- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Thursday, 05 August 2010 09:59
In some respects yes, the Church of Christ and the Gospel Hall both hold to doctrines about the church that are based on the example of the early believers in Acts and the teachings about the church in the Epistles. The name of the church comes from the Bible, not a denomination. The manner in which the meetings are conducted is also taken from the Bible. For example, the breaking of bread is done regularly; the women are silent in the meetings; the singing is for the congregation without instrumental accompaniment; there are elders in each congregation accountable to each other etc. etc.
However, the people I have met from the Church of Christ usually point to their baptism as when they were saved. Although all of the people at the Gospel Hall, if they are part of the fellowship, were baptized as believers, they don't depend on their baptism to make them saved. Instead, they have a moment sometime earlier in their life when they realized how their sin made them condemned before God and that Christ did all the work to save them from eternal fire. At that time they received Christ as savior and received the assurance of eternal life. "He that believes on the Son has everlasting life, but he that does not believe on the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him." (John 3:36).
You can see some examples of this salvation moment at the Personal Stories section of the page. For example:
Rosa and her Son Jesus find Christ
At the Church of Christ, Acts 2:38 is the basis of security of the believers - "Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins".
So while the two groups agree on many aspects of the church, they are preaching two completely different messages in regards to salvation: Should one have faith in Christ's work alone or trust in one's obedience in baptism and doctrines of the church?
In matters of the doctrines of the Church, we believe that although they are important, they are not what make the determination for having eternal life. A person will go to heaven trusting in Christ's death for sins even if he gets other doctrines wrong.
In regards to interpreting Acts 2:38, we would teach that Peter wanted his audience to repent in order to be saved and then to be baptized as a way to tell the world that they had just been saved. Repenting and being baptized are mentioned in the same breath in this sermon which leads one to ask the question "Are both a requirement for salvation?" However other scriptures clarify that a person is saved through faith and then demonstrated through what he does later. For example, Peter in a sermon one chapter later (Acts 3:19) says that repenting and being converted are the proper responses to the message of the cross. "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out..." Why not mention baptism if it is essential?
For more views about what is taught about salvation, see the section: FAQs about Salvation