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Monday, October 19, 2015

You Can Be Blessed Beyond Measure

(c) Charles Elliott
What a blessing to be up today and to see the sun rays bouncing off the leaves. It’s starting to get colder and the leaves are changing. It is truly beautiful! I look at the world around me and see how much I’ve been given. I have a family, friends, and a beautiful place to live. But, amidst all the beauty and love in my life there is one blessing that stands out above the others. One blessing that I have that is wonderful beyond measure. It is a blessing that is offered to the entire world, but unfortunately most people turn their back on it, even those who think they have reached a hold of life eternal. (Matthew 7:13-14) What is this blessing you ask? I am a New Testament Christian -- just like those you read about in the Bible.  Are you?

The Church

You may have asked yourself where can I find the New Testament church that I read about in the Bible? After all, there are over 33,000 denominations in this world. How can I find the church in all its simplicity, that teaches only what the Bible teaches, that adheres to the New Testament pattern of worship,  that doesn't use a creed book or have councils and uses the Bible only? Would it surprise you to learn that there is a New Testament church that even predates the Catholic church? Now, it is true that the Catholic church teaches that it began in the first century, and that may be true to some extent; however, even their name suggests apostasy.

The New Testament clearly states what Christ wanted his church to be called. It’s important to note that every name listed shows to whom his church belongs. The church is Christ’s and his alone. 

Examples of Bible Names:

Church of God Acts 20:28
Church of the Living God I Timothy 3:15
Church of the Firstborn Hebrews 12:23
Church of Christ Romans 16:16

Notice that Catholic, which means universal, isn’t even on the short list. The Catholic church abandoned New Testament worship, organization and beliefs before they even held their first council in Nicea in 325 (which, by the way, is a practice not authorized in the scripture). If you’re unsure what I said is true, read your Bible and then compare it to the teachings of the Catholic church. Please don’t take my word for it.

An apostasy is mentioned in the New Testament, and it was already starting as early as the first century. Notice 2 Peter 2:1, Jude 1:4, 2 Timothy 4:3, 4.  The Catholic church is a result of that apostasy. How do I know this? Simple. They don’t follow the teachings found in the New Testament. Any body of people who call themselves Christians will fall into the category of apostates if they don’t follow the New Testament pattern – even if they have the proper name on the door.

New Testament Pattern

So, where is this New Testament church that teaches the whole counsel of God? And, how can I know if where I go to worship is that New Testament church (aside from the name)?
Well, it’s really not hard to decide if the church you attend is God’s church. He gave us a pattern in the New Testament. Ask yourself does the place I attend follow the New Testament pattern of the Bible? Do we do things in Bible ways? Do we speak where the Bible speaks and are silent where the Bible is silent? If so, fantastic! If not, you need to look somewhere else.

A couple of years ago an acquaintance told me that she was glad she didn’t have to study the Bible to know what God wanted it would just be too hard, she needed bullet points – and she got those from her pastor. Now, if you aren’t interested in studying the Bible for yourself, you are putting a lot of confidence in one person; not to mention the fate of your soul, because God commands us to study.

The Key to Salvation is in Your Hands

As much as I love my preacher (he’s my hubby) I’m not going to put my salvation in his hands. I’m going to study to shew myself approved unto God, and I am going to rightly divide the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15, 2 Timothy 3:16:17) I suggest to you that you must not put the fate of your soul in the hands of anyone, but rest upon God, and study for yourself what the scriptures teach. We are all human and we all make mistakes.

With that said, I am providing you a list of bullet points below, in case you’re new to studying. Take those bullet points and look the scriptures up, and study them. I am confident you will see exactly what the scriptures teach and you will see for yourself the New Testament pattern.

New Testament Pattern for Becoming a Christian 
Check out the Article What Must I Do to Be Saved by clicking: here.

Hear: Romans 10: 14-17, Luke 11:28,
Believe: Acts 8:37, John 6:35, Hebrews 11:6, John 8:24
Repent of Sins: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Luke 13:5
Confess that Jesus is the son of God: Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:37, Matthew 10:32-34
Be baptized for the remission of sins: John 3:5-8, Acts 2:28, I Peter 3:21, Romans 6:4, Galatians 3:27

New Testament Pattern for Worship
We are to sing: Colossians 3:16, Ephesians 5:19
We are to pray: I Corinthians 14: 15, 16
We are to take of the Lord’s Supper EVERY first day of the week: Acts 20:7
Sermon and Scripture Reading: Colossians 4:16, Acts 20:7
Giving (a freewill offering of what we have prospered in our heart – not a tithe): I Corinthians 16:2

I hope you too can say that you are blessed beyond measure, because you are a part of Christ's body and belong to the New Testament church for which he died. After reading this post, you may have questions. If you do, please feel free to Email me at churchofchristwomenauthors@gmail.com.

More Resources:
Divine Acceptable Pattern for Worship Part 1
Divine Acceptable Pattern for Worship Part 2 
Muscle and a Shovel by Michael Shank