Through the years
those of us in the church of Christ have been accused of being
self-righteous. We have been accused of thinking that we are the only ones
right. These two concepts will now be addressed. And in doing so, let us
reason from the scripture – God’s inspired Word. After all, the Apostle Peter
charged: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always
to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in
you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they
speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse
your good conversation [manner of life] in Christ” (1 Pet. 3:15-16).
In that same epistle he emphasized the right source to obtain our
answer. He declared: “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of
God;…” (1 Pet. 4:11).
Let me further make it
clear that we are not accusing people of other religious faiths as being
dishonest or insincere. I have friends and relatives who are not in
the church of Christ. This does not keep me from loving them or treasuring
Nor do we, as a people
or as individuals, claim to be perfect. Neither do we profess to have all of
the answers. In the New Testament there were both individual Christians and
congregations reprimanded. Their short comings were either because of
immorality or teaching and practicing false doctrine. Sadly, these same
problems are in the church of Christ today.
Thus, we do not claim to
be perfect or have all of the answers in religious matters. But we do know
where the answers can be found. The Bible, itself, is the one and only
source. The Apostle Paul stated: “All scripture is given by inspiration
of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly
furnished unto all good works” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Not only
is that so, but Jesus Christ declared: “But in vain they do worship me,
teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt. 15:9).
Let us now discuss as
to: Who or what is right in religious matters.
DO WE BELIEVE THAT WE ARE RIGHT ON SUCH MATTERS PERTAINING TO
SALVATION, THE CHURCH, AND WORSHIP?
Evidently, all religious people believe that they are right.
Otherwise they would be hypocrites!
Even Saul of Tarsus, who later became the Apostle Paul, believed that
he was right in persecuting Christians. Of course, he learned different when
the Son of God appeared unto him.
Acts 9:1-6, “And
Saul, yet breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the
Lord, went unto the high priest, and desired of him letters to Damascus to the
synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women,
he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near
Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And
he fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why
persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I
am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the
pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to
do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be
told thee what thou must do.”
Later the Apostle Paul revealed what the gospel preacher Ananias said
unto him. Ananias said: “And now why tarriest thou? Arise, and be
baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts
Opposing views are held by different churches on such things as
salvation, the church, and worship. Can these contradictory views both be
There are millions of zealous and devoted people who submit unto the
Roman Catholic Pope as being the Vicar of Christ and head of the church here
upon earth. While there are millions of other sincere folks who do not accept
the Pope as the Vicar of Christ and head of the church. Can both be right?
Many religious people administer sprinkling or pouring; while others
insist on immersion as baptism. Can both be right?
Several religious groups claim that a person is saved the moment that
he accepts Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. While others insist that a
penitent believer must obey the gospel of Christ. Can both be right?
Some religious groups claim that a child of God cannot fall from grace;
while others insist that he can fall from grace. Can both be right?
There are those who insist on using mechanical instruments of music in
worship. Others who believe that only singing of psalms, hymns, and spiritual
songs are authorized in the new covenant. Can both be right?
Most will readily admit that two opposing religious views cannot both
After all, we are to prove all things.
1 Thess. 5:21,
“Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
We are not to think of men above the inspired written Word of God.
1 Cor. 4:6, “And
these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to
Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above
that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against
Then how can many contend that one religion is just as good as
another? They do so even believing that their conviction on a particular
religious matter is right and others who hold a contrasting view are wrong.
They believe that being sincere and morally upstanding will assure one’s
Yet, Jesus insisted that we must do the Will of the Heavenly Father to
Matt. 7:21-23, “Not
every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of
heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will
say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in
thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that
Solomon pointed out that we would be foolish to trust in our own
Proverb 28:26, “He
that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall
Even though Cornelius was a good moral religious man, he still needed
to hear and obey words to be saved.
Acts 10:1-2, “There
was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called
the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house,
which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.”
Acts 11:13-14, “And
he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto
him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter, Who shall
tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”
Acts 10:48, “And he
commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.”
IT IS MORE A QUESTION OF WHAT IS RIGHT!
God’s inspired Word is the only standard in religious matters.
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
John 12:48, “He
that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the
word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
What must all of us do to be saved from our alien sins?
As obedient believers, we must obey the gospel of Christ.
Rom. 1:16, “For I
am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto
salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the
1 Cor. 15:1-4,
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,
which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved,
if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in
vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how
that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was
buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
Rom. 6:3-4, 17-18,
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were
baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into
death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the
Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
But God be thanked, that
ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of
doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became
the servants of righteousness.”
2 Thess. 1:7-9,
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be
revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance
on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus
Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence
of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”
Mark 16:15-16, “And
he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that
believeth not shall be damned.”
As to regards to the church we must abide by the Lord’s pattern for it
in the New Testament.
Luke 8:11, “
Acceptable worship must be in spirit and in truth (singing psalms,
hymns, and spiritual songs; prayer, the teaching and preaching of the inspired
Word, partaking of the Lord’s Supper upon the first day of the week; and
giving of our means upon the first day of the week.)
John 4:24, “God is
a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in
WE MUST REMAIN FAITHFUL AFTER BEING SAVED FROM OUR PAST SINS.
A new born babe in Christ must grow in grace and knowledge of God’s
2 Pet. 3:18, “
1 Pet. 2:2, “
WE HAVE SPIRITUAL FELLOWSHIP ONLY WITH THOSE WHO HAVE OBEYED THE GOSPEL
All obedient believers are added by the Lord to His church.
Acts 2:37-41, 47,
“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto
Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the
name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift
of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to
all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with
many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this
untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized:
and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
Praising God, and having
favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as
should be saved.”
1 John 1:6-7, “If
we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do
not the truth: But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have
fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth
us from all sin.”
The church of
Christ is not the origin of spiritual truth. Our Lord, Himself, is that
source. He has charged His church to uphold His inspired Word. It is in that
sense that the church of Christ is: “…the pillar and ground of the truth.”
(1 Tim. 3:15). In fact, it was and is God’s eternal purpose
that His church make known His manifold wisdom (Eph. 3:10-11).