Frequently Asked Questions

Are you a Protestant Denomination?

No. There are approximately 6 Christian denomination types (most people only think of two, Catholic and Protestant); we do not qualify as any of them. Instead, we are an exact model of the church established in Acts 2 and the First Century AD. We have no roots in any denomination, although many denominations originated in the church of Christ.

Why is your name "Church of Christ"?

This is less of a name than it is one of several descriptions used in the Bible to describe Christ's church (Romans 16:16, I Corinthians 1:2, II Corinthians 1:1, I Thessalonians 1:1, Hebrews 12:23). The word "Church" means body, and we desire to be the Body of Christ (Romans 12:5, I Corinthians 12:27). It makes sense that we would reject any other name, since "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12). The name "Cornelius" is only meant to designate our location, as being distinct from any other groups in our area called the church of Christ.

How are you organized?

In the New Testament, local churches were comprised of members who identified one another as brothers and sisters. Even Jesus Himself identified Himself with other believers in that manner (Matthew 12:49-50). In the New Testament, believers in Jesus Christ are called Saints, Christians, or Children of God. We know that the universal church had apostles and prophets in the first century (Ephesians 2:20), who founded the church and left us the New Testament. We are also told that local churches were given elders and deacons and evangelists and teachers. These works are accomplished by members of local churches. These works are not titles of office, but works accomplished by local members. Elders (also called Pastors, Overseers and Bishops in the New Testament) oversee local churches. Deacons assist in the operation of the local church. Evangelists (also called Preachers and Ministers in the New Testament) preach the word, both to believers and unbelievers alike.

Do you believe only the Church of Christ is going to heaven?

Absolutely; it is likely that if you are part of a church, you do too. Consider that it is the case today that most churches either call themselves by the name of Church of God or Church of Christ (such as the Mormon Church, Apostolic Churches, Assembly of God, or Mennonites) or they still hold that they are a church of Christ, including the Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Methodist Church, and the Presbyterian Church. Very few people who claim to be Christian deny that only those who are members of the Body of Christ are sanctified (Hebrews 10:10). Paul made it clear that any church founded by a man cannot save (I Corinthians 1:12). So most churches that are not universalist in doctrine would probably agree, only those who are with Christ are saved. So a better question is "Do you believe you are the only Church of Christ". There can be other churches of Christ, but not as any kind of denomination, which is defined as something of another name. We believe that any church that is modeled after the first century church of Christ is Christ's church. This can be identified and confirmed in that the Bible is the only source of doctrine (Romans 6:17, I Timothy 1:3, 6:3, II Timothy 3:16, II John 1:9), Christ is the only head (Ephesians 5:23), Elders/Bishops in each congregation are the only overseers, and only of their congregations (Titus 1:5-9), and believers are determined or saved not by men but by obedience to God's pattern of salvation. They call themselves by no other name but the name of Christ (I Corinthians 1:13), both personally (I Peter 4:16) and as a church (Romans 16:16, I Corinthians 1:2).

Do you believe you are saved by Faith or by Works?

The Bible is clear that we are not saved by Faith alone (James 2:24) nor by Works alone (Titus 3:5). We are saved by Faith that is demonstrated by works (Hebrews 11, James 2:26). Both James and Paul tell us this by using the example of Abraham and his obedience to God's commands (James 2:21-23, Romans 4:9). Paul uses Abraham to show that God called his action Faith, and said it was his Faith that saved him, while James points out it was called Faith because he performed what God commanded. We teach just as the Bible teaches it: we are saved by Faith, but Faith is defined by our performing what God has commanded (which are the works James speaks about). Sometimes we are asked why Paul seems to tell us works are not valuable for righteousness in Galatians or Romans; when Paul speaks about the "works" or "works of the law", he is always speaking about the works of the Old Testament Law of Moses. If you look in passages in Galatians, Romans or Ephesians, you will see he speaks about Old Law requirements that are not required to be kept by Christians. Ironically, many of the people who espouse salvation without works turn to the Old Law for justification on modern doctrines.

Why do you teach so much about baptism?

We try to give the doctrine of baptism (Hebrews 6:2) as much attention as the New Testament intended (it is mentioned in the New Testament nearly 100 times). To that end the New Testament taught that it was the place where sins are removed (Acts 2:38), where men called on the Lord (Acts 22:16), where people are born again (John 3:5), the point of salvation (I Peter 3:21), and the point where we receive our first, spiritual resurrection (Romans 6:3-6, Revelation 20:6). It must be preceded by faith (Mark 16:16), a confession of Christ (Acts 8:36-37), and repentance (Acts 2:38). It must be followed with a devotion to Christian living (II John 9, Revelation 2:10).

