A. The Message of the N.T. was Christ:
1. Acts 5:42 2. Acts 8:5 3. I Corinthians 15:1-11
B. Christ was preached, not the glorification of men (II Corinthians 4:5)
1. All glory goes to God for all things (I Corinthians 10:31).
C. The Gospel message of salvation was preached:
1. Mark 16:15-16 & Matthew 28:19 2. Romans 1:16
a. The message was of God, not men: Galatians 1:11-12
b. The Apostles only wanted others to follow them BECAUSE they followed Christ (I Corinthians 11:1).
c. Even John the Baptist did not want men following him (Luke 3:15-16).
D. The cross was preached in the N.T.: I Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1. Three things occurred on the cross:
a. The New Law came into effect
b. Christs blood gave forth the ability for us to have the remission of sins.
c. The church of Christ was purchased with the blood of Christ.
d. Those three things were preached by Philip: Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
I. Preaching Christ His Authority
A. The name of Jesus is teaching on the authority of Jesus (Colossians 3:17).
1. The fact that we need book, chapter, and verse for all that we do (I Peter 4:11).
2. The fact that we cannot add or take away from that what God has authorized:
a. Deuteronomy 12:32
b. Proverbs 30:5-6
c. Revelation 22:18-19
B. Preaching on the authority of Christ means preaching that we are under the New Testament Law:
1. Hebrews 1:1-2
2. Hebrews 8:6-13
C. Preaching on the authority of Christ means preaching that the Old Law has been put away:
1. Romans 7:1-6
2. Colossians 2:14
3. Hebrews 9:15-17
4. Ephesians 2:11-16
a. The Old Law was for the Jews (Deuteronomy 5:1-6).
b. But, we must recognize it is for our learning (Romans 15:4).
II. Preaching Christ Salvation Through Him
A. Jesus death was for a reason:
1. Romans 5:6-9
2. Hebrews 9:27-28
B. His blood was shed for a reason:
1. Matthew 26:28
2. Hebrews 9:22
3. Revelation 1:5
C. Salvation is ONLY in Christ (John 14:6).
D. The Bible defines Gods plan for man to be saved:
1. We are saved by Grace (Ephesians 2:8-9).
a. We must understand that Noah was as well (Genesis 6:8)...
b. And that Noah had to do something to obtain [not to earn] that grace as we do also (I Peter 3:20-21).
2. The Bible does not teach faith only, as a matter of a fact the Bible teaches against faith only (James 2:19-26).
3. There are nine conversion examples in the book of Acts that show us the necessity of baptism as they all conclude with the act of baptism (Acts 2:36-41, Acts 8:5-13, Acts 8:26-39, Acts 9:1-20, Acts 10:44-48, Acts 16:13-15, Acts 16:23-34, Acts 18:8, and Acts 19:1-7).
a. Notice in the conversion of the Eunuch (Acts 8:26-39) two things: - Philip preached Jesus (Acts 8:35). - Preaching Jesus OBVIOUSLY included preaching on water baptism (Acts 8:36).
4. Baptism is for the remission of sins: Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent [active tense], and be baptized [passive tense] every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for [Eis meaning unto as translated in Romans 10:10, preposition pointing forward, not because of. Sins are not remitted until after one is immersed]the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
a. Just as Jesus did not die because of the remission of sins, but FOR / UNTO the remission of sins (Matthew 26:28).
5. Baptism washes away sin (Acts 22:16).
6. Baptism is a death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:1-6)
a. Colossians 2:12
7. Baptism puts you into Christ and you put on Christ (Galatians 3:27).
8. Baptism is a re-birth (John 3:1-5).
9. Baptism saves (I Peter 3:21 and Mark 16:15-16).
10. Baptism makes you a new creature (II Corinthians 5:17).
11. Baptism puts you into the church of Christ (I Corinthians 12:12-13).
III. Preaching Christ Identifying His church
A. Jesus promised he would build His church (Matthew 16:13-18).
1. The Bible teaches the body is the church (Colossians 1:18 and Ephesians 1:22-23).
2. The body / church is singular, there is only one (Ephesians 4:4-6).
3. One body with many members / congregations (Romans 12:4-5 I Corinthians 12:12).
4. There is something in a name (Acts 4:10-12).
5. The church had a purchase price:
a. Acts 20:28
b. Ephesians 5:25
6. The church is not a building, it is a people (I Corinthians 12:27).
7. The Lords church is to be the pillar and ground of the truth (I Timothy 3:15).
B. We can know how to identify that one church through prophesies:
1. Through the fulfillment of prophesies we can notice one place and one date for the establishment of the one true church:
a. Daniel 2:31-45
b. Daniel 7:13-14
c. Isaiah 2:2-3 And it shall come to pass in the last days [Heb. 1:1-2], that the mountain of the Lords house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
d. Micah 4:1-2 But in the last days[Heb. 1:1-2] it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
2. The fulfillment of those prophesies shows Jerusalem, AD 33!:
a. Peter was given the keys, keys are used to unlock Matthew 16:19 / Acts 2:14
b. Remission of sins would be preached at Jerusalem when this time was fulfilled [see above prophesies] Luke 24:47 / Acts 2:38
c. The Lord added the saved to the church in AD 33 (Acts 2:47).
