ABOUT US: The aim of the North Sparta church of Christ is to glorify God in the way He wants to be glorified. As it is written, "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." (Eph. 3:21) To do this, we hold carefully to the Scriptures as the complete and inspired guide (2 Tim. 3:16-17). In "holding fast the sound words" revealed to the Apostles by the Holy Spirit, we are able to truly abide "in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 1:13).
WORK OF THE CHURCH:
Jesus gave His blood to build & purchase the church (Mt. 16:18; Acts 20:28). This church is also called His kingdom (Rev. 5:9-10) and His body (Eph. 1:22-23). The express mission of the church is to be the "pillar and support of the Truth" (1 Tim. 3:15). Thus, we focus on spreading the Gospel, edifying the saints (Eph.4:12) & under certain Biblical conditions God permits the church to assist needy saints (1 Tim. 5:3-16). Other passages warn against involving the church in activities outside of & beyond these revealed activities (1 Cor. 4:6; 11:34; 1 Tim. 5:16; Etc.).
WORSHIP OF THE CHURCH:
Jesus revealed that in order to worship God acceptably, we must worship "in spirit and Truth" (John 4:24). Sincerity alone is not enough. Nor should we think that just doing what is right is enough. We need both elements to be pleasing to God. We must direct our heart & actions into the way that God revealed. When man worships in a selfish or self-pleasing way, rather than God's way then God is not pleased. Many today come to worship thinking of what pleases them, what is enjoyable to them, how fun it will be, etc. While we should enjoy worshipping God, this attitude has gone beyond enjoying what God has revealed into changing what God has revealed. For example, when man teaches as their doctrine the precepts of men, Jesus says such worship is vain or "empty" (Mt. 15:8-9).
In the New Testament we read of believers continuing stedfastly "in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). Thus, we study God's word in our public assemblies & in our homes. We have spiritual fellowship in the gospel, by giving of as we have been prospered on the first day of each week (1 Cor. 16:1-3; Phil. 4:15-16) so the work may continue. We break the bread of the Lord's Supper on the first day of every week, in order to examine ourselves and remember the death of Christ (1 Cor. 11:17-34; Acts 20:7). We "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). And we also raise our voices to sing praise unto God (Eph. 5:19). While it is common practice among many today to add more "exciting" things into worship, we content ourselves with these things that are revealed in the Bible rather than adding to or taking away from God's word (Rev. 22:18-19).
ORGANIZATION OF THE CHURCH:
Jesus Christ is the head of His church (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23). Thus, we have no Pope, no director, no synod or council to oversee the church of Christ. Christ Himself directs us through His own word. The largest organization revealed in His word is the local assembly. In 1 Peter 5:1-3 we read of elders whose rule or oversight must be according to God's word, not according to their own will. Their oversight is limited to "the flock of God which is among you" (5:2). Elders in one congregation have no authority over another congregation.
Again, there are many different practices today. The "spirit of lawlessness" is working hard to create division and confusion today, just as it was in the New Testament times (2 Thess. 2:7). But in order to walk by faith and have true unity, we must abide in the things that are revealed (1 Cor. 4:6; Eph. 4:1-6; etc.). To go beyond this is to err (2 John 9-11).
MEMBERSHIP OF THE CHURCH:
The word of Christ says that we must hear the Gospel & believe in Jesus as the Son of God (Mk. 16:16; John 8:24). The kind of faith required by Jesus for salvation is the same kind of faith Abraham had (Rom. 4:3). If we would follow Abraham's example, then we must "also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham" (Rom. 4:12). Abraham's faith was a living, active, obedient faith. Obedience of faith is not the same as trying to earn salvation (Rom. 4:2), it is instead trusting submission to God. Thus, when we read about repenting of our sins (Acts 2:38), confessing Jesus as God's Son (Rom. 10:9; Acts 8:36-37), and be immersed in water for the remission of sins (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Pet. 3:21); we are not reading about works of merit or works that earn our way into Heaven. Instead, we are reading about a test of the quality and kind of our faith. Is our faith one that genuinely is yielding to God, trusting Him? If so, then our faith will move us to do that which God has revealed.
In obedient faith, Colossians 2:11 says "the body of the sins of the flesh" are put off from us. Paul goes on to say that when we are "buried with him in baptism" we are "risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead" (2:12). The result is that those who were "dead in sin" are "made alive with Him" and "forgiven of all trespasses" (2:13). Baptism is not a work of Satan. Baptism is not a work of men. Nor is it even a work of the Law of Moses. It is "through faith" and is "the operation of God". It is when God saves us from our sins.
There is more to examine concerning Jesus and His church. We invite you to look through the available lessons on our website as well as to ask questions by sending us an e-mail. In everything we will stick to the rule of speaking where the Bible speaks and being silent where it is silent (1 Pet. 4:11). If you are in our area, we invite you to worship God and study His word with us. If you need help finding a congregation in your area, we will do what we can to assist you.
May God richly bless you. May His Truth enter your heart and direct your steps. Praise be to Him who loved us all and gave His Son to suffer. Glory be to the Son of God, the Lamb that was slain, Who conquered sin and death. Praise be to the Spirit, who revealed all Truth so that we may be saved in living faith.