Weekly Bulletin Articles
How important it is that we emphasize the fact that the church of the Bible is not simply an organization wearing a certain name and tracing its “historical roots” to some doctrine and practice of the “Restoration Movement”! The church is a group of persons who have intellectually, spiritually and practically accepted the authority of Christ in ALL things that pertain to life and godliness. This includes how to be saved from sins, worship acceptably, and live for Him daily. In no case was a man made a Christian by submitting to a man-made set of rules, even if those rules were: “In order to come into our church, you must be immersed in water.” Although it would be easier for a person to deceive himself and/or be deceived, it would not change that basic truth even if those man-made set of rules were: “In order to come into our church, one of our preachers must immerse you in water as he says, “I now, by the authority of Christ, baptize you into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
for the remission of your sins.’”
Unless a person has “obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine” which Peter and Paul preached (Acts 2:38, Romans 6:17-18), and knowingly and willingly submitted to the authority of CHRIST, he was NOT made free from sin and added to the Lord’s church. And this is true no matter whether he thinks he joined the “Church of Christ Church” because he was baptized by a “Church of Christ preacher” or whether he thus joined the Christian Church or some other denomination with their “Historical roots” in the Restoration Movement! It is simply Bible truth that when a penitent believer (no babies!) is baptized in the name of Christ (Acts 2:38), he is saved (becomes a member of the church for which Jesus died, Acts 20:28; cf. Mk. 16:16; Acts 22:16).
The desire for fellowship and unity is commendable, but any unity on the basis of allegiance to ANY human being-even Peter and Paul-is unscriptural. The “unity of the Spirit” is not the unity of two human spirits who are tired of fussing, but a unity produced by both parties following the direction of the Spirit.
The bottom line is: Whatever a man’s “historical roots” may be, if he is not what he is because he submitted and still submits to the authority of Christ, his religious roots are worth nothing. He will be cut off as a branch even if he had the right roots and does not continue to follow the authority of Christ!
(The Spiritual Sword VOL. 16 NUMBER 4)