Rejoice With Us!!
After considerable deliberation regarding the matter, this past Lord’s Day, JIM AND SARAH HAMILTON expressed their desire to be identified with the Lord’s work at this place! They have been worshipping with us for the larger part of two years and have proven themselves serious Christians with a desire to be of faithful service to Him. We’re delighted to have them numbered with us at Orleans!
Just So You Know
During the last three months, six Christians have identified with us: STEVE and THERESA VESTAL, DANIEL AND STEFANIE CORDERO; JIM AND SARAH HAMILTON. This is growth, and we’re delighted to accept them into our work at Orleans.
But some might asked, “Is this all there is to becoming a member of the church of Christ at Orleans?” The answer is NO!! The above-mentioned souls have proven to us they obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ by hearing the gospel, believing it, repenting of their sins, and by being immersed into Christ for the remission of their sins. While they did not render this public obedience in our presence, they nonetheless did obey God’s commandments somewhere else, and since coming here, have proven this obedience by proving it in a variety of ways, not the least of which is their vocal rehearsal of this very obedience!
Becoming a part of the Lord’s church is NOT gained by desire alone! One cannot “assume” him/herself a member merely by attendance. Neither can one assume their obedience to the requirements of a man-made religion is agreeable with God. A careful study of Acts 2 reveals the Lord added to THE church daily, those that were being saved (vs. 47), not “a” church. We see from 1 Corinthians 12:13, we are immersed into that ONE body, the church of Christ. Since our Lord recognizes but ONE body, the church (Ephesians 4:4), souls cannot be accepted into the body of Christ, the church, by their obedience to a false doctrine (Galatians 1:6 – 10).
“That’s too strict,” say some. Perhaps, but only to the mind that does not care to “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Members of the Lord’s church have never been the ones to “set the rules” of entrance to this sacred kingdom: that’s been God’s job and remains so! When Paul encountered some twelve disciples who knew only the baptism of John the baptizer (Acts 19:1-7), they admitted they had been immersed unto John’s baptism. Paul could not accept them as “brethren” for they were not his spiritual brethren. When they heard they must believe Christ Jesus, they were immersed into Him for the remission of their sins (ibid.) We cannot do differently: there is ONE WAY to the Father, and that is through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). There is only one way into Christ, and that is baptism (Galatians 3:27). When this is accomplished, the Lord (not man) adds you to HIS church (Acts 2:47), wherein you must remain faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10), including adding to your faith the prescribed works of righteousness (2 Peter 1: 1 – 10).
The idea of “changing membership” from one location to another has long been a practice of the church of Christ. We might suggest the following as indications of “change of membership” from one local work of Christ to another: Acts 18:27 on behalf of Apollos; Philippians 2:29 on behalf of Epaphroditus; Colossians 4:10 on behalf of John Mark; Philemon 17 on behalf of Onesimus. Each of these had obeyed the gospel (i.e., heard, believed, confessed, repented, and was immersed into Christ) and are seen in these passages with a recommendation from other brethren to be accepted within the newer location of Christians.
Those of us who are members of the church of Christ are ready, willing, and able to study with you, should your interests be toward becoming a member of this spiritual body of Christ. We recognize the world has an array of teachings: but few of them can be verified with a “thus sayeth the Lord” from His word! Entrance into most man-made religions is done with one or more caveats that have no authority from God, and therefore leave the soul with a false conviction of salvation! Yes, many religions frankly lie to you to gain your membership! We won’t! If we can’t show you book, chapter, and verse for what we say and why we say it, we won’t teach it. If we cannot show you in the same manner what we do and why we do it, we’ll simply not do it! We have no authority of our own! We must comply with THE authority of Christ (Matthew 28:18); and His authority comes from God the Father (Hebrews 1:1 – 2; 2: 1 – 4).
Let us know if we can help you in your study of God’s word, and in your understanding of it. Ask your questions; make your criticisms; challenge us! We stand ready to defend the gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:7; 17). We’ll be patient and listen. We’ll be loving and fair! We will offer you nothing more, but nothing less than God’s word for everything we say and do! If you disagree with Him, well, then that would have to be on you!