What Did Jesus Mean When He Said...?
The Bible accurately teaches that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. (Acts 8:37) At His baptism God acknowledged Him as His Son. "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Matthew 3:17) This was also the case on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured and spoke with Moses and Elijah. "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him." (Matthew 17:5) Peter was correct when he confessed, "We believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." (John 6:69) Let us be convinced from scripture that Jesus is the Son of God. There can be no doubt that Jesus lived, died and was resurrected exactly as the Bible says. Jesus was in the beginning with God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) He came to earth to make our salvation possible. "For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me." (John 6:38) The Bible reveals many facts about Jesus that should cause us to love and appreciate Him. One of the amazing facts about Jesus was the authority with which He spoke. When Jesus ended the Sermon on the Mount "the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." (Matthew 7:28-29) What did Jesus mean when He said...?
What did Jesus mean when He said "I will build my church?" Jesus said, "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:18) What did He mean when he said I will build my church? Did He mean that He would build many different churches, teaching many different doctrines and wearing many different names? What did Jesus mean when He said "I will build my church?" Jesus made two promises concerning His church. He promised to both build and preserve His church. Jesus promised to build His church and He kept this promise on the day of Pentecost following His resurrection from the dead. The church was established about 33 AD on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1) From the beginning there was only one way to be a member of the church. Those who were saved obeyed the gospel of Christ. To be saved people heard the gospel (Romans 10:17), believed in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repented of sins (Acts 17:30), confessed Christ as Lord (Romans 10:10), and were baptized for remission of sins. (Acts 2:38) On the day the church had its beginning three thousand believers were baptized in water for salvation. "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them." (Acts 2:41) The Lord added these three thousand saved people to the church. What did Jesus mean when He said "I will build my church?"
What did Jesus mean when He said "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved?" In Mark 16:16 we read "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Baptism is a very important and often misunderstood subject. Baptism is important because it is commanded by Christ. What did Jesus mean when He said "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16) Baptism is to be done by the authority of Jesus with its purpose being remissions of sins. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Acts 2:38) The blood of Jesus was shed in His death. "But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water." (John 19:34) Baptism is important because it brings one into contact with the death and blood of Jesus. "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:3-4) The Bible teaches that baptism is necessary for our salvation. "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 3:21) Following faith, repentance and confession one must be baptized to be saved. What did Jesus mean when He said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:16)
What did Jesus mean when He said "He that endureth to the end shall be saved?" In Matthew 10:22 we read, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” What did Jesus mean when He said "He that endureth to the end shall be saved?" Did He mean once saved always saved? Does it sound like Jesus speaking about the eternal security of believers when He said, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved?" The Bible does teach security for the believer, but it is conditional. We read in John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” The words of Romans 8:38-39 are likewise encouraging, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus said that the security He provides is for those who “hear my voice” and “follow me.” Those that love the Lord have protection against all external threats. What most people fail to observe is that these and other similar passages do not discuss what happens if an individual chooses to sin against God, or to leave the love of God. What is wrong with the doctrine of "Once saved always saved" or the "Perseverance of the saints? Consider what is written in 2 Peter 2:20-22 “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.” The Bible also says, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.” (Hebrews 10:26) The message of the Bible is that of faithfulness to God in all things. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life." (Revelation 2:10)
What did Jesus mean when He said "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love?" In John 15:9-10 we read, "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." In Deuteronomy 13:1-4 Moses said, "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him." One of the major tests in our relationship with God is obedience. What did Jesus mean when He said "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love?" Much misery has been brought into the world through disobedience to God. God tests our love for Him through our obedience. "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."(Jude 1:20-21) When Jude tells us to keep ourselves in the love of God he is telling us to live like real Christians. This makes sense because if we are going to fight for the faith we must demonstrate the work that God has done in our lives by glorifying God with our actions. We must live like people who have been transformed by the gracious power of God.
The key to real joy is for God to rule my life. To become a Christian: Hear the gospel of Christ (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus as the Christ (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess faith in Jesus (Acts 8:37) and be baptized to wash away sins. (Acts 22:16) At Bible baptism God adds an honest soul to the Lord's church. A Christian must also be faithful until death. (Revelation 2:10) Are you a true Christian? If not, please become a Christian and live faithfully the Christian life.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,
Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA
"The Church" or Denominations?
The church of the New Testament is not denominational. In the first century there was only one church. No denominations existed at that time. It is just this simple, from about AD 33 forward for many years denominations did not exist but the church of Christ existed. The undenominational church of Christ is produced when the gospel of Christ is obeyed. "But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." (Romans 6:17-18) As people obeyed this pure gospel of Christ they were saved and added by the Lord to His church. The New Testament church and denominational churches are far different from one another in origin, purpose, mission, and destiny.
Denominations were planned by men; the church of Christ was planned by God and Christ. We read, "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, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Ephesians 3:10-11) God planned the church in such a way as to have unity. Unity is possible when "All speak the same thing." (1 Corinthians 1:10) Denominations promote division instead of unity. The church of Christ promotes unity!
Denominations exist without blood; the church of Christ was purchased with Christ’s blood. To the elders from the church of Ephesus God said, "Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood." (Acts 20:28) Christ and His church cannot be separated because His blood purchased His church. Therefore, His church is as valuable as His blood. Those that reject the church of Christ do not recognize the connection between the church of Christ and the blood of Christ. "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Denominations do not recognize Christ as head of the church, the church of Christ lifts up Jesus as head. Denominations have their heads and headquarters in different places around the world. Jesus is the head of the church of Christ. "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." (Colossians 1:18) Neither the Pope nor anyone else can claim headship over the church. Jesus is head. He is king over His kingdom. Christians are citizens in the kingdom and thus must respect Christ's law. Denominations do not respect Christ as head because they do not respect His law. Christ, the Head instructs His body, the church concerning what to believe, teach and do.
Denominations do not teach God’s plan of salvation, the church of Christ teaches the gospel plan of salvation. Denominations teach people to go to an altar and pray for salvation, pray the sinner’s prayer, or to just accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. They do not tell sinners to hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ to wash away sins. (Romans 6:3-5) Denominations never tell people what Peter told the people on Pentecost. "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." (Acts 2:38) The church of Christ encourages gospel obedience. (Acts 2:36-41)
God has blessed us with the great privilege of being a part of the blood bought, God planned, heaven promised church. Jesus gave the world His church before and without denominationalism. Let's go back to the Bible, back to New Testament Christianity, back to the Bible church. You can be just a Christian! It is a great blessing to be a member of the undenominational church of Christ.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA
"How Does One Obey the Gospel?"
Why did Jesus die? Why was Jesus buried? Why did Jesus rise again?
Because of our sins!!!
1 Corinthians 15:1-3: Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, v. 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. v. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, v. 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
This is the essence of the Gospel: the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ!
Why are WE baptized?
Because of our sins!!!
Rom 6:1-3 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? v. 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? v. 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Why are WE buried in baptism?
Rom 6:4a Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death,
Why are WE raised from baptism?
Rom 6:4b-9: …that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. v. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, v. 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. v. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. v. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, v. 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
We must obey the Gospel or be lost!
2 Thess. 1:7-9: and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, v. 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. v. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
So then, obey the Gospel today, before it is too late!!!
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.
Acts 22:16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
By Mark Henderson, Austinville Church of Christ, 2833 Danville Road SW, Decatur, AL 35603