FAQ’s – “Frequently Asked Questions”. Here are some simple answers to frequently asked questions about the church of Christ. Feel free to share with others:
FAQ 1: When and where was the first congregation of churches of Christ begun?
The Old Testament predicted the eventual beginning of Christ’s church, (Isaiah 2:2-3). Jesus promised in Matthew 16:18 to establish or “build” his church. With His victory over death, He established that church on the first Pentecost following His resurrection, in the city of Jerusalem. This is where the gospel was first preached by the apostle Peter, and the historian Luke wrote, “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41). On that day 3,000 souls were saved, and the church was established in fulfillment of prophecy (Daniel 2:44).
FAQ 2: What or who is its founder and foundation?
It should be evident from the name that the founder of the church of Christ is Jesus Christ. The prophet Isaiah spoke this truth beautifully, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation” (Isaiah 28:16). In addition to the aforementioned promise of Jesus to establish His church (cf. Matthew 16:18), Paul wrote, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).
FAQ 3: By what name is the church called?
Actually, Christ never named His church with a proper name. The phrase “church of Christ” (cf. Romans 16:16) is a description indicating those called out of the world, belonging to Jesus Christ. Other descriptions include “church of God” (Acts 20:28), and “church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15), among others.
FAQ 4: What are its members called?
We know that some identify themselves as Baptists, some Methodists, some Catholics, etc. We prefer the simple name designated by the Holy Spirit. “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Now, we may be described as disciples, children, members, branches, citizens, but these are only descriptions. The only proper name ever given to members of the church of Christ is His name. We wear the name of our Lord. We are Christians. (Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16).
FAQ 5: How is one forgiven, to become a member of the church of Christ?
He responds in faith to the preaching of the gospel. The gospel (the good news about Jesus’ life, death and resurrection) is declared to be the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). In order to develop faith, it is necessary that one hear or read that saving message (Romans 10:17). Those who hear it, and are convicted in their heart (they believe) must have a willingness to confess the truth, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (Romans 10:9-10, cf. Acts 8:37). The Jews who heard Peter preach the gospel on the day of Pentecost are an example of those convicted by its truths. They asked Peter and the other apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter answered them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins” (Acts 2:38). The promise is given to all penitent believers, who confess the name of the Lord, and are baptized for the remission of their sins, that they will be saved. Jesus said in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved, he who does not believe will be condemned.” The Jews on Pentecost who believed and were baptized were saved. Luke wrote of them, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47).
FAQ 6: How does the church of Christ worship?
Simply put, the church of Christ worships as directed by the Lord. Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Note, a proper “spirit” (heart) and worship that conforms with “truth” are both necessary to pleasing God when we worship Him. If either is missing, we will fall short. The Bible reveals that we worship God through prayer (Acts 2:42), singing (Colossians 3:16), partaking of the Lord’s Supper (a memorial of the Lord’s death, using as emblems unleavened bread and grape juice) (Matthew 26:26-29, Acts 20:7), voluntary giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), and the preaching of the gospel (Acts 20:7). This we do every first day of the week.
The discerning reader notes that each question was answered by an appeal to scripture. The church of Christ is not a denomination. It does not have a modern origin and head. It is the church established by Jesus. It is His church, governed by His will!
– BY STAN COX