Vol.II No.VIII Pg.5
September 1965

The Unchanging Church

Robert F. Turner

Somewhere there is a church which is not man's church but is the church of (belonging to) Christ. Christ said "I will build my church -- " (MAT.16:18). Christ thought the church important for He purchased it with His own blood (ACT.20:28). Christ is head of His church, His body; and He is head of and purchased only one body, only one church (COL.1:18 EPH.4:4).

Christ's church was established ca. 33 A.D.; the first Pentecost after the resurrection of our Lord; in Jerusalem; by the Apostles; Peter being their spokesman; the H.S. speaking through them (MAR.9:1; LUK.24:46-49; ACT.2:). For the first time, now the church is spoken of as actually being in existence (ACT.2:47). In all kindness -- any church established at any other time, at any other place, or by any other authority is not, nor could it be the New Testament church.

Throughout the NT we find a record of the work and worship of this church. At its beginning those who believed the gospel, repented of their sins, and were baptized, were "added to the church" ACT.2:26-42,47). Then they "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" ACT.2:42). They "sang praises unto His name's honor and glory" (EPH.5:19; COL.3:16). Thus, their worship consisted of teaching, singing, Lord's Supper, giving of their means, and praying (cf. 1CO.16:2).

Their work was self-edification (1CO.14:4,23-26) benevolence (ACT.6:, 2CO.8:) and spreading the gospel (PHI.1:5,4:15; 1TH.1:8). The polity, or government of the NT church, speaking of the church as a whole, might be called an "Absolute Monarchy". Christ was its head, the King of Kings, and "all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" He declares (MAT.28:18). This means that when women and men meet together and change or make new laws or doctrines for the church, they are usurping the authority which belongs to Christ. As a single congregation, the church is to have overseers, "elders and deacons" (PHI.1:1) but their authority is never to extend over more than one congregation, and they are subject always to Christ.

As a "creed" or "discipline" the NT church uses nothing more nor less than the NT itself. It will "thoroughly" furnish us unto "all" good works (2TI.3:15-17). It must not be changed, and to do so is to disobey God (cf. REV.22:18-19).

Names for the NT church are given in ACT.20:28; ROM.16:16, etc. The church belongs to Christ, not to the members of it; therefore it should wear the name of Christ, not a name which indicates it is the Christian's church.

At 40th. and N. Capitol Ave. there is a congregation of the church..

The above is a tract which I wrote in 1940, while preaching in Indiana. If that's "anti" or "new" doctrine I can at least claim some consistency. With a few citation changes & using more applicable scriptures) I stand right there today.