Why I Am A Member Of The Church Of Christ

Sermons Notes By Thomas C. Hickey

BECAUSE THE BIBLE TEACHES THAT GOD ONLY AUTHORIZED ONE CHURCH.

A. The plan of the ages was to be fulfilled in one spiritual body (Ephesians 2:11-22).
Note the contents of Ephesians, chapter two:
1. Vs 1 - We were dead in sin
2. Vs. 2 - We were all formerly sons of disobedience.
3. Vs. 4 - God was rich in mercy because of his great love for us while we were sinners

4. Vs. 5 - God:
a. Made us alive
b. Raised us up with Christ
c. Seated us in the heavenlies
d. In the future he will show us the surpassing riches of his grace in Christ Jesus
5. Vs. 8 - We are saved by grace through faith as a gift of God
6. Vs. 9 - We are not saved by works lest any should boast
7. Vs. 10 - God designed beforehand that we should walk in good works. We were created in Christ Jesus for this purpose.
8. Vs. 11 - Formerly the gentile Christians were:
a. Separate from Christ
b. Excluded from the commonwealth of Israel
c. Strangers to the covenants of promise
d. Having no hope
e. Without God in the world
9. Vs. 13 - Now you who were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
10. Vs. 14 - Benefits in Christ:
a. He is our peace
b. He made both groups into one
c. He broke down the barrier, the middle wall of partition (i. e., the law)
d. He abolished the law in His blood
e. He reconciled us to God through the cross
f. He preached peace (with God) to those far and near
g. He gave us access to the Father
11. Vs. 19 - Results:
a. Gentiles are no longer strangers and aliens
b. Fellow-citizens with the saints
c. Part of God’s family
d. Built as “living stones” into the temple of God
B. Jesus taught that there would be only one fold and one shepherd (John 10:14-16).
C. Jesus Christ is the head of the church, and He only has one body (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18; Colossians 1:24-27).
1. A freak may have one head and many bodies, or one body and many heads, but Jesus Christ is not a freak: He has one head and one body.
D. In praying for the apostles, Jesus prayed for unity among believers (John 17:17-23).
E. Paul pleaded for unity stating, “There is one body (church)....”  (Ephesians 4:1-7).

II. BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST PROMISED TO BUILD THE CHURCH/KINGDOM UPON THE ROCK OF FAITH THAT HE WAS THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD (MATTHEW 16:13-19).

III. BECAUSE THE PLAN OF GOD TO BUILD THE CHURCH WAS AN ETERNAL PLAN CHERISHED IN THE MIND OF GOD FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD (EPHESIANS 3:1-12).

IV. BECAUSE THE VERY PURPOSE FOR CHRIST’S COMING TO EARTH WAS THAT HE MIGHT “SEEK AND SAVE THE LOST” (LUKE 19:10).
A. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16).
B. Jesus came to save the lost (Luke 19:10).
C. Jesus did not want to die, but was willing to die if it were the will of the Father (Matthew 26:39, 42; Hebrews 5:6-9).
D. Jesus established the Lord’s Supper saying “This is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matthew 26:29).
E. The very blood of the Son of God was paid to purchase the church (Acts 20:28).
F. We were baptized into the death of Christ (Romans 6:3).

V. BECAUSE OBEDIENCE TO THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST RESULTS IN THE FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS, AND THE SAVED ARE AUTOMATICALLY ADDED TO THE CHURCH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
A. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16).
B. Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
C. Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins (Acts 22:16).
D. We are made free from sin when we obey the form of doctrine which was delivered to us (Romans 6:17-18).
E. Even baptism doth also now save us (I Peter 3:21).
F. Those who were baptized for the remission of sins on the Day of Pentecost were added to the church the same day (Acts 2:38, 41).
G. The Lord added to the church daily “such as should be saved” (KJV) or, “were being saved” (ASV).
H. The very word church (Greek, ekklesia) means, “the called out ones”, and refers to those who have been called out of the power of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s dear Son (Colossians 1:13).)

BECAUSE THE CHURCH OF CHRIST WAS TO BE BUILT (OR COME INTO EXISTENCE) UPON THE DAY OF PENTECOST AS HAD BEEN PROPHESIED

NECESSARY CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM THE SCRIPTURES IN THE CHART

  Note the prophesies occurring before Pentecost which looked forward to the coming of the church/kingdom.
Note the statements after the Day of Pentecost referring backwards to the fact that the kingdom/church had already come into existence.
The church of the Lord did not begin in latter times; not during the periods historians refer to as the reformation movement. (Chart by Tom Hickey.

VII. BECAUSE THE CHURCH OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST WAS TO BE FOUNDED IN THE CITY OF JERUSALEM AS PER THE PROPHETS OF OLD, AND THE LORD HIMSELF.

Isaiah 2:2-3 ...the mountain of the Lord’s house to be established on the top of the mountains...and all nations shall flow unto it...out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of Jehovah from Jerusalem.”
Micah 4:1-2 Micah’s prophecy almost identical to Isaiah’s prophecy; the two prophets were contemporary.
Acts 1:4-5 Jesus commanded the apostles, “Wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
Acts 1:7-8 “...Ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem,” Judea, Samaria and the uttermost parts of the earth.
Acts 2:16-21 Joel 2:28-32 Joel 3:1-2 Joel 3:16 Joel 3:17 Joel’s prophecy of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit is quoted verbatim in Acts 2:16-21. Joel continues the prophecy in Joel 3:1 saying that “Afterward” (2:28) = “in those days...in that time”... I “will bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all the nations, and bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat” (3:1-2) “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem” (Joel 3:16). “...I am the Lord your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy....” (Joel 3:17).

BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST PROMISED TO BUILD HIS CHURCH/KINGDOM (MATTHEW 16:18-19), AND ITS COMING HAD BEEN FORETOLD BY THE PROPHETS OF OLD.
A. We cannot possibly do justice to this theme in this study format. We will make a few points and recommend the works footnoted below by James D. Bales and Foy E. Wallace, Jr.
B. God promised David: “I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever” (II Samuel 7:13).
C. God said of Jesus, “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance....” (Psalm 2:8).
D. Isaiah prophesied: “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom” (Isaiah 9:7).
E. Daniel prophesied: “In the days of these kings (the Roman kings, TH) shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed....” (Daniel 2:44).
F. Zechariah prophesied: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy king cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zechariah 9:9).
G. Christ, the King, the Anointed of God:
1. The Genealogy of the King is given in Matthew 1:1-16.
a. All the earth to be blessed through Abraham (Genesis 12:3).
b. The Messiah to be the Son of David (II Samuel 7:11-13).
c. The son of David (Christ, th) is his Lord (i.e., David’s, th) [Matthew 22:41-46).
2. The Birth of the King
a. A miraculous conception; Christ born of a virgin (Matt. 1:18-25).
b. The virgin birth prophesied by Isaiah 700 years earlier, was to be a sign to the house of David (Isaiah 7:1-14; esp. vs. 14).
c. The magi came searching for the “King of the Jews” (Matt. 2:1-2).
d. Micah prophesied that the Christ would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2-4; Matthew 2:4-6).
3. The preparation for the Coming of the King
a. John the baptist taught that the kingdom is at hand (Matthew 3:1-3).
b. John’s coming was prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3-5).

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