Scripture teaches that man’s only hope of eternal life is through the saving grace of God delivered through Jesus Christ, his Son (Titus 2:11-14). The Bible further explains that one must be “in Christ” to receive this saving grace. Christians are said to be “blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). If every spiritual blessing is “in Christ,” it is true to say there are no spiritual blessings outside of Christ. Therefore, in order for one to enjoy any spiritual blessings, he must be “in Christ.” To be in Christ means to be an obedient disciple of Christ. One cannot be “in Christ” without obeying God’s conditions for salvation. His conditions are:
- You must learn the saving message of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice on the cross (1 Corinthians 1:18).
You must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24).
You must confess Jesus Christ as your Lord, Lawgiver, and King (Romans 10:10).
You are commanded to repent of your sinful conduct (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30).
You are to complete your initial obedience to the gospel by being baptized in water for the forgiveness of your sins (Acts 2:38) (1 Peter 3:21).
At the point of water baptism for the forgiveness of sins, you are cleansed from your sins by the blood of Christ and placed “into Christ.” Indeed, the Bible speaks of being “baptized into Christ” (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3). Those who are “in Christ” compose the body of Christ. Christ is “the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18). Since being “in Christ” means being a member of the body, and since the body is a synonym for the church, those who are “in Christ” are in Christ’s world-wide Church. Christ’s Church is composed of those who have been saved from sin through the blood of Christ (Acts 2:47). The universal Church is truly a blood-bought body of believers.
When one reads the New Testament, he is introduced to only one body, or Church (Ephesians 4:4). This Church is composed of individual congregations or “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16) that believe the same essential doctrines (plan of salvation, pattern of worship, standard of morality, etc.), and have the same hope (1 Corinthians 1:10; Philippians 1:27). This is the body, or Church, that Jesus will save (Ephesians 5:23). The New Testament condemns denominational division and appeals to all believers to be unified in the truth of God’s word (John 17:17, 20-21). Therefore, the believers at Linder Road seek to be undenominational and to be identified only with Christ.