While the local church is an organization, Jesus never set up any other organizational structure in His church. We look in this lesson at some ways in which some attempt to justify the existence of these denominational organizations and see why these justifications do not work.
In God’s church, there are no true creeds. However, in the mind of individuals or groups of Christians, there may be some thinking that is similar to that of creeds (putting faith in some kind of statement of faith rather than in Christ Himself). In this class we look at some ways in which we personally may display this kind of thinking if we are not careful.
What is a creed and why are they are a problem? Is the only problem with creeds that they sometimes contain false teaching or is there a deeper problem than that? That is what we look at in this class.
September 29, 2022
While the full idea of clergy can never be in the Lord’s church, some of the concepts that go along with it can easily find their way into our own thinking and practices if we are not watchful. In this lesson, we take a look at some ways we can find these wrong ideas coming in.
When we look at the idea of clergy, we must notice that there are those who are appointed within the Lord’s church to various work. What is the difference between this and a denomination ordaining someone to a position? How can the church maintain integrity among those in positions of influence without a governing body over them? We look at some of these ideas in this lesson.
Is there such a thing as clergy or laity in the Lord’s church? What do these ideas even mean? Who has authority to determine roles within the church and who has authority to appoint them? We begin looking at some of these ideas in this lesson.
In this class, we focus on the name of the church and demonstrate that there is no title given by God to the church. We also see that “name” often means something a bit different in biblical usage than in the way we often think about the word.
September 1, 2022
In the previous class, we looked at how Jesus organized His church. In this class, we want to contrast this with how men organize their churches or denominations.
August 26, 2022
In this introduction to a series on denominationalism, we look at how Christ’s church is supposed to be organized. When we see how Jesus designed it, we can begin seeing the huge problems with denominational structures and thinking.
November 12, 2020
Today, we continue our look at the history of some departures from the way of Christ and attempts to return to His way. We are looking at much more modern history that more directly affects some of us and our thinking today. We will pay special attention to what has caused division among those who on some level agree about the need to follow Christ rather than men.
November 10, 2020
We are looking at history of “the church” in the sense of those who claim to be following Christ but there are many departures from the way of Christ as well as some attempts to get back to His way. This history shapes the thinking of the world regarding the church and also affects our thinking, so it is useful to know.
So-called “main-line churches of Christ” band together as organisations of churches through sponsoring churches or separate organisations that the churches operate or support. In this class we look at how to view these things and apply some principles we have seen about necessary conclusions and the difference between what Christ expects from a local church and an individual Christian.
October 13, 2020
Sometimes the argument is made that since the church is the people, anything Christ wants the people to do, the church can do. We want to examine the different uses of the word “church” in the Bible and then focus on a particular usage (the local church) in seeing that it is not just the sum of the people that are its members.
In this class, we examine some arguments that are made to justify fellowship meals–common meals eaten as a church.
August 22, 2020
May 24, 2016
September 14, 2013
September 10, 2012
February 19, 2012
One of the biggest criticisms of Christendom today is the division that is clearly evident through the thousands of denominations. We can see that there should be unity.
While edification is for the purpose of growing the church spiritually, evangelism is how the church grows numerically. How can the church evangelize?
Obviously, to evangelize, the church must be preaching and teaching the gospel. But there are some factors that influence the response of those hearing the gospel.
August 10, 2006
How is a church to supply the needs of its members? We already have discussed much of it in the previous section on giving. But in cases where the church is supplying the needs in another church or supplying the needs of an evangelist working somewhere else, how should they do that after they have collected the money?
Going through the “5 acts of worship” is not the same thing as actually glorifying God. What does it take to glorify God?
How can a congregation work to edify its members? Romans 15:1-7 shows that edification is something that is done by each member, working together in one church. This is very connected with what we talked about under unity — we don’t do what we want, we do what our brethren want when we see that it will edify them. The end result of that edification is unity and glorifying God. 1 Corinthians 8:1 tells us that it takes love to edify. We have to focus on other people, not ourselves.
Unifying the church is a hard work because it involves relationships. Of course, this also means that when done right, it is one of the most satisfying works because of the good relationships between brethren.
August 6, 2006
When the church began, as we read in Acts 2, we find that God was adding daily those who were being saved. How did people come to be saved? They heard the preaching of the gospel and obeyed it. It has always been the responsibility of the people of God to teach others the truth. This is a responsibility for each Christian (as part of the universal church) and a responsibility for the local church.
August 4, 2006
The local church not only has the responsibility to supply the spiritual needs of the members, but also the physical needs. If you remember, at the beginning of the church the members of the church in Jerusalem had all things in common and made sure that nobody was missing anything they needed. The church even daily supplied their widows with food (Acts 6).
To glorify someone means to show that they are worthy of glory or to tell about how great that someone is. Every Christian has a responsibility to glorify God in what we say and in what we do.
Determining what is the work of the church is not a simple task. First, one has to read through the whole New Testament and look at the commands and examples that are given. Usually an attempt is made to categorize each command or example to simplify understanding the basic end results and group specifics under those categories.