"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32)
Church of Christ
702 5th Avenue South
Virginia MN 55792
COMING BEFORE GOD IN REVERENANCE AND RESPECT
For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth (Psalm 47:2). When we come together in worship, we need to remember that we are presenting ourselves before the greatest and most powerful king of the universe! As such, our attitude, dress and mental acuity should reflect this incredible honor and privilege.
When Joseph was sent for and called to present himself before Pharaoh, scripture tell us that he prepared himself…“and he shaved, change his clothing, and came to Pharaoh” (Genesis 41:14). When the Lord spoke to Moses he gave the following instructions, “Go to the people and sanctify them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes.” (Exodus 19:10). The people were to prepare themselves for when the Lord came down upon Mount Sinai.
What does it say when we have the following demeanor when preparing for worship?
• I’ll go to sleep at a proper hour to be fully rested when having to get up for work or school, but not for worship to God
• I’ll dress in my best attire and clean up when attending a funeral or wedding or applying for a job interview, but not for worship to God
• I’ll show excitement and happiness when attending secular or worldly events and entertainment, but not for worship to God
A story was once told about a young man complaining about how uncomfortable it was for him to wear a tie for Sunday worship. He didn’t like the request from the elders that men serving or participating in the worship needed to wear a dress shirt and tie. On and on this individual complained about how uncomfortable this attire was during the entire 45 minute worship service. Finally, someone spoke up and said, ‘Christ was uncomfortable enough to be nailed on a cross and die for my sins for a much longer period than 45 minutes so I don’t think it is an unreasonable request to wear attire expressing honor to our Savior even if it causes me some slight discomfort during this short period of time.’ Needless to say, this powerful statement brought things into the proper perspective and that individual submitted himself to honoring this attire request.
As we come before the supreme King to worship, let us prepare ourselves accordingly showing the proper reverence and respect He rightfully deserves.
Upcoming Gospel Meetings
Please see our Events page for more information on our upcoming Gospel Meetings!
Baptism is a Bible subject.Peter tells us by inspiration that God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness (II Peter 2:3). If all things have been given, then what does the Bible have to say as to its purpose?In Acts Peter tells those present to be baptized "for" the forgiveness of sins.The word translated into our English language "for" is the Greek word "eis".It means "in order to" or "unto."It is not interchangeable with the Greek word "dia" (also translated into our language as "for") which means "because of". The apostle John was on the island of Patmos"for(dia) the word of God and for (dia) the testimony of Jesus Christ." John was exiled there "because" he preached the gospel.
Baptism is for (eis) the remission of sins (Acts It washes away sin (Acts It puts one "into" Christ (Gal. It also now saves us (I Pet. It is IMPORTANT because it is a COMMAND.
"Come worship with us in spirit and in truth"
Virginia Church of Christ
702 5th Ave. South
WHY WERE THEY MORE NOBLE?
After leaving Thessalonica, Paul and Silas went to Berea .The Scriptures say, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).Bereans received their word because it was substantiated by the written word.
Can you give book, chapter and verse for those things that you believe and practice?We will not be judged on emotions or opinions regardless of how sincere we may be.We will be judged by the word of God (John Be more noble and search the scriptures to see "whether those things were so."
"Come worship with us in spirit and in truth"
Virginia Church of Christ
702 5th Ave. South
Is one church as good as another?
In Virginia, and around the world, one can find many places in which to worship God. But the question must be asked; which church is the right church? Are there individuals scattered throughout the various denominations, that have been faithful to their denomination's beliefs, that will enter heaven?
As with most things, when we are having trouble understanding, we need to pull out the instruction book to find the answer. The instruction book, in this case, is the Holy Bible. Please consider the following points:
What doctrine or creed?
First, we must accept the Holy Scriptures claim to be the true word of God, not the word or traditions of men. Being such, the bible can be our only guide in religious matters. (Romans 1:16; I Thess. 2:13). The Lord's church has no man written doctrine or creed books.
When was the church established?
The church/kingdom of the Bible was established on the day of Pentecost as documented in Acts chapter 2. It was also established in the right place as prophesied in the old testament (Isaiah 2:2,3; Joel 2:28-32).
What about the first Christians?
What church was the first three thousand people added to on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41)? The origin of all denominations, including Catholicism, can be traced back to hundreds of years after the day of Pentecost. Thus we can conclude, on this point alone, that today’s denominations are not the true church of the bible that Jesus died on the cross for, the church in which it's members will be saved (Ephes. 5:23; Acts 2:47) and are enrolled in heaven (Hebrews 12:23).
What is the name of the church?
The church of the bible bears it's builders name; the church of Christ (Matthew 16:18; Romans 16:16; Acts 2:36). All other names are a deviation from the scriptures.
What are the requirements to enter the church?
