WHY I AM A MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST #4
A. Again, let me ask you this morning why you are a member of the church of Christ? – Or, Why are you a member of the religious group that you are?
1. Is it because it is the one you were raised in?
2. Is it because it is the one where your friends go?
3. Is it because they have a lot of young people?
B. Many today believe that one church is a good as another.
1. Is one doctor as good as another? … No!
2. Is one auto mechanic as good as another? … No!
3. Is one medicine as good as another? … No!
4. And one church is not as good as another.
C. In our series we have seen that I am a member of the church of Christ because:
1. It was founded by the scriptural builder – Christ
2. It was founded on THE scriptural foundation
3. It was founded at the scriptural place – Jerusalem
4. And, Christ is the founder of only one church – His church
D. Today, we are going to notice that I am a member of the church of Christ because it is scriptural in name.
A. IS THERE ANYTHING IN A NAME?
1. The idea that there is nothing in a name is a prevalent and popular doctrine, BUT this idea is not in keeping with Scripture nor reason.
2. There is so much in a name that God named Adam and Eve (Gen. 5:2).
3. If there is nothing in a name explain why God changed Abram’s name to Abraham? (Gen. 17:5).
4. If there is nothing in a name, why did Paul condemn divisive names in 1 Corinthians 1:13-15?
5. If there is nothing in a name why not name your son Fido?
a. If there is nothing in a name, why not call your daughter Jezebel, or why not name her Rover?
b. You see, there is something in a name!
B. WHAT DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT CALL THE CHURCH?
1. “My church” (Mt. 16:18). Jesus said this, therefore it is Christ’s church.
2. “The church” (Acts 8:1), meaning a group of called out people, and the Lord has but one such group.
3. “Church of God” (1 Cor. 1:2). This shows ownership
4. “Churches of Christ” (Rom. 16:16).
a. Here Paul speaks of various local congregations.
b. This designates them as belonging to Christ.
5. “The body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12). The body belonging to Christ.
6. “The church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15).
7. “Church of the firstborn” (Heb. 12:23). The church made up of the firstborn, Christians.
8. The members of the church of Christ speak of the church in Scriptural terms.
a. What about other religious groups?
b. It is strange that people who claim to belong to Christ will be a member of a religious group whose name is foreign to the Bible.
c. This is a dishonor to the Father and the Son
C. WHAT DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT CALL MEMBERS OF THE LORD’S CHURCH?
1. “Disciples” (Acts 20:7). This has reference to learners or followers of Christ.
2. “Saints” (1 Cor. 1:2). We are called this because we saved from our past sins, are holy, and set apart by the Gospel.
3. “Beloved of God” (Rom. 1:7).
4. “Brethren” (1 Cor. 15:6). Shows the relationship we have one with another.
5. “Sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). This shows our relationship with the Father.
6. “Children of God” (1 Jn. 3:1). Again, shows our relationship to the Father.
7. “Heirs of God” (Rom. 8:17). This shows we are to inherit from God.
8. “Priests” (1 Pt. 2:9). This shows we may offer acceptable worship to God.
9. “Christians” (Acts 11:26). This expresses our relationship to Jesus.
D. WE MUST WEAR ONLY THE NAMES THE BIBLE USES TO DESIGNATES GOD’S PEOPLE
1. I am not a Baptist, because the Bible never refers to God’s people as such.
2. I am not a Methodist, because the Bible never refers to God’s people in this manner.
3. I am not a Episcopalian, because the Bible never refers to God’s people in that way.
4. I am not a Lutheran, because the Bible never refers to God’s people in such terms.
5. I am a member of the church of Christ because it sticks with what the Bible calls God’s people – JUST CHRISTIANS!
E. A TESTIMONY FROM SPURGEON AND LUTHER
1. Listen to the language of Charles Spurgeon, the most recognized and talented Baptist preacher that ever lived:
“I say of the Baptist name, let is perish, but let Christ’s name last forever. I look forward with pleasure, to the day when there will not be a baptist living … I hope the Baptist name will soon perish; but let Christ’s name endure forever.” – (Spurgeon, Memorial Library, Vol. 1, p. 168).
2. Hear the words of Martin Luther, a man in whose name many glory:
“I pray you to leave my name alone, and call not yourselves Lutherans, but Christians. Who is Luther? … I have not been crucified for anyone…let us call ourselves only Christians after him from whom our doctrine comes.” (The Life of Luther, by Stork, p. 289).
F. WHAT ABOUT RELIGIOUS TITLES?
1. In the long ago the Jews corrupted their speech by using “half the speech of Ashdod” (Neh. 13:23-24).
a. Figuratively speaking, we have much of the language of Ashdod in the world today.
b. Many exalting titles are now being used in opposition to the teachings of the Bible.
2. One of the self-exalting titles is “Reverend”
a. First let us note that the English word “reverend” is found only once in our Bibles
1) Psalm 111:9
2) The only time it is used, it is used in reference to God!
b. Isn’t it interesting that there is no mention in the Scriptures of “Reverend Paul,” “Right Reverend James,” or “The Right Reverend Peter”?
1) Many preachers speak of Paul as just plain Paul, Peter as just plain Peter, and John as just plain John.
2) BUT to themselves as “Reverend So-and-So.”
3) This would be comical if it were not so tragic.
c. How did the apostles refer to themselves? – as a servant
3. Many today wrongfully use the word “pastor” to refer to the preacher of a local congregation.
a. The Bible says that a pastor is an elder of the church (1 Tim. 3; Acts 14:23)
b. That the pastor and preacher are not the same is clearly seen in Ephesians 4:11.
4. The word “father” is another word often used as a religious title in direct opposition to the teaching of Christ.
a. Matthew 23:9
b. Isn’t strange that millions will use a title that is positively forbidden by the Lord?
A. The church of Christ is scriptural in name and language.
1. This cannot be truthfully denied.
2. The church of Christ calls Bible things by Bible names.
3. “Hold the pattern of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13)
4. Job 32:21-22
B. I am a member of the church of Christ because it is scriptural in name.