant replaces the old and is binding upon the world today.   Thus, while Christians believe in the Old Testament, it’s covenant has not been binding upon them since the resurrection of Christ.

When Did the Church Begin?

It is the duty of a Christian to be able to defend and share his faith for salvation of self and others.  To do that, you need to know from where your church and its beliefs came. 2 Timothy 2:15 – “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.”

Mankind has worshipped God since the beginning, see Genesis 4 and Adam’s sons.  However, mankind has had freedom to obey or not obey God from the beginning also.  Thus, by Genesis 6 men were not worshipping God in a pleasing way.   Although mankind has been worshiping God from the beginning, none of it was through the church. The church and its pattern of worship did not appear until about 30 AD on the day of Pentecost.

The scene of the day of Pentecost is found in the book of Acts 2.  The day was the first day of the week, coincidentally, or not, the same day Christ was resurrected.  Jesus had promised He would send his Holy Spirit Acts 1:4-8 and told the apostles to remain in Jerusalem until that time.   The coming of the Holy Spirit was prophesied in Joel 2 and signified the arrival of God’s kingdom in “power” (Mark 9:1).  On that day the apostle Peter preached the good news of Jesus with over 3000 Jews accepting God’s call of obedience leading to salvation.  The 3000 Jews after asking men inspired of the Holy Spirit what they should do were told to “repent and …be baptized” (Acts 2:38).  From this point forward, the fellowship of God’s faithful was in operation.  The believers were zealous in their service of God and were devoted to worship (Acts 2:42).

Cheap Religion

In the Old Testament, we read of Jeroboam.  This king had a very different religion than that of David’s (1 Ki. 12:25-33; 2 Sam. 24:22-24).  His religion was also very different from the apostle Paul’s, who counted all things loss for the cause of Christ (Phil. 3:7-8).  Jereboam’’s religion was different in that he wanted to change the Lord’s way.  Jeremiah recorded, “. . . what a horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (Jer. 5:30-31).  However, God’s ways cannot be changed (Rev. 22:18-19).  Alas, as in the day of old, so it is with the new, where it does not matter to some who desire to change the Lord’s ways.

Take for instance, salvation.  We know, according to the Bible, that we must wait on the Lord and that we cannot do anything alone.  We can only be saved by the Lord’s way.  Jesus said, “. . . But whom say ye that I am?  And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God . . . Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:15-16, 24).  This excludes and prevents our way from being considered or accepted.  Immersion is another problem that people have.  Is immersion really that hard to follow?  You would think this is the case since many are prone to sprinkling or pouring water, calling it baptism.  Did you know that five times it is mentioned, both Philip and the Eunuch are in water (Acts 8:26-39)?  Paul said that immersion is related to being buried with Christ (Rom. 6:3-4).  If people want to sprinkle or even turn the garden hose on someone and call that immersion, do people not know that this is not the one baptism that is authorized by the Lord (Eph. 4:5)?

These sort of problems are made public because people do not want to see the standard of authority.  They say all things are acceptable including, but not limited to, joining the church of your choice.  They have no religious conviction nor do they have a “thus saith the Lord” for what they do.  Despite the fact that the Bible says there is one body which is the church (1 Cor. 12:20).  People seem to believe what they want to believe and do things in the way they want to do them, like Jeroboam.  Thus, compromises in truth are clearly evident making the Lord’s ways seem cheap and easy.  No conviction.  Cannot say anything against someone.  They just want the smooth road and believe that you will go to heaven since there has been a blanket of grace put across mankind and that nothing we do really matters.  This could be called Jeroboamism.

The way of Jeroboam really was accepted with people in that he gave them convenience and compromises. 

Today, it is no different as the people are given the opportunities to partake of the Lord’s Supper any day they want, who no longer have Biblical preaching, but entertain themselves to the point that they are lying on the floor with marshmallows of joyous entertainment attached to their faces.  But you know, the Lord is not amused.  How can we ignore Scripture as Jeroboam did?  God is not pleased with selfish pursuits and we should not be like those who poorly attempt to make going to heaven, cheap or easy.  Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).  Let us be faithful and be able to say, as Paul said, “. . . I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day . . .” (2 Tim. 4:6-8). 

Let us not make Christianity cheap like the world does. 

Let us do things the Lord’s way.

Is it true they just didn’t evolve to their (new) environment?

I appreciate this question. It shows that some are thinking and trying to struggle with the facts that surround our world. We talked a little about the dinosaurs in the last question and answer session. These animals did exist. There is abundant evidence that man walked around on the earth with these creatures. The Bible even contains some information about them and we looked at this evidence in the book of Job last time. However, we did not deal with the question of what happened to the dinosaurs.

The truth is that we really don’t know what happened to the dinosaurs. We know they lived on the earth at one time, but that they stopped living on the earth at a certain period of time. We really do not have to answer this question as Christians because it does not affect our Christianity. However it happened, it happened within the context of the history of the Bible and there have been some people who have advanced some theories as to how they died out.

One of those theories is that the global flood produced a climate change on the earth in which the dinosaurs could no longer survive. However, the book of Job was written after the flood and some dinosaurs still existed at that time. So, it could not have been something that happened in a short period of time.

