What is the church of Christ?

There are many different churches across the religious landscape. Each of them is distinct in name, doctrine, and practice.

You may have heard of a church of Christ. It is possible you know someone who is a part of a church of Christ. Is this just another denomination like all the rest? Or is it different? What is the church of Christ?
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From time to time, the question arises as to whether or not one who has been baptized needs to be baptized again. This is an important question to answer given the emphasis the New Testament places upon baptism. Some may be quick to point out that we do not read of a second baptism, or “rebaptism” in Scripture. But the fact that a second baptism is not mentioned does not automatically mean that the practice is unauthorized. However, since it is not specifically mentioned, we must consider certain principles to help us answer the question.
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Looking at the Big Picture

The sum of Your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160).

Considering only one verse to prove a point can be dangerous. Many verses, when taken out of context, have several plausible interpretations. But if we settle on one interpretation without considering the sum of God’s word, we can easily find ourselves with an improper understanding of God’s will. Consider the following example with reference to salvation:
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Constants in a Changing World


This world is full of constant change. Many things come and go, whether they are people, cultures, governments, trends, or fashions. Yet the writer of Ecclesiastes noted, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). The changes we see are just perpetual cycles that exist in this world. But in the midst of the changes we face in this life, there are certain fundamental truths that will always remain constant.
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What Is Baptism?


Baptism is discussed numerous times throughout the New Testament. There are also different baptisms that are mentioned. John the Baptist mentioned three baptisms – the baptism of John, the Holy Spirit, and fire (Matthew 3:11). In his letter to Corinth, Paul made reference to baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29). There is also the baptism that is done in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:38). It is this baptism that is repeatedly referred to in the New Testament as being applicable to men today (Matthew 28:19; Acts 10:48; 19:5).

Many people have various opinions about baptism. Some believe baptism is unnecessary because they believe we are saved by faith alone. Others believe baptism is merely a confession of faith – an outward sign of an inward grace. Some see baptism as necessary for gaining membership into a local church, but that one is already saved before being baptized. Still others believe that baptism is for the remission of sins and through it one gains entrance into the universal church. It is important that we understand what baptism is. Part of our “platform for unity” is the “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). Let us consider what the New Testament teaches about baptism so we can unite around that teaching.
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A False Sense of Security

The prophet Amos said, “Woe to those who are at ease in Zion and to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria” (Amos 6:1). Amos was prophesying of the coming judgment against the nation of Israel. Despite the warnings, the people felt at ease. They believed they were safe and that nothing could happen to them. Yet they were not safe. They had a false sense of security.

Just before this he spoke of the “day of the Lord” (Amos 5:18). Throughout Scripture, this phrase is used to denote judgment – punishment of the wicked and reward of the righteous. Those who were “at ease” and felt “secure” (Amos 6:1) would look forward to this day. The righteous should always look forward to the day of the Lord. Yet these people had no reason to look forward to it.
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Quenching the Spirit

Near the close of Paul’s first epistle to Thessalonica, he gave several brief exhortations. One of these was the instruction, “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19). What does it mean to “quench the Spirit”? The Greek word that is translated quench means to extinguish, or put out. This makes us think of extinguishing a fire. The word of God is compared to a fire elsewhere as Jeremiah described it as “a burning fire shut up in my bones” (Jeremiah 20:9).

We should also remember that the gospel is “the power of God for salvation” (Romans 1:16). To “quench the Spirit” is to remove the power from the gospel. After all, the revealed word is the product of the Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13; John 15:26-27). The gospel is designed to convert the lost and edify the saved. Quenching the Spirit prevents these things and, ultimately, will cause us to forfeit our salvation. So we should look at how we are to preach so as not to quench the Spirit. How do we “quench the Spirit”?
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