Who Are We?
By some counts there are over 1300 different denominations in the United States, each claiming to follow God's will, yet each practicing different beliefs. Since God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33), not all of these groups have His approval. Is it possible to know which group is correct, or does it even make a difference?
Jesus Christ does not approve of division among His followers. He prayed to His Father that His disciples would be ONE, not splintered into 1300 pieces (John 17:21). And, the Savior taught that what you believe does make a difference. In Matthew 15:13, He stated, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up."
Since not all religions are pleasing to God, how can I know which one I should practice? How can we reach Jesus' goal of unity?
We believe ﬁrmly that Jesus presented the only viable formula for religious unity in John 8:31. "If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of mine." Only by remaining within the boundaries of God's word can we reach religious unity and assure ourselves we are doing God's will.
Even Jesus understood that His preaching must be no more than what God had instructed Him to say (John 8:28-29). If the Master had to restrict Himself to the limits of God's word, what does that say for us?
Likewise, Christ's apostles were limited by what the Holy Spirit revealed to them. They were told exactly what to preach (John 14:26). By remaining within the limits of God's word, their preaching had the same authority as Christ's
(John 13:20). Today, if we conﬁne our preaching to the very word of God, the Bible, we can be as sure of His approval as His apostles and His Son were centuries ago.
That is our plea. We simply accept the Scriptures as the holy word of God. We seek to teach and do only those things we can ﬁnd written in the Bible. We do not claim perfection, but simply conﬁne our teaching and practice to the perfect word of God.
Since we must do only that which Christ has revealed, let's examine what He has given as the work of His church.
The work of the Lord's church can be summed up in one word: EVANGELISM. The church is the means through which Jesus wants His gospel spread to the world (Ephesians. 3:10). Sometimes in the New Testament this was accomplished by individual Christians preaching the word (Acts 8:5). Other times congregations sent preachers to spread the word (Acts 13:1-3). In any event, the gospel is to sound forth from His church (1 Thessalonians 1:8) because it is the "pillar and support of the truth" (1 Timothy 3:15).
In connection with this work, the members of the church needed to encourage one another. For this reason, they assembled regularly to "stimulate one another to love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
And, in the event that a member became impoverished, thus threatening their work for the Lord, the New Testament church benevolently aided its needy members (Acts 11:27-30). Evangelism, ediﬁcation, and benevolence. These are the only endeavors the Lord's church is to undertake if it abides in the word of the Lord.
Our worship is governed by Jesus' afﬁrmation in John 4:24, "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." Our worship is a spiritual exercise, coming from our heart. But it also must be according to the truth of God's word.
What does the Bible tell us to do in worshipping God? The Lord's church assembled on the ﬁrst day of the week, Sunday, to partake of the Lord's supper (Acts 20:7). This was done to begin the new week with a solemn remembrance of the Lord's death (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
The early Christians sang praises to God (Ephesians 5:19). This singing was not for entertainment, but served the purpose of teaching and admonition (Colossians 3:16). Vocal music is the only kind of music endorsed by the New Testament.
Prayer characterized the early church (Acts 2:42). No doubt the huge success the church enjoyed was due to its fervently praying members.
At their assemblies on the ﬁrst day, the Christians took up a collection to support the work of the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2). And, when they met they received knowledge from lessons humbly presented by preachers of the gospel (Acts 20:7).
The most important question in history is "What must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30). The gospel teaches us to do the following things to remove the sins that separate us from God:
We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 3:16). Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). However, faith alone will not save us. Many of the rulers of Jesus' day believed in Him, but they needed to do more (John 12:42-43).
We must also repent of our sins. "God is now declaring to men that all men everywhere should repent" (Acts17:30). Repentance means to decide that your sins are wrong and that you will no longer commit them.
Confession is another of the commands of the gospel. "That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord...you shall be saved" (Romans 10:9).
Finally, the gospel teaches that we must be baptized. Jesus promised, "He who believes and is baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). The writers of the New Testament realized that we are to be baptized because we are dead in sins, and that this baptism is a burial (Romans 6:4). The baptism of the New Testament was immersion, which is why John the baptizer baptized where there was "much water" (John 3:23).
We thank you for taking the time to read this short introduction to our congregation. Hopefully you know a little more about us now. We would like to know more about you. You have a sincere invitation to visit with us at anytime. If there is anything that we can do to help you in obeying the gospel, please feel free to contact us. Perhaps you would be interested in a private Bible study in your home. Just let us know and we can arrange one at your convenience.