"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16,17

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What Is the church of Christ?

A church patterned after the original:
A family of people growing in love and grace:
How the church will greet you:
What is the difference?

The Word "church" in the Bible does not refer to a building, but to a group or body of people who have been called to gather together. The sign in front of our building says, "the church of Christ meets here."

The "church of Christ" is the same thing as the "body of Christ" (Colossians 1:18). When a person comes to believe in Jesus enough to submit themselves to the word of God, He adds them to the church of Christ.

"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls..And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers...Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." (Acts 2:41,42,47)

There are a lot of "churches" in this world, but the New Testament speaks of only one. It is the one body of people to which God adds the saved.

We appreciate your interest in the Lord's will and hope you are here because you are searching for what God has to say about His church. The following article will explain how the church of Christ is different from denominational churches. If you were to visit the church of Christ which meets in Tarentum, here is what you would find.


A CHURCH PATTERNED AFTER THE ORIGINAL:

We are Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ who we believe, according to the scriptures, to be the Son of God. We believe that Jesus Christ is the head of the church and we are His body (Col. 1:18). The churches of Christ worldwide have no councils, conferences, headquarters or any other man-made organizations which govern in any way the individual congregations. Our creed book is the Bible. Our beliefs and doctrines are found in the Bible. We teach what the Bible teaches and reject all human traditions which stand in opposition to Biblical truth. To put it simply the Head of this church is Christ. Our loyalties are to Him and His teachings alone as He Himself said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him, He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings; and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's who sent me" (Jn. 14:23,24). Some would say our position of careful obedience is too legalistic. But, it was the Lord who said, "This people draweth near unto me with their mouth and honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men" (Mt. 15:8,9). By honoring traditions more than the truth revealed in the inspired scriptures, over 400 denominations now exist in this country. This is in complete contradiction to Jesus' prayer for oneness and Paul's command that the disciples all speak the same thing (Jn. 17:20,21; 1 Cor. 1:10). Peter said, "If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God," (1 Pet. 4:11).

The Bible reveals that divisions are a result of our carnal nature (1 Cor. 3:3). The question that every member of the church has asked is this. To which of the many divisions should I join myself so that I may be obedient to my Lord? There is an answer to this question which is right and cannot be wrong. The answer is to join ourselves to the disciples who have chosen to forsake all tradition and return to the simple example of the New Testament disciples. We are sure to give proper respect and honor to the Lord if we work and worship in the same way the inspired disciples did. That is why you will find the disciples here holding up the Word of the Lord in opposition to the many traditions and falsehoods which today are called "religion." You will find disciples of Christ who reverence the Bible "...not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God," (1 Thes. 2:13). Ask yourself this question: What denomination was Paul a member of? Which denomination was Peter or Barnabas a member of? Which denomination did Jesus ordain and establish? The answer is that there were no denominations then and none are authorized by the Lord! What then can sincere Christians do? They can boldly return to the pattern of the original church and worship God in a way that is RIGHT and CANNOT be wrong!

A FAMILY OF PEOPLE GROWING IN LOVE AND GRACE

Through worship and service patterned after the original, members of the church of Christ strive to show honor and respect to their Lord. By continual submission to the message of God's Spirit the members of the church show honor and respect to God Himself. Through the word of the Lord, our minds are transformed and we become a living sacrifice dedicated to good works so that our Lord will be glorified (Rom. 12:1,2). Jesus said that His disciples should be a light to the world. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, who is in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). But please do not misunderstand. Members of the church make no claims to be perfect in all things, so no one should ever be uncomfortable with us. We all need Christ's grace indefinitely. But, though we constantly strive for personal enlightenment, we can "know" our worship is proper and pleasing because it is patterned after the original.

Members of the church are learning to love as the Lord loves. In John 13:34,35, Jesus says that His disciples will be recognized by the love they have one for another. It is the commandment of Jesus that we love one another as He has loved us. This is our constant goal. We understand that all the obedience in the world will be inadequate in honoring God if there is not love. Our loyalties are to Love God first with all our heart, mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves or as Christ loves us (Matt. 22:37-40). This Love compels us to be obedient to our Lord ("If a man love me he will keep my words" Jn. 14:23). This Love compels us to seek the good of others before ourselves. Part of this is our faithful attendance to the assembling of the saints for the purpose of worship, instruction and encouragement. We realize God's emphasis on fellowship and continued faithfulness.

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for he is faithful that promised), And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works, Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day approaching...Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Heb. 10:23-25; Col. 3:16,17)

Another part of living our love for others is making every effort to preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ, free from the influence of human traditions and teachings. This is the goal of this website. Have you ever wondered about all the contradictions between your church's doctrines and the Bible?? Are you concerned that the Bible is used far too little as the rule for all religious practices?? Come visit the Lord's church and see how refreshing and enlightening it can be to trust completely in the word of the Lord.

HOW THE CHURCH WILL GREET YOU

When you visit the church of Christ you will be greeted with a warm smile and a friendly handshake. There will be no pressure. There will be no emotional appeals and no shouting. Our worship assemblies are easy to be comfortable in and all things are done decently and in order (1 Cor. 14:40). You will hear the Word of God, which is the seed of the Kingdom (Lk. 8), preached in an effort to bring about faith. "So then, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10:17). You will hear brothers and sisters in Christ singing and admonishing one another in song, making a sacrifice to God, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name (Heb. 13:15,16). Every first day of the week (Sunday) the members of the church, as instructed by Christ Himself, remember the death, burial and resurrection of Christ by partaking of the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine (1 Cor. 11:23-29). There is a collection taken only on the Lord's Day (1 Cor. 16:2) for the support of the work.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

I have only mentioned a few aspects of the glorious church of the Lord Jesus Christ as revealed in the scripture and practiced in Tarentum. It is likely that some are now saying, "What difference does it make, God doesn't care where or how you worship Him?" I will not attempt to answer this question in depth here, but I will close by allowing God and His word to give an answer:

"Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. Whosoever transgresseth (goes beyond, rj), and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son." (2 Jn. 8,9)

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3)

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly that, in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of demons...Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them; for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee." (1 Tim. 4:1,16)

"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3:16,17)

"There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all" (Eph. 4:4-6)
R. Johnson

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