INTRODUCING THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
With our plea being simply New Testament Christianity, the question is asked: how does a church carry out this plea? Or, what is our plan for New Testament Christianity? Most organizations have some plan to succeed in their given goal. The church of Christ is no different. Our plan, simply stated, is “back to the Bible and the Bible only”. This is our plan, for it is the plan of the New Testament.
Back to the Bible
To whom shall we go? This was the question Peter had asked when the Lord had asked him if he would also depart as many were doing. Why did Peter answer, to whom shall we go? The answer is found in the rest of the verse, thou hast the words of eternal life (John 6:68).
Where shall we go today? Many scatter in various directions looking to many different things for salvation; but Christ said, . . . I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me (John 14:6). The “way” He spoke of is, of course, His testament or His will. This is why Paul said that whatever we teach and practice must be done by the authority of Christ (Colossians 3:17). The inspired James said the Word is to be received because it is able to save your souls (James 1:21). Paul declared more than once the power of the Gospel to save (Romans 1:16; 1 Cor. 15:1-2).
Where shall we go? The Bible shows only one way to Jesus Christ–through His Gospel.
The Bible Only
The Bible and the Bible only–what does this mean? It means we reject any authority (traditions, creeds, catechism, synods, doctrines of men, etc., etc.) but the New Testament. There is only one source of authority, as Paul the apostle concluded in Galatians 1:6-8, I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Peter stated this as well when he said, If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God . . . (1 Peter 4:11).
This is the plan from the beginning. The church that belonged to Christ in the first century continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine (Acts 2:42). This was the plan of the first century; this was the plan of the Lord for man, therefore it is our plan today–back to the Bible and the Bible only.(Continue to next lesson)