INTRODUCTION

Before this time almost all Christians had believed in the one true Church – the Church of Christ, being the only way of salvation; but due to the new waves of Penticostalism, material inducement by the orthodox Churches, present economic situation in the country with its attendant problems and the dwindling faith of some Christians, some are confused as to whether to go or remain, hence the OBJECTIVES of this lesson are to:

  • Reinvigorate the faith of Christians which is now weak.
  • Build up strong faith in the new converts that uniqueness of the Church goes with salvation.
  • Encourage non-members to believe in the Church of Christ as the only way of salvation.
  • Arm members with the deeper knowledge as to the founder origin, doctrine and beliefs of the Church of Christ as being different from the so called Christian churches.
  • Dispel false conception by non-believers that the Church of Christ is a denomination or established by Alexander Campbell or a breakaway from a denominational church.

DISCOURSE:

The uniqueness of the Church of Christ would be considered under the following headings:

  • Prophecy concerning the Church and her founder:

Gen. 3:15 (Gal. 4:4), Deut. 18:18-22 (Matt. 17:5; John. 1:45; Acts 3:22-23; Matt. 16:18;Eph. 2:20-22

  • Prophecy concerning the place of establishment – 1:16, Isa. 2:2-3 (Lk. 24:46-49, Acts 1:6-8, Acts 2:1-47.
  • The destination of the Church – Heaven
  • Christ is the head and savior of the body – Eph. 5:23, John 14:1-3, Heb. 12:22-23
  • The doctrines and the beliefs of the Church: Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  28:19.  What did the Apostles teach?
  • Entrance into the Church through baptism – Mark 16:16, Rom. 6:3-4
  • Prayer:

–           Pray always – Eph. 6:18

–           Pray without ceasing – I Thess. 5:17

–           Pray with faith – John 15:7, Jas. 1:5-8, Jas. 5:13 – 15 (Mark 2:2-5).

–           Men authorized to pray always where men and women gather together – 2Tim. 2:8 and women not to usurp the authority of men in teaching and leading in the Church vs. 11-15, I Cor. 14:34-35.

–           Prayer without unnecessary repetitions and puffing up – Matt. 6:5; 6:9-13

–           Long prayers portray lack of faith except in some special circumstances –

John 11:41-42 (short prayer) John 17:1-26 (long prayer)

  • Prayer should magnify the power of God and not that of Satan. Not to strike fear into Christians but dispel (during marriage, burial etc).
  • Assemblies should not be chaotic during prayers (all praying at the same time)
  • Confusion in prayer now by some – multiple Amen, interjection by the audience, invoking curses on the perceived enemies.
  • It believes that the miraculous manifestation carried out by the early Christians had ceased.
  • How did it work? Through the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Baptismal measure to the Apostles – Acts 2: 1 – 4
  • Other disciples got this power through the laying on of hands by the Apostles – Acts 6: 1 – 3, 4 – 5, 6 – 8
  • Those who received the power through the laying on of hands by the Apostles could do miracles but could not impart same power to others – Acts 8: 1 – 5,6,7, 14 – 17
  • Paul desired to go to Rome and to impart the power of the miraculous manifestation to them – Rom. 1: 11 – 12
  • How is the Holy Spirit working in us today?
  • We have indwelling spirit
  • We walk by faith and not by sight 2Cor. 5: 7
  • What does John 14: 12 mean?
  • What does Mark 16: 17 mean?
  • Comment on this by Peter Afangideh in his book ‘Restoring the walls of Jerusalem’ page 18, 19, 20
  • Singing

We always sing unto God with our voices without mechanical instruments – Eph. 5: 19, Col. 3: 16, Heb. 3: 15

Examples of singing in the New Testament Church without instruments of music – Matt. 26: 30, Acts 16: 25.

Declarations of some religious leaders concerning

mechanical or instrumental worship

 

  • John Calvin – outstanding as one of the founders of the Presbyterian Church: “Musical instruments in celebrating the praises of God would be no more suitable than burning of incense, the lighting up of lamps,and restoration of the other shadows of the law. The papists, therefore, have foolishly borrowed this, as well as many other things, from the law”–John Calvin’s commentary, Thirty third Psalm.

 

  • Adam Clarke, the greatest commentator of all time among the Methodists: Music as a science, I esteem and admire; but instruments of worship in the house of God I abominate and abhor.  This is abuse of music; and here I register my protest against all such corruptions in the worship of the Author of Christianity – Clarke’s commentary, Vol. IV, P. 686.

 

  • John Wesley, the reputed founder of the Methodist Church, is quoted by Adam Clarke to have said: “I have no objection to instruments of music, in our chapels,provided they are neither heard nor seen” Clarke’s Commentary, Vol. IV, Page 686.

 

  • Martin Luther, a distinguished reformer, “called the organ an ensign of Baal” McClintock& Strong’s Encyclopedia, Music, Vol. VI., Page 762.

 

  • John Knox, Scottish reformer, “called the organ a ‘kist’ (chest) of whistles – McClintock& Strong’s Encyclopedia”, Music, Vol. P. 762.
  • Charles H. Spurgeon, recognized as the greatest Baptist preacher that ever lived, preached for twenty years to thousands of people weekly in the Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, London, England, did not have musical instruments in the worship – M. C. Kurfees, Instrumental Music in the worship, P. 196.
  • Modern Commentators:
    • Dr. Curt Sachs of Columbia University, one of the most eminent musicologists in America has said, “All ancient Christian music was vocal … Baxter, opcit. P. 11.

 

    • Dr. Frederic Ritter says,we have no real knowledge of the music which formed a part of the religious devotion of the first Christian congregation. It was however purely vocal–History of Music from the Christian Era to present time, Quoted in James M. Toller Instrument music in worship P. 13.
  • S. M. Jackson, Editor-in-chief, The New Schaff – Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge Vol. VIII, P. 257“Organ” says “… the organ .. was rejected in early Christian circles.  McClintock and Strong  observe:  “The Greek word PSALLO is applied among the Greeks of modern time exclusively to sacred music, which in the Eastern Church has never been other than vocal; instrumental music being unknown in that Church as it was in the primitive Church.

Comment by Peter Afangideh on this – ‘The Restoration of the Walls of Jerusalem’ pages 26 and 27


UYO TOWN CHURCH OF CHRIST, 20 PAUL BASSEY STREET, UYO
SUNDAY SCHOOL FOR THE MONTH OF JANUARY, 2017
BY NKEREUWEM U. AKPAN(ELDER)