May I suggest a very simple approach to the study and understanding of God’s Word? Why not approach His word with an open mind that seeks the truth and not with some preconceived notion of what some man tells us it says, or what we think His word should say? Just take what it says for the truth, believe it, and live it. We should definitely question any and everything that man says about the bible, but never question what God says, for He is the author of all truth, He is God!
Men have built hundreds, if not thousands of churches, yet Christ promised to build only one. In Matthew 16:18 we read, “and I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it.” Notice that Christ says my “Church” not my “churches”. Jesus Christ is head of the body, the church, which are one and the same (Colossians 1:18). Note again, He is head of one church, not many. So the body is the church and the church is the body and there is only one. God again declares the oneness of the church in (Ephesians 4:4-6). Jesus prayed for unity among his followers, not division (John 17:20-21). Some even claim that John the baptist started the church, but when Christ promised to build His church, John had already been beheaded in prison (Matt. 14). God’s word therefore clearly and unequivocally lays waste to that notion. Man proclaims there are many churches, yet the word of God declares there is but one. Now I sincerely ask you, who should we choose to believe, man or God?
Another thing we often hear is that Christ is the vine and the branches are the many churches. Let us again go to God’s word for the truth. Christ tells us, “I am the vine ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit, for without me ye can do nothing”(John 15:5). Here Jesus is talking to his apostles, men not churches. In the next few verses, 6,7,8 Jesus clearly states He is speaking of men, not churches. When we go to the source, God’s word, there can be no doubt what the truth is.
Many also claim baptism is non-essential and unnecessary, and we can be saved without it. As with all spiritual matters, let us consult God’s word on what the truth is. We are commanded to be baptized in the name of the Lord (Acts 10:48). And if like some, you demand to see it in red, that is the words straight from the mouth of Jesus Christ, then go to Matthew 28:19, and here it is again, in red. God’s word clearly states that it is the act of baptism that puts us into Christ, the body, the church (Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3, I Corinthians 12:13). Baptism is an essential part of the plan of salvation and we cannot be saved without it. (Mark 16:16, I Peter 3:21) It is through baptism our sins are remitted or washed away ( Acts 2:38, 22:16). Every example of conversion in the New Testament includes baptism (the Jews, Acts 2:38, the jailer and his household, Acts 16:33, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:18, the Ethiopian Eunuch, Acts 8:38, Cornelius, a Gentile, Acts 10:48).What man is saying when they deny baptism, is that we can be saved outside the body of Christ, while retaining our sins, by ignoring God’s commandments. God’s word clearly and intelligibly states otherwise. If one refuses to believe God’s word, then their argument is with God, and that is an argument they can never hope to win (Acts 5:39). Jesus says, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Those who keep His commandments are in God, but those who keep not His commandments, are far from Him (I John 2:4-5).
We invite all who would, to come together with us each Sunday morning at Kedron on the Coopertown Road, Russellville, Kentucky, to worship God in spirit and in truth. We neither add to God’s word or take from it. Bible study at 10:00 and Worship at 11:00. Brother Richard Sitz speaks on the first Sunday of each month and Crittenden Drive church of Christ has graciously supplied us with a host of excellent guest speakers for the remaining weeks of the month and our song leader is Prentice White. We invite one and all to come visit with us and be uplifted by these fine presentations of the “Good News” of God’s Holy Word.