Bible-based | Christ-centered | Family-focused | Mission-minded
Jesus said He would build “His church” in Matthew 16:18-19. We are striving to be that church! To do this, we are simply following the examples and patterns of those first century disciples that we find in the New Testament.
Consider Acts 2:42,47, 20:7; Romans 16:16; 1 Cor 16:1-2; Ephesians 4:4-6.
The church of Christ that meets at Margaret Street is a unique place with a unique people (1 Peter 2:9). We are your neighbors, friends, family members, and fellow co-workers within your community. This warm, friendly, diverse, and growing family consists of younger, older, and in-between ages who are all trying to follow Jesus and seek to “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7), as His church.
God’s way is not complicated, so we use the Bible to guide us in all religious matters. Thus, you will find that in all of our sermons, Bible class lessons, and all our special activities, we seek to only “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). Above all, we desire to exalt and glorify God in everything that we do.
This is a question we often receive. The simple answer is, “No. We are not a denomination.” A denomination is a part, or portion of an original, or base, but is not the original itself (like a quarter is part of a dollar, but not a dollar).
Ephesians 4:5 says that that there is only “one body … one Lord, one Faith and one Baptism.” This clearly indicates that denominationalism is unscriptural because there cannot be multiple bodies, nor multiple ways for being saved (as is taught by many other religious groups). So, what is that “one body (the church)? It is the one described in the New Testament; the first and the original. That is the church model we are trying to follow and replicate. Therefore, you could more accurately call us “pre-denominational,” because those man-made institutions arose long after Jesus and His apostles had established His church.
We strive to be the church Jesus said He would build (Matthew 16:18). To do this, we are following the example and pattern of those first century disciples we read about in the New Testament.
The One Body. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, “… I will build my church …” There are several things to note about this passage. First, it would be built by Jesus. Second, it would belong to Him. He called it “my” church. Thirdly, notice He said church, in the singular sense, not plural, as in “churches.” All of this harmonizes perfectly with Ephesians 4:4-5, which says, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
So, any church that was started by someone other than Jesus, or who carries some other name that is not His or His Father, cannot be the church described in the Bible. The fact that there is only one church (also called “His body” in passages like Colossians 1:18) teaches us that there is a singular institution that He established. Thus, it is impossible to have some 45,000 different “churches” all claiming to be His one true church! There is only one. His. The church of Christ strives to follow that very principle. Jesus is the head of the church and we call it by His name (Rom 16:16).
An Acts 2 Church. So, when and where did Jesus build His church? The answer is found in Acts chapter two. After Jesus had ascended back to heaven, and Peter preached the first Gospel sermon, many people wanted to become a part of this new church. Acts 2:37-47 shows us the beginning of Jesus’ church. “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47). That was the day that the church of our Lord was inaugurated. From that day forward, until today, people are still being added to that same church, in the same manner as those first converts were. It started in Jerusalem, on that Day of Pentecost (around 33 AD), and then begin to spread all around the world (cf Acts 8:4, 13:3ff). Many of the epistles of Paul, Peter, and John address people who belonged to the Lord’s church but were part of congregations in various locations (Acts 11:26; 1 Cor 1:2; Gal 1:2; Rev 3-4).
New Testament Christianity. All throughout the New Testament, there are commands, descriptions and examples that help us identify the church that Jesus built. The religion of the Old Testament was Judaism, which was intended for the Hebrews (the children of Israel) and they adhered to the “Law of Moses” (1 Kings 2:3). Jesus did away with that Old Law (cf Gal 3:24; Col 2:14) and Christians now follow the “Law of Christ” (Gal 5:18, 6:2). It regulates everything about Christianity and the church. The church of Christ that exists today, such as the one that meets at Margaret Street, is simply trying to follow the New Testament and example of the first century Christians.
If the first Christians, having been led by Jesus’ apostles and the Holy Spirit, demonstrated what to do as His church, then we can confidently respond by replicating what they did. Therefore, we meet to worship and partake of the Lord’s supper on “the first day of the week” just as they did in the first century (cf Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2). We have various members who serve as elders (1 Tim 3:1-7; 1 Pet 5:1-4), as deacons (1 Tim 3:8-13), evangelists and teachers (Eph 4:11). We try to do ALL religious things in Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names. So, what is the church of Christ? It is the church that you can read about and identify in your Bible. We’re trying to be that church!
Our Teachings. In all of our sermons, all our Bible class lessons, and all our special activities, we seek to “speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). Above all, we desire to exalt and glorify God in everything that we do: in our worship, our service, our individual lives, our families, and our community (Ephesians 3:20-21).