The Restoration Movement

Written by Stephen Kingery

Do you know whatrepparttar Restoration Movement is? Do you consider yourself to be a part of this movement? Do you think thatrepparttar 141128 movement is important torepparttar 141129 church? Do you even care?

Please don't think that I am trying to me a smart aleck. I certainly do not intend to be. However, I hope that you can find an answer to each of these questions in this article.

It would not be possible for me to even come close to giving a complete history ofrepparttar 141130 Restoration Movement in this short article. There have been volumes written aboutrepparttar 141131 movement,repparttar 141132 key people who founded it, its underlying principles, and how it has progressed. My aim is to acquaint you withrepparttar 141133 movement and hopefully spark your interest so you will seek to learn more about it.

The Restoration Movement was founded inrepparttar 141134 1800's by such men as Barton W. Stone, Thomas Campbell, and Alexander Campbell. These men, along with others, sought to getrepparttar 141135 church back to followingrepparttar 141136 New Testament as its only source of authority. They also preached against a denominational structure and in favor of local congregations modeling themselves afterrepparttar 141137 churches inrepparttar 141138 New Testament. They spoke in favor of usingrepparttar 141139 Scriptures asrepparttar 141140 only source to determine how one receivesrepparttar 141141 gift of salvation.

I am convinced that most people who attend Christian Churches and Churches of Christ which associate themselves withrepparttar 141142 Restoration Movement do not know what sets us apart from allrepparttar 141143 rest who claim to be Christian. So, what does set us apart?

We strive forrepparttar 141144 restoration ofrepparttar 141145 church, both in unity and practice, on a New Testament basis. The church was instituted by Christ. The church is His! Local congregations (we most often call them churches) are just a part ofrepparttar 141146 church which Christ instituted. If this is true, and it is, then we have an obligation to Christ to patternrepparttar 141147 local congregation afterrepparttar 141148 pattern which is set forth inrepparttar 141149 New Testament. By reading and studyingrepparttar 141150 New Testament we can learn howrepparttar 141151 first churches which came into existence conducted themselves, how they were governed and so forth. Here are a few things we can learn:

"And they continued steadfastly inrepparttar 141152 apostles' doctrine and fellowship, inrepparttar 141153 breaking of bread, and in prayers." (Acts 2:42) They continued steadfastly, or in other words, they did not allow themselves to deviate from these practices. They continued inrepparttar 141154 apostles' doctrine -- they followedrepparttar 141155 teachings ofrepparttar 141156 apostles. We have these same teachings inrepparttar 141157 New Testament. We too can, if we choose, continue to followrepparttar 141158 teachings ofrepparttar 141159 apostles. They continued in fellowship -- they met together as Christians to worship. They continued inrepparttar 141160 breaking of bread -- they observedrepparttar 141161 Lord's Supper on a regular basis. They continued in prayer -- they went torepparttar 141162 Lord in prayer on a regular basis. There are many groups today (over 300 major denominations) who claim to be Christian but have gone away fromrepparttar 141163 teachings ofrepparttar 141164 apostles. Just turn on your television and listen torepparttar 141165 doctrines being broadcast as if they were part ofrepparttar 141166 apostles' doctrine. Such things as infant baptism, sprinkling or pouring as a form of baptism, speaking in tongues, "once saved always saved," salvation by faith only, faith healing, prophesying (as if relaying a message directly from God), denying that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, andrepparttar 141167 list goes on and on. None of these "doctrines" can be found inrepparttar 141168 Scriptures. And if this isn't bad enough, there are other groups who claim to be Christian who denyrepparttar 141169 deity of Jesus Christ or who followrepparttar 141170 teachings of men (latter day saints) who teach things contrary to Christ.

"Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full ofrepparttar 141171 Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;..." (Acts 6:3) The local church is to be governed by deacons and elders, each office having its own functions or duties. This governing group is to come fromrepparttar 141172 people inrepparttar 141173 local congregation not a regional or state governing board as isrepparttar 141174 practice of those in denominations. See also: Acts 14:23, Acts 20:17, 1 Timothy 5:17, Titus 1:5, James 5:14, 1 Peter 5:1-5, and 1 Timothy 3:1-13. "Now onrepparttar 141175 first day ofrepparttar 141176 week, whenrepparttar 141177 disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to departrepparttar 141178 next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight." (Acts 20:7) We inrepparttar 141179 Restoration Movement observerepparttar 141180 Lord's Supper each Lord's Day (the first day ofrepparttar 141181 week) as is patterned in this Scripture.