3. The Lord gave indication in first century prophesy of the when and where the church would be established:
a. In that generation, with power (Mark 9:1).
b. The Holy Spirit would bring power and the location of this: Acts 1:4;8
c. The Holy Spirit brought power [signifying the establishment of the church / point 3a.] in Acts 2:1-4 at JERSUALEM.
4. Ask yourself, what church existed in AD 33, was established not by men but by Christ, began in Jerusalem, and what church did the Lord add the saved to: church of Christ AD 33 Jerusalem - Jesus Christ The Catholic church AD 606-607 Rome Boniface III Lutheran church AD 1520 AD Germany Martin Luther Episcopalian church AD 1534 England Henry VIII Presbyterian church AD 1536 Switzerland John Calvin Congregational church AD 1550 England Robert Browne Baptist church AD 1607 Holland John Smythe Methodist church AD 1739 England John Wesley Mormon church AD 1830 United States Joseph Smith Seventh Day Adventist AD 1830 United States William Miller Christian Scientist AD 1866 United States Mary Baker Eddy Jehovahs Witnesses AD 1872 United States Charles T. Russell Christian church AD 1800s 1906 United States B.W. Stone and Alexander Campbell *****NOTICE ROMANS 16:16... Which church is named in the Bible?*****
e. Denominationalism does not fulfill the Lords prayer (John 17:20-23).
f. Denominationalism is sinful (I Corinthians 1:10-13).
C. The church of Christ can be identified by her worship:
1. Meeting on the first day of the week for the Lords Supper (Acts 20:7 and I Corinthians 11:23-26).
2. Authorized singing VS. unauthorized playing (Matthew 26:30, Ephesians 5:19, and Colossians 3:16).
3. Prayer (I Thessalonians 5:17).
4. Sunday collection being the only way the Lords church gets funds to carry out her word (I Corinthians 16:1-2). 5. The preaching of nothing other than the word of God (II Timothy 4:2).
D. The church of Christ can be identified by her work:
1. The church will preach the Gospel to the world (I Thessalonians 1:7-8).
2. The true church will offer benevolent care to its members (II Corinthians 8:4; 9:1; 12-14).
a. The individual members of the church will also do their part in helping all men (Galatians 6:7-10). Its members will recognize that there is a difference between what the church can do with its funds and what the individuals can do with theirs (Acts 5:3-4 and I Timothy 5:3-16).
b. The true church will recognize that supporting human institutions is not part of its benevolent work. Such arguments as the James 1:26-27 argument do not hold. For one, the context demands it is individual work there, and the restriction on the widow from I Timothy 5:3-16 would just further display the truth of that. The argument that the word visit authorizes [if it was authorized that would be a command] local churches to build, maintain, and oversee homes demands consistency that would instruct building, overseeing, and maintaining prisons, clothing operations, and hospitals per the same word in Matthew 25:43.
3. The true church will edify its members (Ephesians 4:15-16).
E. The true church will not practice the Social Gospel:
1. The word of God will be used to save the lost (James 1:21).
a. Not church of Christ potluck dinners to reach the lost. Notice what the Lord said after He fed the 5,000: John 6:24-27; cf. Matthew 4:3-4.
b. Not church of Christ entertainment [puppet shows, games, plays, etc.] c. Not church of Christ gymnasiums, recreation centers, or family life centers.
d. Not pancake house style fishing for souls (as Kittanning, PA coc did with Turkey dinner on yesterday 10/19/2002).
e. Food and entertainment are not what the church used to preach the Gospel. When using these things one would need to continue using them to keep those they gained by using them.
2. The Lords money will not be used for social events in the true church, nor will His money be used to build facilities where social events are held. The home is the designated place for social functions (Acts 2:46 and I Corinthians 11:22; 34).
Just as in the days of Noah his ark represented a vessel of salvation, today the church of Christ is the only vessel of salvation (Ephesians 5:23). Will you come aboard before it is too late?
By Brian A. Yeager
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