The answer is quite simple. We believe in the New Testament scripture as the absolute Word of God, plain and simple. We read the scripture to say that we are not to add or to take away from the Word of God. Yet many denominations (translate that "flavors") do just that. We believe that we are an accurate illustration of what the New Testament church should be.
To dispute that some might say that there is no way to illustrate a continual lineage of members from the time of Christ to the present, therefore the church of Christ cannot be the legitimate New Testament Church. No one has ever made the claim that the modern-day church of Christ is part of a continual lineage. Were that a reasonable argument, no modern-day church could make the claim of legitimacy either. But Christ established His church and kingdom in the first century A.D., and in Acts 2:41 the first christians were added. Since Christ has not yet returned, no other denomination could have been established as being THE New Testament church.
In the beginning, there was but one church, that being the church that Christ built through His life, death, and resurrection. Man has for myriad reasons over time strayed from the Word and the result is the great variety of "flavors" of church worship that we see in the world today. Ephesians 4:5 tells us that there is only one acceptable church in the eyes of the Lord and that there is only one true plan of salvation given us by the Lord.
So, only a congregation that follows the New Testament completely can legitimately call itself a part of THE New Testament Church (it matters not by what name the church is called, however since the purpose of the church is to give all glory and honor to Christ, why would it want to be called anything other than the church of CHRIST?).
Therefore, in a room filled with representatives from all of the world's religions and denominations, only one could be representative of the TRUE New Testament Church. That would be the church which is obedient to New Testament scripture (all of it). If there is one Lord, one faith, and one baptism, then it must be painfully obvious that there is only one New Testament Church and one acceptable means of worship.
That having been said, then one might ask, "Which is the right way of worship?" For that answer one must search the scriptures as they were written nearly two thousand years ago. The references contained on this page are taken from the New King James Version.
San Jacinto church of Christ adheres to no man-made doctrine. Rather we turn only to the New Testament for direction in worship. We simply state that in order to be a part of the New Testament church, a congregation must adhere to the Word of God singularly and totally! To do otherwise is to be a man-made church, unacceptable in the sight of God.
Acts 2:38 tells us clearly what we must do in order to be saved. We must repent and be baptized for remission of sin. John 3:5 is another example.
Since we must then accept that we must be baptized for the specific purpose of remission of sin, our line of thought must be then, "What is the required baptism?" Since the baptism of Jesus is the only baptism we may choose for ourselves, and the acceptance of Christ as our savior must be of the free will, the baptism of Jesus (immersion water baptism) is the only answer. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is NOT something we can choose or decline.
Every indication throughout the New Testament is that the baptism of Jesus was an immersion baptism (death and burial of the "old man", and resurrection in like manner as Christ)( Romans 6:3-4). We can see this by the fact that every instance of baptism in water is made in reference to some body of water that is large enough to accommodate immersion. On the other hand, if something other than immersion was acceptable, then baptisms could have been performed with whatever amount of water happened to be on hand at the time.
Some might say that the church of Christ does not believe in being saved by God's grace, that they believe that only water saves. But Romans 3:24 clearly links the concepts of grace and redemption. So then, how does one access the redemption that is in Christ Jesus? The answer is "obedience."
Some would say that the church of Christ does not believe in being justified by faith. But Galatians 3:24-27 illustrates that justification through faith comes only after being baptized into Christ. Further, Romans 6:3-4 and Colossians 2:12 clearly link faith and baptism. We are to submit ourselves to baptism as repentant, confessing believers, having faith in the operation of God. If we have not been baptized into Christ, then we have not 'put on' Christ. Surely then it must be obvious that one cannot show true faith without complete submission.
The church of Christ is continually misunderstood. The church of Christ believes itself to be an accurate picture of the New Testament church. We believe that it is necessary to be baptized in order become a Christian. This does not mean that we believe that the water itself saves! Nor does this mean that we believe that baptism alone saves!
Additionally, we do not and cannot profess to speak for all churches of Christ. We can only state that which we believe for ourselves that the Bible teaches. Likewise, there is no doctrine written out for the churches of Christ to follow besides the New Testament, so no other so-called church of Christ can profess to speak for the San Jacinto church of Christ.
Most of the misunderstanding of anyone's position on anything seems always to come from a failure to: #1 - Communicate, and #2 - Personally Investigate. Too often opinions are formed based on heresay or third-party accounts of incomplete information. Sometimes misunderstanding comes from a failure on our account to answer intelligent questions properly. But whatever the case, we all must do better.
Another common misconception is that the church of Christ does not believe in the Old Testament. The fact of the matter is that the Old Testament contains the Word of God with just as much validity as does the New Testament. The difference is that when Christ died on the cross, we were no longer under the old law, but rather the new law.
Romans 15:4 clearly refers to the writings of the Old Testament. We have strongly shown that we take to the New Testament in its completeness, so how could we just throw out Romans 15:4. Well, we don't.
Also, much of the New Testament is unclear without reference to the Old Testament. Hebrews 12:16 tells us not to become a profane person like Esau. But, how could one know the meaning of this without first having learned what Esau did from the Old Testament?
Jesus even told us to remember Lot's wife. James instructs us to pray like Elijah. There are some things to be learned from the Old Testament, but certain things cannot be learned there:
Hebrews 10:9-10 show that the old law has been replaced by the new. We, who live on "this" side of the cross have been sanctified by the new covenant by taking advantage of the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all.
Galatians 3:24-25 tells us that we are no longer under the tutor (the old law) now that there is justification by Christ through faith.
It is sometimes wrongly said that churches of Christ do not believe in the Holy Spirit. The fact of the matter is that the Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit converts sinners. The Holy Spirit lives in Christians. But the sword of the Spirit is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17). Thus, by this sword, this tool, the Spirit operates among men today and by no other way. So, we are not waiting for a miracle, rather we strive to allow the Word of God to live in our hearts and minds, directing our lives.
Another misconception is that we do not believe in salvation by grace. Ephesians 2:5 "by grace ye are saved" would be tough to explain if that were true. It would seem that some would insist that we cannot believe in salvation by grace since we believe that there are other things that we must do in order to take advantage of that grace. Yet we do believe just that! It is true that there are other things that we must do in order to take advantage of that grace.
These misconceptions can only find remedy when we all make up our minds to go to the New Testament to GET our doctrine rather than to PROVE our doctrine. Acts 17:10 refers to more fair-minded peoples who continued to search the scriptures daily to see if the things that were being told were true. Why aren't we all like that?
Why should we accept what some preacher says without checking it out? Why would we place the hope for something as important as our eternal salvation in the words of a man? Rather, we should place our hope of salvation in the Word of God! ...not the Word of God as amended by the words of man, but the complete, solitary, and perfect Word of God as it was handed down through the Holy Spirit two thousand years ago!
Won't you come and learn the truth about the Word of God? If you would like someone to contact you, please send us an e-mail, write, call, or even drop by and see us. Perhaps you have a special request, or you might desire the prayers of the congregation.
Acts 2:41 "Then those who gladly received His word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added unto them"
Acts 8:4 "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word."
Romans 16:5 "Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.
Colossians 4:15 "Greet the bretheren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house."
Acts 16:15 "And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, 'If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.' So she persuaded us."
Ephesians 4:5 "One Lord, one faith, one baptism."
Acts 2:38 "Then Peter said unto them, 'Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Christ for remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'"
John 3:5 "Jesus answered, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God."
Romans 3:24 "being justified freely by His grace throught the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,"
Galatians 3:24-27 "Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
Romans 6:3-4 "Know ye not, that as 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."
Colossians 2:12 "Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead."