The Bible - God’s Guidebook For Pleasing Him
The Bible is no ordinary book! Without a doubt, it is the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), and its purpose is to reveal God’s Will to man (1 Corinthians 2:11-13). With the Bible as our guide, we can understand what God expects of us, and how we can be a part of His group of people—the church. All we have to do is carefully follow the instructions in the Bible, and we can duplicate the church that we read about in the New Testament.
“I will build My church…”
Jesus promised: “...I will build My church...” (Matthew 16:18). Any church that claims to belong to Christ should be the same as the one we read about in the Bible. Anything else is...something else.
Soon after Jesus ascended back to heaven, He made good on His promise to build His church. When the people first heard Jesus’ apostles preach His saving gospel, “those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” (Acts 2:41). The church Jesus had promised to build had been established that day. “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47). Notice that the church is made up of people who are being “saved” (Acts 2:47; cf. Ephesians 5:23). Christ, the founder, is “...head over all things to the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22-23). His church “headquarters” is heaven, where Jesus Christ was on the day His church was founded...and where He rules today.
Who May Become a Member of His Church?
Since the church is made up of those who are “being saved,” how does one become a saved person who is added to the Lord’s church? The Bible tells us, clearly and plainly, what one must do to be saved. To put it simply, one must believe and obey the gospel (Romans 1:16).
Just like those who were first added to the church, it starts when we hear the Word of God (Acts 2:37; 2:41). Hearing God’s Word will cause us to believe (Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:6; Acts 2:37; Mark 16:15-16). We then need to repent of (change our minds about and turn from) our sins (Luke 13:3; Acts 2:38), and confess our belief in Jesus as the Son of God in front of others (Matthew 10:32-33; Romans 10:9-10). Finally, we need to be “baptized...for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-7). It is at the point of baptism for the remission of sins, that we stop being lost and start being saved. And then, the Lord adds us to His church (Acts 2:47).
The church that meets at 3440 NE County Road 340 in High Springs, FL is made up of people who have carefully followed the New Testament pattern for salvation. They are people who have been “purchased” with the blood of Jesus Christ (Acts 20:28), and have been added to His church (Acts 2:47), having fellowship in the worldwide family of God.
The church that meets at 3440 NE County Road 340 is a small collection of people—members of God’s family—who have chosen to work together in this area. “Family” members in other locations have also joined together for similar purposes, just as they did in the first century. Following the Bible’s plan, local congregations—just like the church at 3440 NE County Road 340 in High Springs, FL—exist all over the world.
We are Simply Christians
The Bible tells us about people who are added to the church.
1. Disciples—“...the number of the disciples was multiplying...” (Acts 6:1).
2. Believers—“And believers were increasingly added to the Lord...” (Acts 5:14).
3. Christians—“And the disciples were first called Christians...” (Acts 11:26).
Members of the Lord’s church are all three: disciples, believers, and Christians...not members of any man-made denomination. Their work is for the Lord—instead of for the glory of some human organization. Christians claim to be “of Christ” and they closely follow the principles taught by Jesus and His apostles. This includes:
1. The way they live daily—what they say, do, and think.
2. The way they worship God, both in public and in private.
3. The way they respect God’s Word—and His silence—as shown in the Bible.
The New Testament does not reveal any denominational organization. As the gospel spread, Christians formed congregations in various locations. Congregations did not join together with other congregations organizationally. Each congregation was independent of other congregations.
The church at 3440 NE County Road 340 in High Springs, FL follows this pattern of simple Christianity found in the Bible. We are simply Christians. We do not report to any “headquarters” on earth, and we work independently of other groups of Christians.
What Will We Do in His Church?
“…to Him be glory in the church…”
God is glorified when the purposes that He intended for the church are accomplished. The Bible reveals those purposes...and we should follow them as the New Testament pattern for the church’s work and worship.
The New Testament disciples shared the good news about Jesus— they “went everywhere preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Just as those first century Christians did, we at the church here want to tell the world about Jesus too. We believe that the gospel is “the power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16), and so we are excited about sharing this message with those around us. Our efforts as a church include:
1. Personal outreach by our members (Acts 8:4).
2. Financial assistance to preachers in other areas of the world (Philippians 4:15-16).
3. Financial support to local preachers (1 Corinthians 9:13-14).
The New Testament does not reveal any evangelistic organization larger than the local group. The Christians who meet at 3440 NE County Road 340 in High Springs, FL do not presume to “improve” on God’s plan, and so we practice this same kind of local autonomy.
The church you can read about in the New Testament was a worshipping church (Acts 2:42). The worship of those early disciples was something to participate in...not something to watch.
The assemblies for our worship at the church at 3440 NE County Road 340 are simple, spiritual, and orderly. Each way in which we express worship to God finds its origin in the clear commands and examples found in the Bible. The worship includes:
Songs of praise, instruction, and encouragement are sung from the heart by all who assemble together (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Since the New Testament specifies singing music in worship and is silent about the use of instruments, all we do is sing.
Simple and understandable studies from the Word of God are presented to teach and build faith (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 2 Timothy 4:1-4).
These are times to speak to our Father together, in which we make requests, offer praise, and give thanks (Acts 2:42; 1 Thessalonians 5:17).
The Lord’s Supper
This is a special meal of unleavened bread and fruit of the vine eaten by the Christians gathered together every first day of the week in memory of Jesus’ death (Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34).
A collection is taken up from among the members of the church each Sunday to accomplish the work of the church (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
The New Testament church was a church that met the needs of their members, even to the point that they “...sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” (Acts 2:44-45).
The Christians at 3440 NE County Road 3440 want to help each other. We consider it our responsibility—and honor—to “serve one another” (Galatians 5:13), just as Christ Jesus served us. We care about one another, both spiritually and physically; and so we share our prosperity with those among us in need, and serve each other in any way that we can.
New Testament disciples were united together—they “were of one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32), which is exactly what Jesus had prayed for concerning His disciples (John 17:20-23). And because they were so united, they did things together—“continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart” (Acts 2:46). These early Christians understood their need—primarily for the Lord—but also for one another as spiritual family.
Just as close, caring families provide support and encouragement to one another, so also the Christians at 3440 NE County Road 340 are committed to a “family” environment that builds up and unites every member. We are family! And so, each individual Christian in the group is expected to provide spiritual encouragement to one another...and especially to those who are new Christians.
Unity is a primary goal for us. As the Bible instructs: “...you all speak the same thing and that there be no division among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Our unity is not based on a compromise of the Truth, but is rooted in Truth.
Christians in the first century made efforts to follow Jesus and to grow to spiritual maturity in Christ—“they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine...” (Acts 2:42).
The Christians who meet here at this location are committed to walking in the steps of Jesus—“For to this you were called…an example that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21). We do this by teaching the necessity of moral purity and the obedience to Bible instruction in all areas of life.
To us, as believers, we understand that the Bible tells us all that God wants us to do; because: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We provide Bible teaching in worship assemblies and in Bible classes. Our classes are designed to accommodate age groups and special topics. The objective is to help all members grow in knowledge and application of the Word.
You are Welcome at Our Next Service
The church that meets at 3440 NE County Road 340 is committed to following the New Testament and being a New Testament church. We acknowledge that Christ Jesus is the Head of the church and the Lord of every member. We have no creed, but Christ; we obey no book, but the Bible. We worship and serve God in the same way the early disciples did. We are simply a congregation, or church, that belongs to Christ.
Here is what you will find in this church:
Evangelism — a FOCUS for living
Worship - a FORCE for living
Service - a FUNCTION for living
Unity - a FAMILY for living
Discipleship - a FOUNDATION for living