“And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,” Matthew 16:18. T
he Bible is clear that by virtue of our belief and obedience, the Lord will add such as should be saved to His Church (Acts 2:38, 47). What we must understand today is when we obey the gospel message and Christ adds us to His Church, He is not adding us to any group of men who “claim” to be believers or followers of Christ. Instead, Christ adds us to His Church, His Body. Christ came and established His Church, meaning He established one body. In Acts 20:28, the Bible states Christ purchased His Church. In Ephesians 1:22- 23, the Bible says Christ is the head of the Church, which is His body, of which there is only One, Ephesians 4:4. Yes, the Bible teaches there is only one Church, and that Church is Christ’s Church, and only the saved are in His Church.
Today religious confusion runs rampant throughout the world. There are thousands of denominations with countless contradictory doctrines. Christ did not bring this mass confusion to the world. However, Satan with his angels has divided us from God by casting upon us countless doctrines and denominations of man (1 Timothy 4:1). At Brown Trail, we ask that everyone will pick up their Bibles and examine our lives, worship, and plan of salvation, organization, names, etc. to the written word of God. Compare these items to the New Testament church as found in Scriptures; and understand, if where you worship is different from scripture, then know Christ did not bring in this mass confusion. Man did! And now it is our responsibility to restore that which Christ established upon this earth. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit with one of our elders, deacons, or men here at Brown Trail.
“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved,” Acts 2:47.
Before Jesus ascended into the heavens, the apostles asked if now was the time for the restoration of the kingdom, Acts 1:6. Jesus responded, "It is not for you to know," Acts 1:7. As Christ was returning to heaven, He commanded the apostles to stay in Jerusalem (Acts 1:4). In Acts 2, the apostles were gathered together on the Day of Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit fell upon them (2:1-4), which led them to preach the gospel to the crowds that gathered around them. During this great event, 3,000 souls were baptized into Christ (2:41) for the remission of their sins (2:38), and the Lord added them to His church (2:47).
Notice in the historical account that when Peter and the other apostles were preaching God's words, those who obediently accepted the message repented and they were baptized for the remission of their sins; and at that time, Jesus added them to His church. Please notice in Acts 2, there was no special council that decided a person’s fate. No one took a vote. There were no special classes or schools one had to attend to enter the Church. There was no special futuristic day they waited on to schedule and perform their baptisms. There was no waiting for some special man to visit to immerse them or place them in the church. When they obeyed the gospel message, Christ added them to the church. Now, just as then, human beings have no right to stand in your way or prevent you from following the pattern left behind in the book of Acts. You can be in Christ’s church today simply by performing the same series of actions as described in Acts. And nowhere described in Acts or anywhere else in the New Testament did the church vote you in or not. Here at Brown Trail, we understand our role and Christ’s role in adding a person to the Church. The Church belongs to Him. Only He has the right to add to those who are His.
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” Mark 16:16.
Paul through the Holy Spirit wrote that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). The religious world today promotes several types of baptism. Which baptism is THE baptism Paul described?
The Bible clearly states that baptism involved water. John baptized in Aenon because there was much water (John 3:2). When Jesus was baptized (Matthew 3:16), He came straight up out of the water. When Philip taught the official from Egypt, the official said, “Here is water. What is to keep me from being baptized?” (Acts 8: 37). After the baptism, they both came up out of the water (Acts 8:39).
The Bible clearly states that baptism is a burial. Paul declares, “We are buried with Him by baptism” (Romans 6:4). He repeats this fact in Colossians 2:12 when he writes that we are to be buried with Christ. Our sinful selves must be buried with Him, encountering His blood (Revelation 1:5), and having our sins removed (Acts 22:16). The Greek word for ‘baptism’ is ‘baptizo’ which means immersion.
Jesus became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey (Hebrews 5:9). Who do you trust for your eternal salvation--Jesus or religious leaders who have changed the meaning of baptism hundreds of years after Jesus’ life? At Brown Trail church of Christ, we strive to do Bible things in Bible ways. If God said baptism was a burial, then that settles it! Please feel free to contact any of our elders and deacons if you have a question about baptism or your salvation.