Author: Ron Graham
The Church of Christ
—Translated from the Bislama
The church of Christ has the way to join all Christians into one people. The church of Christ is not just another group that divides Christians. No, not at all.
Every one of you can be one people [in Christ Jesus] because you are joined only to Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:26-28).
1 The tradition of Dividing the Church is No Good.
The church of Christ makes every effort not to do anything that divides Christians. If you and I separate into different denominations we commit sin. The church that belongs to Christ must become one body only. It must not separate. The churches of Christ must be of identical faith, all one and the same church. This identity must be the basis that only Jesus gave, and only Jesus told (1Corinthians 1:10-13, Ephesians 4:1-6, John 17:20-21).
2 Jesus is Head of the Church
Jesus said, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). The church belongs to Christ; it does not belong to man. The word of God is against us following what is just man’s thinking. (Matthew 15:7-9, Colossians 2:20-23). Jesus died, and shed his blood, and lived again. Now he is Head of the church. This true church has not got another head, not at all (Colossians 1:17-20).
3 The Bible is the Only Authority for the Church
Everything you and I teach and do in this church must be according to the Bible and the Bible alone (1Peter 4:11). We must readily change anything that is not in line with the scriptures "Test everything, hold fast to what is good; keep away from all that is evil" (1Thessalonians 5:21-22). The Bible is fully sufficient to make every Christian in the church completely good and strong and active (2Timothy 3:16-17)
4 There is Only One Church, No Others
In view of such things, the church of Christ endeavours to become the same church that Jesus built. Notice that in New Testament times, every congregation in every place, such as Ephesus, Corinth, or Philippi,was one church under Jesus alone because he was head of the church everywhere. In those days every church was a congregation of Christ not some other.
5 Who is the Boss in a Congregation?
Every church here or there, meeting in a given place, must become a church belonging to Christ alone. It is not good that a church should join some denomination that becomes its master. And a local church’s elders and leaders must lead that church in that place only (Acts 14:23). For example, the elders of the church at Ephesus oversaw the Ephesians, not the [Corinthians or the Galatians] (Acts 20:1,28). The elders of one church were not the bosses of other churches. Each church oversaw its own business according to God’s plan.
6 Christ Bestows all Power and Right.
Satan makes people think it good that everyone can believe anything they like, but that isn't so. We must endeavour to make everything according to the authority of Christ. He gives us that right. His authority stems from the High God, not from man. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, these three, give us authority. Any other authority [in the church] is no authority at all. It is only from man.
7 Join Christ. Join No Division.
There are plenty of [religious] groups with different names, and different doctrines, and different ways of worship, and different methods of organization. It is not good to join these divisions. It is good that we make only the church that belongs to Christ. Each congregation should be joined only to Christ and not a denomination. In this way the church does not divide Christians.