When considering the New Testament as a whole we learn that, in order to become a Christian, we must;
1. Hear the word of God (Romans 10:17; Acts 16:32),
2. Believe what is taught (Mark 16:16; Hebrews 11:6),
3. Repent of past sins (Acts 2:38; Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30),
4. Confess faith in Christ (Romans 10:9-10)
5. Be baptizedfor the remission of sins
(Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; I Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3,4).
This is all that is required by the inspired word of God. Any additional "obstacles" by men, such as catechism or confirmation, are an addition to the scriptures. Adding to, or subtracting from, the Word of God is strictly forbidden (Rev. 22:18,19).
The church of the bible, in which one can be saved, is clearly identified in the bible. If one can stop thinking in terms of "denominationalism", you will see that the true church of God is waiting for you. Jesus said "and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32). Furthermore, we know that the church still exists today and always will (Matthew 16:18,19).
After reading this article you should be pricked in your heart. Just think, there are people in this world today that subscribe only to the bible, truly believe in the one church identified in it, and live and worship in the clear pattern commanded of us! Will you please join us in giving our Lord and Savior the honor and respect He deserves?
Our plea is for all people to accept the Word of God as their sole standard of doctrine and practice.
It comes as quite a surprise to most people when a Christian mentions the fact that the churches of Christ do not use mechanical instruments while worshipping God. The reason for this is not that we cannot afford one or nobody knows how to play the instruments. The reason is based on a holistic interpretation of the scriptures, the examples given and the requirement of obedience. Additionally, this position can be supported by non-biblical (even non-Christian) historical evidence.
As obedient Christians we are to submit to the authority of the Bible (Heb. 5:9). One cannot justify the use of mechanical instruments because the scriptures do not strictly forbid it, as it is a sin to add or subtract from the Inspired Word (Rev. 22:18,19). The scriptures clearly state that we are to sing (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). One cannot find a single example in the New Testament that authorizes the use of instrumental accompaniment. Please consider this example; If I send my daughter to the store with ten dollars to purchase milk, do I need to list all the items within the store that she should not buy? Of course not, she understands, through the obedience she has learned, to only get what I asked of her. God wants to hear the heart felt singing of every Christian in the congregation, not the sounds created by individuals with special abilities. This would be the same argument against the use of Choirs or soloists during worship services.
The previous paragraph is actually another strong case for the inspiration of the scriptures. If instruments were required, it would probably be required that everyone play one at the same time. All other commandments and examples are to be equally borne by each Christian (Gal 6:2), except for the additional requirements of the congregations elders. This would require an individual to know how to play the organ, for example, in order to become a Christian. Obviously the bible does not put any obstacles of that sort in the way of the lost. Consider this similar example; Jesus said "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). If the scriptures would have said "walk ye into all the world", one could not take a plane or a car with the intent of preaching the gospel. This would also create a contradiction, as is would not be possible to preach to "all the world", as we could not walk to every continent. It is the little things like these, scattered throughout the Bible, that allows us to have faith in it (note: this is not a blind faith as the world defines it, rather a biblical faith based on evidences).
Many people, in Virginia and around the globe, give their feelings as a reason for using mechanical instruments while worshiping God. One might say: "the instruments make me feel good" or "I really enjoy the instruments". First of all we must understand we are gathering to worship our creator, not to please or entertain ourselves. Feelings cannot be our guide in religious matters (Prov. 14:12).
Finally, history records that the early Christians did not use mechanical instruments while worshipping God. It was not until hundreds of years later that they where added to the worship service. Consider this example:
“Whatever evidence is forthcoming, is to the effect that the early Christians did not use musical instruments” (William Smith & Samuel Cheetham, A Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, London: John Murray, 1880, II, p. 1365).This example and others can be found via the links at the end of this article.
We are not asking you to "take our word for it", rather that you study your bible on this matter. Think about how Christ died on the cross so you might have the hope of eternal salvation and also said "If you love me, keep my commandments". If you do not keep His commandments you do not truly love Christ and therefore, tragically, are not in a saved state.
In I Peter 3:20, 21 it tells us that eight souls were saved through water referring to Noah and his family. The very waters that destroyed the rest of mankind lifted the ark and saved those inside.Then the Scriptures tell us that the like figure, baptism, also now saves us.This is in complete harmony with the Great Commission given in Mark 16:15, 16 where Jesus says "He who believes and is baptized will be saved."
God's plan of salvation, according to the Bible is: (1) One must hear the gospel because faith comes by hearing (Rom. (2) One must have faith because it is impossible to please God without it (Heb. 11:6).(3) Jesus says that one must repent or perish (Luke 13:3, 5).(4) Jesus also says that one must confess Him before men or He will not confess them before His Father (Matt. , 33). (5) The inspired word does not stop here in the conversion process.The command is also given to be baptized.It has a purpose and that purpose is "for the forgiveness of sins" (Acts or as Paul relates, "to wash your sins away" (Acts Then if one is faithful until death he will receive the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
Come worship with us in spirit and in truth.
Virginia Church of Christ 702 5th Ave South Virginia, MN 55792