The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)

Have you ever become tired of religious division in your community? We believe almost everyone has at one time or another. Have you wondered why so much division exists among those who believe in God and accept Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world? Again, we believe almost everyone has been puzzled about such division existing among those who claim Jesus as the Son of God, especially when Jesus Himself prayed that His disciples be united as ONE (John 17:21).
Have you ever wondered why we could not all just go back to the Word of God - back to unity based upon the Bible? Well, we who are members of the churches of Christ have not only wondered why, but we are trying to do something about it. The understanding you will hopefully receive from this short article is one way we are striving to unite all TRUE believers.
If you have been puzzled and frustrated by religious division, we have some good news for you. The children of Israel in the Old Testament had the same problem that we have today.  They had forgotten God and His law (Hos. 4:6; 8:14). Many today have also forgotten God's law. Sadly, even many CHRISTIANS have forgotten that they were purged from their old sins (2 Pet. 1:9).
There are those today who remember only a part of God’s law.  These are the ones who usually add unauthorized ordinances, just like Israel, to the Word of God; ordinances such as foot washing, faith (fake) healing, using water for the fruit of the vine, or claiming that the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ. Man-made practices caused division among God's people in the Old Testament. When men today add unauthorized religious traditions to the Word of God, they also will cause division in our religious world.
Jeremiah had an answer to the problem of man-made doctrines and traditions. He called for a restoration of the "old paths” (Jer. 6:16). He wanted Israel to "turn again" unto God's ways (Jer. 31:21). That was great news to Israel then. And it is great news to those of us in this century who desire an end to religious division. Therefore, we invite all lovers of God to join us in calling for a restoration of TRUE New Testament Christianity.
What do we mean by restoration? Simple. We are asking people everywhere to return to the authority of the law of Christ (cf. Gal. 6:2). We are urging people to unite upon the teachings of the New Testament (cf. Heb. 9:15-17). This is restoration! Of course, this plea assumes certain things:

First, it assumes that all of us must have a desire to return to the authority of Christ (Matt. 28:18; Heb. 1:1-2). In other words, we must be willing to let Christ tell us what to do (Luke 6:46; cf. John 2:5). Jesus tells us what to do in His written word (cf. John 12:48; Matt. 7:21).
this restoration plea assumes that we must STOP considering as religious law those things which are NOT authorized by Jesus' New Testament law. This is to say that human traditions and opinions of men should NOT be said to have Divine authority. No human being or group of human beings have the right to make and bind religious laws on God’s people (cf. Col. 2:20-23). When man-made traditions and religious laws are practiced in religious service they simply make one’s worship vain (Matt. 15:8-9).
Thirdly, this plea assumes that we will be called Christians only, just like the disciples we read about in the New Testament (Acts 11:26). 

it assumes that we will be lovingly patient with one another as we unite upon the Bible ALONE as our guide to unity (1 Thess. 5:14).

BUT HOW? Just how do we go about restoring primitive Christianity? The plan is simple, though there might be great sacrifice on the part of those who desire such. Let us notice FIVE steps that must be taken to begin or continue this restoration.


Restoration is not a reformation of a religious body. Biblical restoration demands a complete return to New Testament Christianity. Such means that we must NOT consider religious practices which we do not read about in the New Testament as having any Divine authority (cf. 1 Cor. 4:6).
God's Word is the truth (John 17:17). It is THIS TRUTH that we must follow, not religious traditions of men (Mark 7:5-13).  We must seek the pattern or “form of sound words” (2 Tim. 1:13), the teachings of Jesus (2 John 9-10). If we are to restore the Christianity of the New Testament, we must be willing to live by what the New Testament tells us.


Peter commanded that we long for the Word of God (1 Pet. 2:1-2). Jesus prayed for unity (John 17:20-21), and the New Testament writers plead for it also (1 Cor. 1:10; Phil. 1:27; Eph. 4:4-6). Therefore, let us remember these pleas and return to God's inspired Word (2 Pet. 1:13, 15; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
We must come out from among them (unbelievers, the unrighteous, and idols) as Paul commanded (2 Cor. 6:14-17). We must listen to Isaiah's plea: “Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read” (Isa. 34:16). These holy writers, even today, are pleading for us to return to the authority of God's Word. They are asking us to restore the right ways of God from which so many have strayed (cf. 1 Tim. 4:1-6).


Paul warned that we stand condemned if we do not have the “love of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:10-12). Jesus said, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness” (Matt. 5:6). Yes, let us be objective in our thirst for righteousness. We can have our opinions, but let us first determine what God says about religious matters before we form our opinions. We must have an intense love and respect for the Word of God (cf. John 14:15). We must be willing to find answers in the Bible and not in the traditions and opinions of human wisdom.


Have you ever wondered what would happen in the religious world today if everyone just put away all man-made books, creeds, and religious traditions not found in the Bible? Well, restoration of New Testament Christianity calls for such action. We need to speak as the oracles of God (1 Pet. 4:11). We must go to the Word of God, not the opinions of men, to find answers to solve religious division. In other words, to have restoration we must desire to practice what the Bible tells us to practice. We should not assume that what we have been doing is right just because we or our parents have always done it.


When one believes on Jesus Christ and obeys His teachings, he becomes JUST a Christian. He doesn't become some “type” of Christian - i.e., Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, etc. He is identified only by the term Christian (Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16) or by some other BIBLE term (cf. Col. 1:2; Rev. 1:6).


Restoration of New Testament Christianity in the midst of false teachings and division is a Biblical plea. It can be done and it is happening today! There are thousands of individuals throughout the world who are now calling themselves after Christ. They meet regularly on the first day of the week (Sunday) just like the New Testament Christians did (Acts 20:7; Rev. 1:10). They meet upon the first day of the week to partake of the Lord's Supper (Acts 20:7). They use only their voices to sing praises unto God (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16). They give of their means (1 Cor. 16:1-2), and their worship also includes preaching/teaching (Acts 20:7), and praying (Acts 4:24; 1 Thess. 5:17); all just like the simple worship of the first Christians we read about in the New Testament.
Yes, these individuals want to be called Christians only, nothing else. They desire to have the church of Christ today just as it was in the first century (cf. Acts 2:47). It is possible to have simple New Testament Christianity today if we are willing to let God's Word (the Bible) be our only guide. We therefore are inviting good and honest people everywhere (Luke 8:15) to join us in answering Christ's prayer for unity based upon His Word.

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