Why do you not have musical instruments in worship?

The first century church did not use them, but instead sang without accompaniment (in musical terms this is called a capella). The only command from God for music in the church is to sing (Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, James 5:13). The only examples by Christ or the apostles was of singing (Mark 14:26, Acts 16:25). To add musical instruments would be to add to what God has instructed us (II John 9, Revelation 22:18). In some cases churches use the Old Testament as justification for using musical instruments; if we use Old Testament examples for New Testament worship, we will have a serious problem. If we turn to the Old Testament for our justification, we are required to live by all of it (Galatians 5:3, James 2:10). We do not teach that musical instruments are of themselves sinful, but the Bible teaches that adding to what God has authorized for worship is sinful.

Why do you not use the Old Testament?

It is untrue to say we do not use the Old Testament, since it was given for our understanding (Romans 15:4) and is of great profit to study. However, it is true to say that the Old Testament is no longer God's law, since it was nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14), and is no longer in effect (Romans 6:14-15, 10:4). Our new law/covenant/testament is the Law of Liberty (James 1:25, 2:12), or the Law of Christ (Romans 8:2). Christ said this law was the entirety of all that He has commanded (Matthew 28:20) and all that His apostles say on His authority (Matthew 18:18, Ephesians 2:20, II Peter 3:2). This is called the New Testament. Jesus died to create a new testament (Romans 7:4-5) or covenant (Jeremiah 31:31/Hebrews 8:8-13, Hebrews 7:22); it makes invalid His death to attempt to return to the old one (Galatians 1:6, 3:1-4; 3:20-26).

Why do you not support institutions/organizations that do good works?

We do not teach that human organizations/institutions are wrong; if anything, we should support them as individuals. The situation is that a local Church has no authority to financially support human organizations. The Bible shows absolutely no example of the first century church giving money to support or help any group of people other than Christians; to the contrary, there are commands and examples of individuals doing just that (Acts 10:2, James 1:27). God commands the individual Christian to do good to all men, especially those of the brotherhood (Galatians 6:10).

What do you teach regarding marriage, divorce and remarriage?

Because of the abundance of false teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage, we find it necessary to iterate that we stand with the Scriptures on this issue. Jesus taught that "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). According to the New Testament, only one who has never been married, one whose spouse has died, or one who has put away a sexually immoral spouse may marry. Jesus states that remarrying without those considerations creates a circumstance of adultery (Romans 7:1-3).

Can a Christian lose their salvation?

There is a doctrine called "Eternal Security" ("once saved always saved") that stipulates that once someone becomes a Christian they can commit any number of sins and not become lost. This is in complete contradiction to the Scriptures, which in 46 places in the New Testament speak clearly that once saved we can "fall from Grace".

Are demons around today?

Demonic possession is not recorded in the Old Testament, but only in the age of Jesus and the Apostles. We know from places such as Job 1 that demons can only operate by God's permission. Therefore, their presence in the first century was authorized and pertains to the work of Jesus and the Apostles.

We are told in the New Testament that demons were present for two reasons: (1) to demonstrate that Jesus and the Apostles were casting out demons by the power of God, not Satan (Matthew 12:24-26), and (2) to demonstrate that the Kingdom of Heaven had come with the power to overcome Satan, and by extension, death (Luke 11:20, Heb. 2:14). With both of those authorities met, demons no longer serve any purpose being loosed. Demons themselves seem to understand their time on earth was limited, as seen in Matthew 8:29.

Today there are doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1), demonic wisdom (James 3:15), and idols, which are based on demons (1 Corinthians 10:20). Demons still have an impact in some spiritual manner, but they do not manifest themselves as they did in the New Testament.

What is a covenant?

God has throughout all time engaged with mankind through covenant relationships. Jesus died to end the prior covenants and His blood purchased the new covenant.

Do you accept contributions?

It is our desire to continually provide spiritual resources free of charge to everyone. This page is NOT a request of funds from any who use our site. We believe that the hearing of God's word and receiving spiritual resources must be free. This site and all of its resources are completely free for use and distribution. We never charge for sermons or materials and we never will. Those who are members of the Grape Street church of Christ set aside and give each first day of the week, as described in 1 Corinthians 16:1-2. We see giving back to the Lord as a wonderful blessing given to us by God.

If you are not a member at the Grape Street church of Christ and desire to contribute, you are welcome to do so. Please know that we will use the funds you give to continue to spread the gospel not only in the Medford area but wherever we have the opportunity and ability. We again want to emphasize that this site and its resources are completely free to use.

We take great joy in knowing that you find this website useful for your spiritual growth and walk with God.