 Another theory is that dinosaurs are just reptiles that lived several hundred years just as man lived hundreds of years. This theory states that unlike people, reptiles never stop growing. That is, they continue to grow as long as they are alive. Living several hundred years would produce very large reptiles. However, when man’s life span was shortened, the life span of animals was shortened as well and so reptiles just do not grow as big as they used to grow.

It Flows! It Floats! It Flies! – Wonderful Water and Its Amazing Abilities!

Job 38:28-30 “Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?  Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?  The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.”   What does your grocery cart look like?  I would suppose that something in your grocery cart contains vitamins and minerals.  From breakfast cereal to vegetables to the meat we put on our table, each of these food items contains some.  We often supplement these naturally occurring elements with a tablet or liquid form.  Life requires a certain amount of vitamins and minerals, at minimum, to survive, and at best, to thrive.  But have you ever considered from where these vitamins and minerals come?

Most probably get their vitamins and minerals from H.E.B., Wal-Mart, or some nutrition store.  They arrive there by truck via a manufacturer.  Where does the manufacturer get these items?  Minerals come from the earth.  Vitamins are extracted from living things that absorb and compound minerals with organic material.  But how do minerals get transported, naturally, to the living things that need them?

The transport system for minerals is water.  Life requires minerals, but if there were no water on the planet, life would have no mechanism by which to obtain and process those minerals.  Water is needed to erode minerals out of the earth and transport them to the areas where living things can take advantage of them.  Water is also needed within those living things as a solution by which the minerals may be assimilated.

That water, however, cannot be in just any form.  Planets where water exists in only one state cannot provide an environment conducive to the sustenance of life.  Water needs to be able to flow, float, and fly for life to exist.  It just so happens (as by design) that the temperature of the earth is perfectly suited for water to be found in all three states: solid, liquid, and gas.

Ecclesiastes 1:7 “All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.”

Each of these states is helpful to life in providing the necessary transportation of minerals.  In its liquid state, water flows, bringing minerals from the mountains to the valleys and oceans where life lives.  In its solid state, water floats on the top of rivers, lakes, and the ocean giving space for the living things underneath to survive instead of crushing them with its weight.  In its vaporous form, water flies across the skies moving from the oceans back to the land and restarting the cycle all over again.

When we look at our artificial transportation systems that run from the manufacturers to the distributors and from the distributors to the retailers, we wouldn’t even begin to suggest that such a system was not designed.  Yet how is it that evolutionists can look at water, the greatest transport system the Universe has to offer, and suggest that it is not part of a grand design?  The evidence is simply too great.  Of all the elements, only water fits the bill; no other element can take its place and its unique existence in three forms at just the right temperature on earth defies the odds of its presence simply by chance.  

The Old Testament book of Psalms constituted the hymnal of the Jewish nation, containing a collection of 150 songs, laments, and praises by various authors. Since the Old Testament canon was very likely completed no later than 400 B.C. (Leupold, 1969, p. 8; cf. Archer, 1974, p. 440), and since the Septuagint is known to have been produced circa 250 B.C., the pronouncements in the Psalms predated the arrival of Jesus on the planet by centuries. Yet, within the sacred pages of the Psalms, scores of very detailed allusions pinpoint specific incidents that occurred in the life of Christ on Earth. These allusions constitute proof positive of the inspiration of the Bible.

For example, composed by David in the 10th century B.C. (Barnes, 1847, pp. 193ff.), Psalm 22 is unquestionably a messianic psalm—literally packed with minute details that forecast the death of the Messiah. In verse 18, the psalmist quotes Him as making the simple statement: “They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” All four of the inspired New Testament evangelists of the first century A.D. allude to these incidental details that they report in connection with Jesus hanging on the cross (Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23-24).

While commentators typically report that Roman law awarded the victim’s clothes as spoils for the Roman executioners (e.g., Erdman, 1922, p.161; McGarvey, n.d., p. 725), others question the historicity of such a claim (e.g., Edersheim, 1915, 2:591-592). In any case, the soldiers that attended the cross consisted of a quaternion—four soldiers (Davis, 1870, 3:2651). Matthew and Luke state very simply that these soldiers divided His clothes and cast lots for them, with Luke adding “to determine what every man should take.” These “garments” (merei) likely included a head-dress, sandals, girdle, and outer garment (Robertson, 1916, p. 147). Apparently, according to John 19:23, the soldiers were able to decide ownership of these four clothing articles without gambling. If they were able to agree on consignment of the four articles—one clothes item for each soldier—why did they also cast lots? It is John who provides the added clarification: 

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things (John 19:23-24).

Clifton Chruch of Christ

313 Main Street

Clifton, Tenn. 38425

(931) 676-3099

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Sunday 10:00am Sunday School
Sunday 11:00am Worship Service
Sunday 6:00pm Evening Worship
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15 Oct 2018n08:15AM - 12:15PMnBlood Drive 8:15 – 12:15
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20 Oct 2018n12:00AMnLadies Day @ Collinwood
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