Back To The Foundation

Dan L. Smith

The goal of every Christian should be to do what pleases God. Our relationship with God is "what it is all about." The direction of many in the Lord's church is not good. Many have left the foundation that God gave us in His Word. The truth is what the world needs.

We need to remember who we are, and what we should continue to be before the world. Some who once stood for God's plain plan of salvation no longer stand for it. When I was 13 years old, yes, 57 years ago, I saw the ice, 6 inches thick, cut to baptize a young man. I heard this man in a discussion about 5 years ago make this statement, "God's grace will save a man on a desert, who believes in Jesus, and there is no water to baptize him." Jesus said, "The truth will make us free." John 8:32.

Some of our influential men in the church no longer preach this truth. Jesus came to this earth to save us, and, in the process, promised to build His church. The plan of salvation is too plain to misunderstand, and His church can be identified in His Word. The foundation of the restoration movement is still sound, "Speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent."

Jesus plainly said, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved." Mark 16:16. One cannot misunderstand this unless he or she has help. The plan, as Jesus gave it, is still needed for the world today, and will last until the end of time. God gave us an entire book, the book of Acts, where this is carried out, and scattered this truth throughout the entire New Testament. Truth teaches that if people will repent of their sins, confess their faith in Jesus Christ, and be immersed in water for the forgiveness of their sins, God will add them to His church. (Acts 2:47) If you are reading this article and you have never obeyed Christ, you can do just as the 3,000 did in Acts 2. God could not have made it plainer than when a man, who prayed for three days and nights, and his sins were still not forgiven, was told, "Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins."(Acts 22:16) To deny this truth is to deny Christ himself. (Matt.10:32-33)

What an honor to be a member of the church of Christ. It is not just another denomination. The church should wear the name of her builder, Jesus Christ. Some have taken the name of Christ out of their group, and it is good they have, because when they fail to teach the message of Christ, they cease to be His church.

Many have destroyed the foundation of the Lord's church in regard to the worship. Jesus said our worship must be in spirit and in truth. John 4:24 The church in the New Testament observed the Lord's Supper on the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7) To observe the Lord's Supper on any other day is to destroy the very foundation of the church. God has ordained singing in the New Testament church. (Heb. 2:12) In the discussion I mentioned earlier, where the ice was cut and the young man was baptized, one of the men from that group said, "We do not use instrumental music in our worship, but we can't condemn those who do, if they have everything else right." No, but God does. His Word teaches us that our worship will be in vain if we follow the traditions of men. (Matt.15:9) We need to remember, when we change God's plan of salvation, or His plan of worship, we cease to be His church.

God's people gave on the first day of the week. 1 Cor. 16:1-2. The Lord's people, generally, are liberal with their finances. We are a giving people. We have done a pretty good job in teaching our people to be faithful and to support His work with their finances, but we need some more teaching to get our people to share the message of Christ with friends and neighbors.

Someone has said, "Only 3 % of the members of the church ever personally lead one to Christ." We have some beautiful methods to help us share the gospel of Christ. We can just sit around the kitchen table and read the scriptures. Just to read those beautiful examples of conversion in the book of Acts is a great way to teach a friend. We have a great responsibility to share Christ with our friends. You can give a good tract to a friend or put one in every envelope when you pay your bills.

May God bless us as we get back to the foundation, in regard to every aspect of the Lord's work. -15556 Rt. 322, Clarion, Pa. 16214.


Return to West Virginia Christian