What We Believe
- What does the church of Christ believe about the Bible?
- Why does the church of Christ baptize only by immersion?
- Do ministers of the church hear confession?
- How often is the Lord's Supper observed?
- What kind of music is used in worship?
- By what means does the church obtain financial support?
- Does the church of Christ have a creed?
- How does one become a member of the church of Christ?
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 religious question. A pronouncement from the scripture is considered the final word. The basic textbook of the church and the basis for all preaching is the Bible (II Timothy 3.16, II Peter 1.20-21).
The word baptize comes from the Greek word “baptizo” and literally means, “to dip, to immerse, to plunge.” In addition to the literal meaning of the word, immersion is practiced because it was the practice of the church in apostolic times. Still further, only immersion conforms to the description of baptisms as given by the apostle Paul in Romans 6.3-5 where he speaks of it as a burial and resurrection.
No. Ministers or evangelists of the church have no special perogatives. They do not wear the title of Reverand or Father, but are addressed simply by the term Brother as are all other men of the church. Along with elders and others they do counsel and advise those seeking help (Psalms 111.9; Matthew 23.8-10).
It is expected that every member of the church will assemble for worship on each Lord’s day. A central part of the worship is the eating of the Lord’s supper (Acts 20.7). Unless providentially hindered, each member considers this weekly appointment as binding. In many instances, as in the case of illness, the Lord’s supper is carried to those who are hindered from attending the worship (I Corinthians 11.23-25).
As a result of the distinctive plea of the church – a return to New Testament Faith and practice – acapella singing is the only music used in the worship. This singing, unaccompanied by mechanical instruments of music, conforms to the music used in the apostolic church and for several centuries thereafter (Ephesians 5.19). It is felt that there is no authority for engaging in acts of worship not found in the New Testament. This principle eliminates the use of instrumental music, along with the use of candles, incense, and other similar elements (Colossians 3.16).
Each first day of the week the members of the church “lay by in store as they have been prospered” (I Corinthians 16.2). The amount of any individual gift is generally known only to the one who gave it and to the Lord (II Cornithians 9.7-8). This free-will offering is the only call which the church makes. NO assessments or other levies are made. No money-making activities, such as bazaars or suppers, are engaged in.
No. At least, there is no creed in the usual sense of the word. The belief of the church is stated fully and completely in the Bible. There is no other manual or discipline to which the members of the church of Christ give their allegiance. The Bible is considered as the only infallible guide to heaven (I John 5.13; John 12.48).
In the salvation of man’s soul there are 2 necessary parts: God’s part and man’s part. God’s part is the big part, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift if God; not of works, that no man should glory” (Ephesians 2.8-9). The love which God felt for man led him to send Christ into the world to redeem man. The life and teaching of Jesus, the sacrifice on the cross, and the proclaiming of the gospel to men constitute God’s part in salvation.
Though God’s part is the big part, man’s part is also necessary if man is to reach heaven. Man must comply with the conditions of pardon which the Lord has announced. Man’s part can clearly set forth in the following steps:
- Hear the Gospel - “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”(Romans 10.14).
- Believe - “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11.6).
- Repent - “The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.” (Acts 17.30).
- Confess Jesus as Lord - “And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, “See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized?" And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he replied, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” (Acts 8.36-37).
- Be baptized for the remission of sins - “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2.38).
- Live a faithful Christian life - “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2.10b).