The Marks Of Identity Of The New Testament Church Are Plain And Simple: —
I. Jesus Christ was the builder, head, foundation, and poss- essor of it. (Matt. 16:18; Col. 1:18,24).
II. It was established on the first Pentecost after the Lord’s resurrection from the dead, in the city of Jerusalem, the record of which is found in (Acts 2).
III. Men of God proclaimed the facts of the Lord’s death, buri- al and resurrection (Acts 2 – 3 -13 – 17; 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
IV. The proclamation of these facts was intended to cause men to believe, for no man culd please God without faith (Heb. 11:6; 2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 10:17).
V. When men had been brought to believe they were then commanded to repent of their sins (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 17:30)
VI. Men were obligated to confess their faith in Jesus Christ as being the Son of God (Matt. 10:32; Lk. 12:8; Acts 8:37; 1 Tim. 6:13; Rom. 10:9,10).
VII. Men were commanded to be baptized in water for the re- mission of their sins (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 10:48).
VIII. This baptism put one into Christ, into the Lord’s church (Acts 2:41,47; Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27).
IX. In Christ, brethren wore the name “Christian” because it was divinely given and because it gave honor and glory to Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26; Jas. 2:7; 1 Pet. 4:16; Acts 4:12).
X. The church was referred to as being the church of the Lord and the the church of Christ (Acts 20:28; Rom. 10: 16).
XI. In their worship they taught (2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Pet. 3:15; Matt. 28:19,20): the sang (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; 1 Cor. 14:15): they prayed (Lk. 18:1; Jas. 5:16; Acts 2:42; 1 Thes. 5:17): they observed the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week as is shown by consideration of Acts 20:7 together with 1 Cor. 16:2.
XII. As a matter of duty and to help others they contributed of their means every first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:2).
XIII. They had no creed but Christ, and no book but the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Jno. 9; Gal. 1:8,9; 2 Cor. 5:7; Rom. 16: 17 .
These are the marks of the New Testament church. In Lk. 8:11 the Lord taught that the seed of the kingdom is the Word of God. Every seed brings forth after its own kind. The seed of the kingdom in the first century produced Christians and Christians only; members of the Lord’s church only. The same seed sown today will produce the same kind of crop. To produce something else, some other type of seed must be sown. But God forbids the sowing of anything else (2 Jno. 9; Gal. 1:8,9).
In order to be a New Testament church we must do what was done in the days of the apostles. We must teach what was taught then. The church of Christ is pleading with all its power for a complete return to simple New Testament Christ- ianity. We teach exactly what the Bible teaches, all of what the Bible teaches, and only what the Bible teaches. If we don’t then we are not a true church belonging to Christ. We are to wear the name the Bible gives and worship God accord- ing to the divine pattern. We have no creed but Christ, and no book but the Bible. We call Bible things by Bible names, and do Bible things in Bible ways. We endeavor to speak where the Bible speaks and to be silent where the Bible is silent. In no other way can we be the true New Testament church.
By Roy Deaver in Just A Moment, 9/25/54 via The Instructor.