Does what we wear matter? Yes, because Scripture clearly indicates that the people of God should dress “with modesty” in 1 Timothy 2:9. But that leads to another question, what is modesty?
Eschatology is the study of end times, particularly the second coming of Jesus, the Day of Judgment, the destruction of the earth, and the after life. Christianity in its broadest sense is divided in regards to eschatological beliefs, and this division is largely dependent on how one interprets the reference to the “one thousand year” period (i.e. millennium) during which Satan is bound (Revelation 20:2-3) and Christ reigns (Revelation 20:4-6).
Another distinctive characteristic of the Churches of Christ is the absence of women in leadership roles in relation to the worship assembly or church governance. Is such a practice an act of discrimination or is there a biblical precedence for it?
The absence of women in speaking or leadership roles in congregations associated with the Churches of Christ is not the result of gender discrimination but the result of adherence to God’s Word. Scripture places limitations on the roles of women. Two specific divinely inspired statements are worth noting.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of the Churches of Christ is the absence of musical instruments in their worship service. Since the New Testament nowhere explicitly condemns the use of musical instruments in the worship assembly then why do these congregations refrain from using them?
The issue of whether or not musical instruments should be used in the worship assembly of the church ultimately is an authority issue. In other words, we must ask, “Did God authorize the use of musical instruments in the worship assembly?” If the answer is yes then they are clearly acceptable but if the answer is no then we must be willing to acknowledge that the use of musical instruments in worship did not originate with God.
While every religious body associated with Christianity observes the Lord’s Supper in some fashion, the congregations associate with the Churches of Christ are considered unique for observing this memorial every Sunday. But does the frequency with which a congregation observes the Lord’s Supper really matter? To answer this question let us explore what the Bible has to say about the Lord’s Supper.
What is the Lord’s Supper?
Under Mosaic Law the sacred day of the week was the seventh day, which was known as the Sabbath. It was a day of rest during which no work was to be done (Exodus 20:9-10; Deuteronomy 5:14). According to Mosaic Law, the seventh day was to be held in high honor. The fourth command of the Ten Commandments says, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). The reason this day was so sacred is because it correlated to the day of God’s rest following creation (Exodus 20:11), and because it served as a reminder that God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt (Deuteronomy 5:15).
Every religious body associated with Christianity agrees that Christ is “the head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23; cf. Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:18); however, not every religious body associated with Christianity agrees on the form of governance that He authorized for the local church. Some employ a hierarchical structure of individual church leaders while others employ a hierarchical structure of church councils. The congregations associated with the Churches of Christ are considered unique because they appoint elders in the local congregation and believe that such leaders are the only biblically authorized form of church government under the headship of Christ. What is the basis for such a form of church government?
It is undeniable that miraculous gifts—gifts such as the ability to heal the sick, work miracles, prophesy, discern spirits, speak in tongues, and interpret tongues (1 Corinthians 12:7-10)—were present in the early church (Acts 2:1-12; 3:6-7; 5:12-16; 8:5-24; 9:32-42; 10:44-48; 11:27-28; 13:1-12; 14:8-10; 16:16-18; 19:1-7; 20:9-11; 21:10-11). But does their existence in the first century necessitate their existence today? Must a church that seeks to emulate the first century church advocate the presence of miraculous gifts today? To answer this question we must examine everything that the New Testament has to say about miraculous gifts, and in so doing we will discover three important specifications about such gifts.
The Bible indicates that salvation is received when one confesses his or her belief in Jesus as the risen Son of God (Mark 16:16; Romans 10:9-10), repents of the sins that he or she has committed (Acts 2:38; 2 Corinthians 7:10), and submits to baptism so that he or she reenacts Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection and, thereby, comes in contact with God’s grace through Christ’s blood which removes all sin (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:1-4; 1 Peter 3:18-22). How salvation is received is a question of prime importance, and, once answered, it breeds a corollary question, which is, “Can salvation be lost after it has been received?”
Nearly every religious body associated with Christianity administers baptism in some fashion. Some believe it is an act of obedience that symbolizes a believer’s faith in Christ and death to sin. Others believe that baptism is simply the means by which a believer becomes a member of the church body. But the congregations associated with the Church of Christ are known for their insistence that baptism is an essential part of salvation. On what is this belief based?