Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. Perhaps you are searching for a church home but are unsure of what to look for or maybe someone you know invited you to explore our website. Whatever the case may be for how you ended up at our website, know that it is by no accident.
How many churches did Jesus establish? What must I do to be saved? Do I have to be baptized in order to be saved? All of these questions are important and need to be answered in order for you to be forgiven of your sins. Furthermore, if the Lord were to come right now, would you know for sure that you would go to heaven?
It is our prayer that the information in these sections will provide you with these answers and cause you to examine your relationship with God. We understand that the information in these pages may be new to you. In fact, after reading these pages, you may feel offended or unsure of whether or not you are a Christian. We encourage you to contact us so that we can assist you in understanding God's plan for salvation and His will for your life.
May you be blessed by the information that you read.
How many churches did Jesus establish?
Have you ever thought about all the different religious groups in existence today? So many of them, teaching so many different, even contradictory things, and yet all claiming to be God's church, to be pleasing to God. While our society today values a sincere emotional response as the criteria for what pleases God, this is not what Scripture tells us pleases the Father. Of course, sincerity and feelings are important, but only when they conform to the truth of Scripture.
That truth is God's criteria for what pleases Him and is clear when you examine Scripture, our only sure source of authority. Paul wrote, "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed!" (Galatians 1:8). There can't be a diversity of faiths, of different beliefs, that God has given us, as Jude encourages us to "contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints" (Jude 1:3). John reminded his readers, "Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 1:9).
Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6). He didn't say He was one of many ways, that He offered one of a variety of truths, that there were other lives offered besides what He provided. We must be honest with what He reveals in His Word, the Bible, and consistent with what it teaches. Remember, Jesus told us "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it" (Matthew 7:13-14). So, realizing this, what does the Bible teach about the church? Well, Christ affirmed it would be His church (singular) that He would establish; "upon this rock I will build My church" (Matthew 16:18). In New Testament times, there were no denominations, just the one church Christ died for. In writing to the congregation of the Lord's church in Ephesus, Paul reminded them that Christ was "head over all things to the church, which is His body" (Ephesians 1:22-23). He calls the church of Christ the body. Later in this same letter, he emphasizes there is one body (Ephesians 4:4). So, why are there so many different religions in the world today? Suffice it to say, their origins come from the mind of people, not the will of God. Christ revealed God's truth and by His death established one church. Is it possible to be added by the Lord to His church, as people were in the first century (Acts 2:47)? Can people be Christians only, members of the body of Christ, without being part of a human organization? The answer is yes. Scripture reveals to us what one must do to be saved, what life and worship in the Lord's church must be like, and the hope and encouragement that comes from being in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Let's allow Scripture alone to be our guide in these and all matters spiritually. If we can assist you in learning more about New Testament Christianity today, go to the "Contact Us" page, and let us know how we may help you!
What must I do to be saved?
There is no greater question anyone can ask, than what he or she must do to be saved. On the day the church was established, those who heard the first gospel sermon also raised this very question (Acts 2:37). It is a question that still needs to be asked today.
Before this question can be answered, one must know where to look for the answers. Scripture alone is our authority for matters spiritual. Peter reminds us, "So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place..." (2 Peter 1:19). Paul wrote, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Only the Word of God can definitively answer this most important question.
Scripture first of all affirms to us that everyone has sinned, and we all stand in need of forgiveness. We have sinned, not by inheriting sin from Adam and Eve, or anyone else in our pasts, but by our own actions. John tells us "Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4). Sin is committed when one does what God tells us not to do, or when one doesn't do what God commands. An infant, then, is innocent, as a child is incapable of making such moral decisions. When one matures, understanding right from wrong, but disobeys God, then one sins. Scripture confirms that we have sinned; "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). So, we all need to approach God on His terms for forgiveness, as our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2).
When we seek God's Word, we find He has clearly revealed how we can be forgiven of our sins through His Son, Jesus Christ, who was sent into the world to provide forgiveness for sins (Hebrews 9:28). It begins then, with faith. "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him" (Hebrews 11:6).
Faith isn't a subjective, fuzzy feeling one has, but an objective conviction based on the testimony of the truth of Scripture. "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). Faith is established by the evidence Scripture offers, to the existence of God, of Jesus as the Son of God, and of the truthfulness of what Scripture reveals to us as God's will.
It's on the basis of faith that one must respond to the will of God. For faith to save, it must not remain an inward conviction, but the motive from which obedience comes. It's an obedient faith that saves, as James reminds us, "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone" (James 2:24). Only a faith that obeys God is a faith that can save. "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36).
By faith, then, one must repent of one's sins. To repent is to change one's mind, which results in a change of heart, which leads to a change of life. Repentance is to determine to turn away from sin, and live the way God wants us to. Jesus tells us, "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3).
By faith, one must confess Jesus as the Son of God. Jesus said, "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33).
By faith, one must be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. The word baptize, if correctly translated from the Greek, would instead be "immerse, immersion." In the New Testament, one who was baptized was immersed, not sprinkled or poured. This is seen when Philip and the eunuch "went down into the water" where Philip baptized him, and then by their coming up out of the water (Acts 8:38-39).
Also in the New Testament, baptism always precedes forgiveness, not follows. Jesus Himself told His disciples, "He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved" (Mark 16:16). When he tells the apostles to make disciples of all the nations, they were to do so by "baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 28:18-20). Peter told that group on the day of Pentecost, at the preaching of the first gospel sermon, that they should "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38). Peter later on would write, "Baptism now saves you--not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience--through the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 3:21). Clearly, these passages connect baptism with receiving the forgiveness of sins.
To be baptized for the forgiveness of sins is not earning one's salvation, anymore than faith, repentance, or confession earns one salvation. Each is a response to God's will, to His grace and mercy. Baptism is no more a work of human merit than faith is. Jesus Himself said, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent" (John 6:29). Faith, repentance, confession, and baptism are the work of God. To do what God says is not to earn salvation, but to respond to His will in order for Christ's blood to cleanse us of our sins.
How do we receive the forgiveness of our sins? By faith, when one repents of his or her sins, confesses Jesus as the Son of God, and is immersed, the blood of Christ atones for one's sins. One is then forgiven before God, able to be His child, and have a fresh start spiritually, a hope for eternity.
Do you have questions about God's eternal plan for your life? Would you like more information on this subject, or any Bible teaching? Then go to the Contact Us page and email or write us at the address provided. "Come now, and let us reason together" (Isaiah 1:18).
Worship Schedule Times of Operation
Sunday School 9:30 - 10:20am
Morning Worship 10:30am
Evening Worship 6:00pm
Wednesday Night Bible Study 7:00pm
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT US
Blue Hill Church of Christ
1505 Blue Hill Avenue
Mattapan, MA 02126
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