Volume 19, Issue 33 (August 13, 2017)
Who Are We?
By Kyle Pope
If you are reading this and are unfamiliar with us, allow us the opportunity to introduce ourselves. Olsen Park church of Christ is a warm congregation of Christians in Southwest Amarillo, Texas. We are simply Christians seeking to follow the Bible as our sole guide.
What We Believe
We believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:19-21). It was revealed to mankind as a guide for all things having to do with our lives and how we worship God (Psalm 119:105; 2 Peter 1:2-4). The Old Testament teaches us how God set apart a people unto Himself in order to bring Jesus, the Christ and Savior of the world (Galatians 3:22-25). The New Testament is the revealed New Covenant of Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 31:31-34; John 12:47-48). It is the whole, complete, and final revelation of God and the pattern and guide for all things in this age (Galatians 1:8,9; 1 Corinthians 14:37; 1 Timothy 3:14-15). It is the Bible that reveals to us the joyous plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ by which we can be saved from our sins and receive eternal life with God in the age to come (2 Timothy 3:14-15; Romans 1:16; 1 Timothy 4:8).
When You Worship with Us
When you worship with us you can expect a simple and friendly service focusing on Scripture and based upon the pattern found in the New Testament. We believe that the New Testament reveals how Christians worshiped in the first century, and we seek to follow that pattern. In following this we sing songs of praise and devotion to God (Colossians 3:16; Ephesians 5:19). We pray to God, in the name of Jesus (Acts 2:42; John 14:13). We teach and study the Bible (Acts 20:7; Acts 17:11). Each Sunday we partake of the memorial of Jesus’ death, known as the “Lord’s Supper” (Acts 20:7; Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 11:20, 23-26). Finally, each Sunday our members are given the opportunity to give back to the Lord a portion of the material blessings He has given to us (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). Visitors are not expected to contribute. This is a responsibility of the members here at Olsen Park.
The Bible tells us that when Jesus came He promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18). The Greek word ekklēsia, which is translated “church” refers to a body of people called out for a given purpose. In His death, Jesus purchased with His blood the “called out” people who look to Him for salvation from sin (Acts 20:28). When this glorious message of salvation was first preached, the Bible tells us that the Lord added to this church those who accepted and obeyed this message of the “gospel” or “good news” (Acts 22:47). The Lord’s church, as described in the New Testament was not splintered and divided, but was “one body” following “one faith” (Ephesians 4:4-6). Religious division was condemned (1 Corinthians 1:10). It is our aim to be nothing more and nothing less than simply a congregation of Christians who are members of the Lord’s church. We are not a part of any denomination. We are not Protestant, Catholic, nor Jew—we are simply Christians.
When the Lord established His church He set down the organization by which individual congregations were to be led. Every church was to select men from within the congregation in accordance with qualifications that are set down in Scripture (Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). This group of men is referred to by several names that each describe the nature of their work. They are to be “bishops” or “overseers” (Gr. episkopos) who watch over the souls of the members of the congregation (Acts 20:28; Philippians 1:1; Hebrews 13:17). They are “elders” or “presbyters” (Gr. presbyteros) who are older in the faith, leading by their example (1 Peter 5:1-3; 1 Timothy 4:14). They are the “shepherds” or “pastors” (Gr. poimēn) caring for and spiritually feeding the flock (Acts 20:28; I Peter 5:2; Ephesians 4:11). The men who serve in this capacity at Olsen Park have been appointed in accordance with these qualifications and strive to diligently fulfill this work.
The New Testament teaches that in addition to elders, congregations of the Lord's people, appointed servants referred to as "deacons"(Philippians 1:1). Like elders, these men are to be appointed based upon qualifications that are spelled out in Scripture (1 Timothy 3:8-13). These men carry out various works of service to the church. The men appointed to this work at Olsen Park have met the qualifications of Scripture and serve the congregation faithfully in this work.
In the New Testament, Paul addresses three epistles to men preaching the gospel. These men, called “evangelists” (one who brings good news) are charged to “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). Olsen Park supports a man full-time to work with the congregation in carrying out this responsibility.
What Must I Do to Be Saved?
When Paul was imprisoned in Philippi because he was teaching about Jesus, he was asked a very important question by the prison keeper—“What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). This is a very important question, that each of us should ask today as well. The Bible gives us the answer. We must...
• Hear the word of God (Romans 10:14-17; 1:16,17; John 17:17; Acts 11:14).
• Believe in Jesus Christ (John 3:16; Acts 16:30,31; Romans 10:9,10; Ephesians 2:8,9; 1 John 5:1; Galatians 3:26).
• Repent of past sins and turn to God (Luke 13:5; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 26:20; 2 Timothy 2:19).
• Confess Jesus before men (Matthew 10:32,33; Romans 10:9,10; 1 John 4:15; Hebrews 10:23).
• Be Baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:1-6; Galatians 3:26,27; 1 Peter 3:21).
• Abide in the word of God (John 8:31; 15:6,7; 1 Corinthians 15:1,2; Revelation 2:10; 1 John 1:9,10; Hebrews 10:24,25; John 4:24).