In Acts 11:27-30 we read of a great famine in Judea which came in the days of Claudius Caesar. We are told of the help sent to the brethren from the church at Antioch: “Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Paul.” (Acts 11:29-30)
Recently there was heavy flooding in parts of West Virginia. We have an opportunity to help through the Church of Christ Disaster Relief Effort out of Nashville, TN. They have already sent a semi-truckload of supplies that the Elkview congregation distributed on June 28. We as a congregation can help with this and other national disasters through this Disaster Relief Effort. If you would like to be a part of this good work, give your gift to Phil.
Remember the words of the apostle Paul, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10)
Paul arrived at Corinth and as was his custom he preached that Jesus was the Christ. (Acts 18:1-11) “And many of the Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized.” (Acts 18:8) This is in accordance with Jesus’ instruction to the apostles: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:16) These Corinthians heard the gospel preached, believed and were baptized. Therefore according to Jesus’ promise they were saved.
In this Bible story of the conversion of the Corinthians there is a conspicuous absence of the “Sinner’s Prayer.” We are told that the many of the Corinthians believed and were baptized but nothing is said about the “Sinner’s Prayer.” In fact the Sinner’s Prayer is not found in any of the stories of conversion in the Bible. In Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost the people were told to “Repent, and be baptized.” (Acts 2:38) The people of Samaria “believed” and “were baptized.” (Acts 8:12) Cornelius and his house were commanded “to be baptized.” (Acts 10:48) Lydia after hearing Paul teach, “was baptized and her household.” Acts 16:14-15) The Jailer at Philippi, after Paul and Silas had spoken unto him the word of the Lord, was baptized in the middle of the night. (Acts 16:31-34) And finally Saul of Tarsus was told, “And now why tarriest thou? Arise and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:16) In none of these Bible accounts of conversion is the Sinner’s Prayer even mentioned.
From where than did the Sinner’s Prayer come? It’s the invention of modern religious teachers. It’s not in the Bible and therefore should be rejected…
Can I be just a Christian? Yes, of course. Anyone who obeys the gospel; that is, anyone who believes, repents, confesses Christ and is baptized for the remission of sins becomes a Christian.
Can I be just a Christian and follow the Bible alone as the only rule of faith and practice – not adhering to any man-made creed? Yes, of course. The Bible is the inspired word of God and provides Christians with all the instructions they need. The Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Men have taken it upon themselves to write out official statements for the faith and practice of Christians. But whether it is called a creed, catechism, discipline, manual, book of order, etc. all such are the invention of men and have no divine sanction.
Are there any people today who are just Christians, who have no creed book but let the Bible itself be their only rule of faith and practice? Yes, of course. There are thousands of just Christians throughout the world. The North Main Street Church of Christ is such a group of people.