The church in Christ believes that the words of Jesus Christ are the infallible truth (Jn 17:17). The church of Christ has no creed but Christ and His Word. Because Jesus is perfectly sinless, His words and those of the Holy Spirit are without deceit — inerrant and perfect (Isa 53:9 ff; John 6:63; 2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:22). Jesus gave His infallible Word to His apostles (Jn 15:20; 17:8 ff;; 1 Cor 2:13; Gal 1:11–12). Christ’s apostles wrote God’s revelation forming the New Testament Scriptures. They wrote through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Jn 14:26 cf; 16:13). The first churches collected these Scriptures under the oversight of the apostles in the first century (Jn 16:7–13 ff; 1 Cor 14:37; Eph 3:3–5; 2 Pet 1:16–21; 1 Jn 1:1–4). The church of Christ knows that these Scriptures can make one complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim 3:16–17). The church does not add or take away from God’s Word (1 Cor 4:6 ff; Gal 1:6-12; 1 Pet 4:11; Rev 22:18–19). While Jesus’s words are spirit and life, the Law of Moses and the commandments written on stone brought death and are now obsolete (Eph 2:14-16 ff; Col 2:14; 2 Cor 3:7; Heb 8:13).
The church of Christ stands by the Gospel — the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:1–4). Christians consist of believers who God saved by grace as God raised them with Christ after they have died with Christ to one’s sins and have been buried with Christ in baptism (Rom 6:3–7 ff; Eph 2:4–6; Col 2:12–13). There is one baptism that is in Jesus’s name and is an immersion in water (Eph 4:5 f; Acts 10:47–48). The one baptism is for those who believe, confess faith, and repent in dying to one’s sins (Mk 16:16 ff; Acts 2:38; Rom 10:9–10). This baptism is for the forgiveness of sins by which the Lord adds the saved to the church. These are born again through Christ’s resurrection (Jn 3:5 ff; Acts 2:38, 41, 47; 22:16; Titus 3:5; 1 Pet 1:3; 3:21). Through baptism, one is born of the water and the Spirit having been washed in Jesus’s name. At baptism, the Spirit sanctifies and justifies the believer (1 Cor 6:11). The saved walk in the newness of life and continue in the faith (Rom 6:4 ff; Col 1:22; Rev 2:10).
Love One Another
Christ’s church truly loves God and one another. Christ’s disciples are known by their love for one another (Jn 13:35 cf; 14:21–24 ff; 1 Jn 3:10, 16; 5:1–3). Their love for God includes their love for one another in which they observe all that Christ has commanded (Jn 14:23–24 f, 1 Jn 5:2–3; Matt 28:20). The church loves one another so much that they follow Jesus’s pattern and lay down their lives for one another for there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for another (Jn 15:13; Rom 5:8; 1 Jn 3:16–17). The church gives relief to Christians who are suffering (1 Cor 16:1-3). They love their neighbors as oneself, and do to others as each would have others do to them (Lk 6:31 cf; 10:27). They love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them (Lk 6:27–31).
Christ’s church maintains the name of Christ in identity because Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His body (Rom 12:4–5 ff; Eph 1:22–23; Col 1:18). Being the Head, Christ built the church and bought it with His blood (Matt 16:18 f; Acts 20:28). The church of Christ bears His name as His bride (Acts 20:28 ff; Rom 16:16; Eph 5:22–34; Rev 21:9). Christ is the chief Pastor of His church (1 Pet 5:4). Christ’s Spirit established that elders are to manage their own congregation and are to lead by example (Acts 14:23 ff; 20:28; 1 Tim 3:1–7; 4:14; Tit 1:6–9; 1 Pet 5:1–4). The inerrant and complete Scriptures do not mention archbishops, reverend fathers, church priests, council presidents, senior pastors, popes, leadership by committee, etc. The Scriptures exclude such man-made traditions for adding or taking from God’s Word. These elders are the husband of one wife, have faithful children, and meet specific Christian characteristics (1 Tim 3:1–7 f; Titus 1:6–9). With Christ being the Head, Jesus established the man as the head of the wife (1 Cor 11:3 cf; 8–9 f; Eph 5:22–24). God’s Spirit instructs women to subordinate to their believing husbands. Husbands are to love their wives by nourishing and cherishing their wives giving their lives for them (Eph 5:25 cf, 28–29, 33 ff; Jn 15:13; 1 Jn 3:16). Women are forbidden to teach or rule over men because God created man first and Eve’s sin in the Garden of Eden (1 Tim 2:11–15). Women are forbidden from the commandment of the Lord Jesus Christ to become speakers in the assembly (1 Cor 14:33-40). Even so, both men and women are both one in Christ and share in the same eternal inheritance (Gal 3:28 f; 1 Pet 3:7).
The church of Christ consists of true worshipers worshiping God in spirit and truth. Christians do not worship for show or for display of talents (Matt 6:1–8; 23:4–6; Mk 12:38–40; Rom 12:3–8). These believers worship with their spirit and mind according to the Truth — the Word of God (Jn 4:23–24 cf; 17:17 f; 1 Cor 14:15). Christians are not to forsake the assembly, but seek to come together to worship, edify, and stir one another to love and good works (1 Cor 14:26 ff; Heb 2:12 cf; 10:24).
The church of Christ assembles every first day of the week for the breaking of bread, so they commune with Christ in the Lord’s Supper. The congregation partakes of the Lord’s Supper when gathered together as the whole congregation in the assembly (1 Cor 10:16 cf; 11:17–34; 14:23). The assembly meets every first day of the week — the Lord’s Day — when Jesus rose from the dead (Acts 20:7 ff, 1 Cor 11:20, 33; 1 Cor 16:1–2; Rev 1:10, 13, 20). Churches of Christ follow the example of Christ by blessing and breaking bread representing Christ’s sacrificial body, and they bless and partake of the cup of the fruit of the vine representing Jesus’s sacrificial blood (1 Cor 10:16 cf; 11:17–34 ff; Matt 26:26–29; Mk 14:22–25; Lk 22:19–22).
The church of Christ gives freely without having to follow the obsolete command to tithe (2 Cor 9:6–15 f; Acts 2:44–45 cf; 4:32–35).
The church of Christ sings and makes music in their heart to the Lord (Eph 5:19). They do not use intrumental music because Christ and His apostles never commanded such to be used in the church. All who speak, sing, and pray in the assembly must do so by understandable and meaningful words and not with unintelligible sounds and lifeless instruments (1 Cor 14:7–19). The congregation sings among themselves with one voice in thanksgiving to God and to teach one another (Rom 15:5–6 ff; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).
Conclusion: Caution, not all churches of Christ are the same. Many have deviated from God’s Word, though most keep the name and parts of its doctrine. The true chuches of Christ speak where the bible speaks and remains silent where the bible is silent (Rev 22:18,19). Its only source of truth is New Testament scriptures (Jn 17:17 f; 1 Pet 4:11). They continue in the doctrine of Christ and His apostles (2 Jn 9 f; Acts 2:42). They inherently believe that the old law is abolished (Col 2:14), all scriptures came from the inspiration of God (2 Tim 3:16,17), and that they must rightly divide the scripture through a great study of His Word (2 Tim 2:15). If you are looking for the New Testament church established in the first century, the churches of Christ is the nearest thing to it on planet earth.