Summary: The goal to be simple, New Testament Christians and to strive to be like the New Testament church is something that will lead to Christian unity and pleases God.


A. I like the story told of the man who was shipwrecked on a beautiful, deserted South Pacific island.

1. Five years later, he was discovered by a passing naval ship.

2. Upon their arrival at the shore the rescue party was met by the shipwreck survivor.

3. He said, “I'm so glad you’re here! I’ve been alone on this island for more than five years!”

4. The captain asked, “If you’re all alone on the island why do I see three huts.”

5. The survivor said, “Oh. We’ll, I live in one, and go to church in one.”

6. “And what about the third hut?” asked the captain.

7. The survivor said, “Oh, that’s the church I used to go to, but I don’t go to that church anymore.”

8. I wonder why he didn’t go to that church anymore…did he get cross-ways with himself?...did he get upset with the direction the church was going?

9. Truth is, some people change churches from time to time for many different reasons.

B. Let’s begin this morning with some important questions that all of us need to be able to answer.

1. Why have you chosen to be a part of the church of Christ that meets here on Wetzel Road?

2. Do you understand who we are as a church among the many hundreds of kinds of churches in the landscape of Christianity?

3. Do you understand that we are not trying to be just another of the many kinds of churches with just a little different flavor?

a. In other words, we are not trying to be the “Burger King” of churches while others are “McDonalds” or “Wendy’s” – with all of us just being hamburger joints with different names?

4. Do you realize that there are significant and fundamental differences that set us apart that need to be understood and embraced?

5. And, of course, the ultimate question is does any of this matter to God?

a. Does God care about the differences among churches?

6. Or is God’s attitude: “Variety is the spice of life?” “Whatever” “To each his own!?”

C. Let me state as concisely as I can who I am trying to be as a Christian, and what I understand we are trying to be as a church: We are simply trying to be Christians who belong to the church that we read about in the NT.

1. Our goal is to be a people who owe allegiance to one Lord and to His instructions only, and we show that allegiance by calling ourselves by His name – Christian – we are Christ’s followers.

2. We are simply members of the church that He established and built according to His blueprint.

3. Christ is the founder of the church and it was purchased by His blood (Mt 16:18).

4. Christ was and is the foundation and the head of the church (1 Cor. 3:11; Eph. 1:22,23).

5. The NT contains the instructions God wanted the church to have with regard to worship, organization, lifestyle and mission.

6. By following those instructions only, we are Christ’s church; the church that belongs to Christ.

D. Unfortunately, many churches over the centuries have departed from NT teachings about many things - from sexual ethics to leadership organization; and from mission to membership.

1. This should not surprise us since the Apostle Paul warned Timothy and us that this would occur (This is something we talked about last week in our first sermon from this new series): “For a time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Tm 4:3-4)

2. History records the many departures from NT principles and patterns that have occurred over the years.

3. As I said last week, you can find a church today that will teach whatever you want to hear.

4. I firmly believe that there have always been simple, NT Christians somewhere, throughout all times since the beginning of the church.

a. Many of these simple NT Christians had to meet in secrecy, and did not have the benefit of easy access to the Scriptures, and yet they remained faithful to the simple, uncomplicated doctrines of Christ and His church.

5. But then with the invention of the printing press in the 15th century, and its ability to produce mass copies of the scriptures in the common language, people began to read their Bibles and many people realized how far their churches had drifted from the original church of the NT.

6. Leaders arose during that period calling for reformation of the church and others called for more than reformation, they called for the restoration of the original church.

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