Not only should we patternrepparttar 141182 local congregation after those inrepparttar 141183 New Testament, butrepparttar 141184 church should be unified. "For as we have many members in one body, but allrepparttar 141185 members do not haverepparttar 141186 same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another." (Romans 12:4,5) Notice inrepparttar 141187 New Testament that allrepparttar 141188 local congregations were givenrepparttar 141189 same teachings. A study of this shows thatrepparttar 141190 apostles consideredrepparttar 141191 church to be unified, that all were obeyingrepparttar 141192 gospel, that all were to obeyrepparttar 141193 commands of Jesus, and that all were expected to conduct themselves inrepparttar 141194 same manner. Are we today to believe that when Jesus returns for His church that He will receive a divided church, a church which teaches different doctrines, a church which has different means by which one may receive salvation, and a church which will not even associate or fellowship with each other? No, He will not! Listen to some ofrepparttar 141195 things Jesus tellsrepparttar 141196 seven churches in Asia as written in Revelation: "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and dorepparttar 141197 first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place - unless you repent." (Revelation 2:5); "... Be faithful until death, and I will give yourepparttar 141198 crown of life." (Revelation 2:10b); "Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them withrepparttar 141199 sword of My mouth." (Revelation 2:16); "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works untilrepparttar 141200 end, to him I will give power overrepparttar 141201 nations-" (Revelation 2:26); "He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name fromrepparttar 141202 Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels." (Revelation 3:5); and "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth." (Revelation 3:16) Please read this entire passage in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. Do we see here a picture of what Christ expects when He returns? He expectsrepparttar 141203 church (you, I and everyone who professes to be a follower of Christ) to be faithful and not following false teachings. If we don't measure up, then we can expect to have our name blotted fromrepparttar 141204 Book of Life.

The Fruit of the Spirit

Written by Stephen Kingery

There are those who claim to be "Real Christians" because they claim to speak in tongues, heal people, or have some other supposed gift. Then there are those who put onrepparttar air of being a "Super Christian" because of their following; such as some ofrepparttar 141103 television evangelists. But neither of these is what real Christianity - being a true follower of Christ and His teachings - is all about. The apostle Paul tells us in no uncertain terms how to identify a real Christian. "Butrepparttar 141104 fruit ofrepparttar 141105 Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self- control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucifiedrepparttar 141106 flesh with its passions and desires. If we live inrepparttar 141107 Spirit, let us also walk inrepparttar 141108 Spirit." (Galatians 5:22-25) A true Christian is one who "walks inrepparttar 141109 Spirit" and hasrepparttar 141110 fruit ofrepparttar 141111 Spirit manifested in their lives.

So, what exactly is each element ofrepparttar 141112 fruit ofrepparttar 141113 Spirit? Notice first thatrepparttar 141114 word fruit in Galatians 5:22 is singular - not plural. We are not talking about "fruits" of which you may pick and chooserepparttar 141115 ones you want to have. They obviously come as a group. You can't have "one withoutrepparttar 141116 others", so to speak. You can't have love without joy, peace, and patience. And you can't have peace without kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. You either have them all, or you have none.


God is love! His love caused Him to create us and allrepparttar 141117 universe. It caused Him to provide for us a Savior inrepparttar 141118 person of Jesus Christ. Love has provided for us God's Word so we may know how to live a Christian life. But love is also a part of us, if we are a Christian.

God's love for us is unconditional and undeserved. Therefore, if we are to have in us Love, it will also be unconditional and unmerited upon those whom we show Christian love. We will not only have love forrepparttar 141119 Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; but we will also love our brothers and sisters in Christ. It will be a pure love not dependant uponrepparttar 141120 favor ofrepparttar 141121 persons whom we love. They will not have to earn it, it will simply be there.

We will love those outside of Christ -repparttar 141122 sinner. We must be compassionate with those who do not know Christ and strive to win them forrepparttar 141123 Lord. To love them is to bring them to Christ.

And we will love even our enemies - or those we perceive to be our enemies. This is perhapsrepparttar 141124 true test of Christian love. To give to those who have hurt us in some manner, regardless of how severe that hurt, true Christian love and compassion. To want what is best for them, to pray for them, and to forgive them for their transgressions.


Christian joy is notrepparttar 141125 excitement we feel when we purchase a new car or accomplish some difficult task. It is notrepparttar 141126 rush we get when a perceived danger is past. And it is notrepparttar 141127 happiness we feel as we plan an interesting and exciting vacation.

Joy comes from God. It is that quiet sense of well-being we have as we lay our heads down onrepparttar 141128 pillow at night knowing that God will watch over us. It is that sense of belonging when we consider that we are a child of God - we are His child. To know that we have a Father who loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die onrepparttar 141129 cross for us, joy is that realization. And finally joy is a taste of Heaven, but only a taste. Heaven will be full of joy. Allrepparttar 141130 thoughts and feelings of joy we can have here on earth will be multiplied thousands and thousands of time in Heaven.


I don't know about you, but after I came to know whatrepparttar 141131 Word of God had to say aboutrepparttar 141132 future of those who do not accept Christ, I had a lot of fear in my life. It took me several weeks to musterrepparttar 141133 courage to take that first step for Christ. But after I had taken that step and was buried inrepparttar 141134 watery grave of baptism, I had forrepparttar 141135 first time true peace.

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not asrepparttar 141136 world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

I thinkrepparttar 141137 song writer says it very well; "There's a quiet understanding." It isrepparttar 141138 understanding that God, His Son, andrepparttar 141139 Holy Spirit are there for us. Our Heavenly Father to watch over us, His Son to intercede for us, andrepparttar 141140 Holy Spirit to guide us. With this "quiet understanding," we can truly have peace in our lives.


Longsuffering (or patience) is alsorepparttar 141141 mark of a true Christian. In my job as an administrator in public education, there are many trials I must endure. I have colleagues who say, "I can't believerepparttar 141142 patience you have. How do you do it?" Actually it is not me that does it, but ratherrepparttar 141143 guidance ofrepparttar 141144 Holy Spirit that makes it possible.

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