August 10, 2014
In the New Testament we read about “congregations of Christ.” Paul wrote to the brothers and sisters in Rome and said, “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the congregations of Christ greet you.” (Romans 16: 16) Through the years many people have believed and taught that the Holy Spirit through Paul was giving a “name” to the Lord’s people. He wasn’t. He was indicating their relationship to the Lord. Two things will help understand this fact: Drop the word “church” and think in terms of a “congregation,” and take note of the word “of.” It is a preposition and bridges the relationship between the congregations and Christ.
What is a congregation of Christ?
It is a group of people that belong to the Lord. They were purchased or acquired through the blood of Christ. Jesus’ blood was shed on the old rugged cross of Calvary for the sins of the world. (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 1:18-20) The people that constitute a congregation of Christ were sinners who are saved by grace (which means favor) and rich mercy of God. (Ephesians 2:4,5,8,9)
A congregation of Christ is a group of people who are Christians. They are followers of Christ. They are his disciples. They are not followers of Martin Luther, John Wesley, the pope of Rome, or any other mere human being. They are followers of the Son of God. He was crucified for them and they were immersed into his name. (1 Corinthians 1: 12-15)
Their allegiance is to Jesus the Messiah.
A congregation of Christ is a group of people who worship God in spirit and truth. (John 4:23-24) They do not worship by the laws of the Old Testament. The Old Testament has been removed and is no longer binding as a code of laws for people living today. (Galatians 3:23-25) The New Testament is the body of teaching that is binding today, and we worship the way it instructs. Jesus died for the New Covenant. (Matthew 26:28)
January 15, 2012
Things That Impress Me About The Church of Christ
First, please understand that I am using the word “church” in the sense that the Greek word ekklesia is used in the New Testament. The word means assembly, congregation, or group of those who have been saved from the guilt of their past sins by the precious blood of Christ.
It does not refer to a sign on a meetinghouse, to the meetinghouse itself, or to any denomination. If so, where is the passage?
I am impressed by the fact that the assembly or congregation of Christ is the result of perfect wisdom and planning. Paul wrote to the brothers and sisters in Ephesus and said, “the manifold wisdom of God is made known through the congregation, according to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:10-11) Christ’s congregation does not exist by mere accident, but God planned it to be exactly what it is in every way. It is the culmination of God’s eternal purpose. This means it is God’s plan of the ages. He planned its existence “in Christ Jesus.” Christ is the center-piece of God’s plan of salvation. Everything God has done for humanity’s redemption was accomplished in connection with Christ. (Colossians 1:16) There is not another religious institution on the face of the earth that resulted from perfect wisdom and planning.
Every other religious society is rooted in the devil, sustained by human ingenuity, and destined for eternal destruction (Matthew 15:9, 13-14).
Another thing that impresses me about the congregation of Christ is the fact that she is the beautiful bride of Christ. Paul, the Lord’s apostle said, “That he might present the congregation to himself a glorious congregation, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27) There is one body (Ephesians 4:4), and the body is the congregation of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23).
But, the congregation is the bride of Christ, so Christ has only one bride!
The entire group of denominations are false religions, and they are spiritual harlots that emanated from the mother of all harlots, and I mean no other than the Roman Catholic Church! There is no spiritual connection between Christ the Lord and the religions of men. If there is a relationship between them, where’s the passage that so teaches?
I am impressed by the fact that the New Testament teaches, the congregation of Christ is comprised of people who entered it through immersion in obedience to God’s will. A very large segment of the denominational world denies the essentiality of immersion for salvation. They do so in part because they are taught that it is not necessary to be immersed in order to be saved. But scripture teaches otherwise! (Acts 2:38; 1Peter 3:21) Furthermore, a person cannot enter the congregation of Christ without being immersed. (John 3:5; 1 Corinthians 12:13) This is impressive because it is in the act of immersion that the benefits of Christ’s death are appropriated by the sinner. I hope you are impressed.
Morning Scripture Reading……………Jeremiah 1:1-12
Evening Scripture Reading ……………Ephesians 2:1-10
Morning Sermon …..What Have You Crucified For Christ?
Evening Sermon..Where The World Can’t Do Me No Harm