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The church of the New Testament is the kingdom foretold in Old Testament prophecy. Jesus promised to build this church or kingdom, and it was established on Pentecost Day of Acts 2 (Matt. 16:18-19; Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:1-47). Those who believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, repented of their sins, confessed Jesus, and were baptized for the remission of sins were added by the Lord to this church (Acts 2:38; Mark 16:16; Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 2:47). As the gospel spread, Christians formed local congregations.


These churches were part of the kingdom or church Jesus built. They were ideally organized with elders who served as overseers and deacons who served under them (Acts 14:23; I Tim. 3:1-13; Phil. 1:1). These congregations met on the first day of the week to worship God and to edify and exhort one another (Acts 20:7; Heb. 10:25; I Cor. 11:17-34). When doctrinal questions arose, they looked to the apostles' doctrine as the apostles were guided by the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-13; I Cor. 14:37). When sin threatened the congregation, they were to put away the wicked members in hopes they would repent (I Cor. 5; II Thess. 3:6, 14-15). In their personal lives, these Christians were to do good unto all men, especially to other Christians (Gal. 6:10). Their love for each other was to identify them as Jesus' disciples (John 13:34-35). They were not to be rebels in society but were told to submit to authority. Children were to submit to parents (Eph. 6:1-3), wives were to submit to their husbands (eph. 5:22-24), servants were to obey their masters (Eph. 6:5-8), members were to submit to elders of the congregation (Heb. 13:17), and all were to obey the laws of the land (Rom. 13:1-7). These Christians, however, did not condone evil and false religion.


They rebuked wickedness (Eph. 5:11), and they contended for the gospel against error (Jude 3). The Lord said to preach the gospel to every creature, and this is what they did (Matt. 16:15; Col. 1:23). These early Christians suffered and were persecuted for their faith just as Jesus was persecuted (II Tim. 3:12). The hope that sustained them was their faith in the promise of eternal life and the second coming of Christ when the heavens and earth will be destroyed, the dead will be raised, all men will be judged, and heaven and hell will be the final abode of the souls of men (John 5:28-29; II Pet. 3:1-12; I Cor. 15; II Thess. 1:6-10; Matt. 25:31-46).


Though the apostles have long since died, we have the God-inspired Scriptures given by the Holy Spirit to guide us (II Tim. 3:16-17; II Pet. 1:3). We have the same teaching that the churches in the New Testament had, and our goal is to follow this doctrine and to be the kind of churches and the kind of Christians the Scriptures teach us to be. That is our aim at the West End Church of Christ. We are human and we are certainly not perfect, but we have a perfect Book and we serve a perfect Savior, and by His grace we press on during this brief life toward a better and lasting home.

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