KNOW
THE
TRUTH

John 1:4 "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men."

John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

 John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." 

MONTHLY LESSONS DESIGNED TO CONVERT.

 

September, 2018 - NEW KING JAMES VERSION

“What Are You Looking For? Why?”

I am amazed at the calls I receive at the office as people are looking for a church! “What is your audio visual department like?” “Are all the positions in your band taken?” “Do you have praise and prayer teams?” What activities do you have for adults?”

These are just a few. I have come to the conclusion that people look for churches like they shop for a car. Kia, Subaru, Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford, etc… Some look for safety, some function, some look for practicality, others look for flash, while others look for the newest innovations.

Is this the way someone should look for a place to worship God? This is the problem isn’t it? What would anyone know concerning the need to worship God, had it not been revealed in the word of God? If that is the case; shouldn’t the church of God’s word be the one sought? The answer is a resounding YES!

Surly God did not create the chaos of churches today! They exist because of uniformed searchers! So, what should be the deciding factors?

  1. God’s Word.

Many are willing to acknowledge, correctly, that the Bible is God’s word. The Apostles of Christ established the doctrine of Christ (the New Testament) as the only source of authority in guiding men to God.

2 John 9 “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

The Apostle Paul would tell Timothy (a young evangelist), that the God breathed word was able to make the man of God complete.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The Apostle Peter would state that God’s inspired word was not of private interpretation; it is simply God revealing His will to man and we would do well to heed it!

2 Peter 1:19-21“And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”

Paul would teach Timothy that he, as an evangelist, must demand that no other doctrine be taught or used.

1 Timothy 1:3 “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia—remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine”

Two very important factors come from this understanding; first, the only guide to find the church that God recognizes is His word. Second, this church (house of God – 1 Timothy 3:15 “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”) is guided solely by the word of God. This excludes creeds, disciplines, confessions of faith, or catechisms!

  1. Organic, not Institutional.

As the Bible is the only source to determine what church is acceptable to God, His word reveals that it does not have the look of human organizations.

First, it is made up of people! The word “church”, comes from the Greek word, “Ekklesia” which is best described as the ‘called out assembly’. This was emphasized by the Apostle Paul when he described his commission to king Herod, note:

Acts 26:18 “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’”

The church is not a building, organization, or an institution; it is people who have been called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.

Second, this brings us to understand that all those that are the church enter the exact same way!  Through the preaching of the Gospel, all those who have had their eyes opened and turn to God and are then baptized for the remission of their sins!

Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Thus, those who traverse from darkness to light through the cleansing of sins become the body of Christ; the church (Acts 2:47 “praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”  - Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”).

Third, there are no corporate offices, boards of directors, councils, etc… The only one with preeminence is Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:18 “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”

The Lord as the only head established a local form of government that consists of elders in each church (Acts 14:23 “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”).

The duties of these elders was to shepherd only their own flocks, which teaches us that the local churches were to be autonomous from one another in completing the work the Lord gave His church (1 Peter 5:2 “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly”).

These men were to have specific qualifications (1 Timothy 3:1-7 “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” -

Titus 1:5-9 “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”), and were to shepherd the church according to the existing word (Acts 20:32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”). 

Fourth, God as the Father of order did not create the chaos that exists in the world today. He is not the Father of denominationalism. He is the Father of the one church (singular) found in scripture.

Ephesians 3:10-11 “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord”

With Christ as it’s only head, the church bears His name as a purchased possession.

Romans 16:16 “Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.”

The church of the New Testament worships on the first day of the week. On this day their worship was always done in fellowship (collectively), and they studied the Apostles doctrine (Christ’s word), observed the memorial of the Lord’s Supper, prayed, sang, and gave as they had been prospered (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:5; 9:7, 12; Colossians 3:16).

As the Church of Christ we have no man-made creeds, disciplines, confessions, or catechisms. We are governed solely by the Apostle’s doctrine (the New Testament).

We worship on the first day of the week by engaging in ‘a capella’ singing, praying, studying God’s word, giving of our means, and observing the Lord’s Supper.

Each congregation is local, independent, autonomous or self-governing; having elders, deacons, evangelists, and saints.

We are designated as the “Church of Christ”; to honor His sole preeminence.

If you were to ask how to become a member of the Church of Christ today; you would be kindly instructed according to God’s word in order to become a baptized penitent believer.

Isn’t This What You Should Be Looking For?

We invite you to worship and learn with us:

Sunday Morning Bible Study – 10 A.M. (Classes for all ages)

Sunday Morning Worship – 10:55 A.M.

Sunday Evening Worship – 5 P.M.

Wednesday Evening Service – 7 P.M.

Visit our web site at: plvcc.org