God has set up His church exactly as He wants it. It is tempting to try another pattern for the carrying on of the work of the church, thinking that one could improve on such a simple organizational structure. But such is not the case. The structure of the church as outlined in the New Testament is as follows (Sunnyside tries to conform to the following Biblical pattern).


Jesus Christ. He is the head of the church (Col. 1:18). It is His body (Eph. 1:22,23). Everything that is done in the church must come from His authority. If Christ or His apostles did not teach or bind a command or example it is contrary to that which is acceptable.


Elders. Each congregation is to be led by the example of Elders (1Pet. 5:3). These men have qualifications for this ministry (1Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9). They rule the church by shepherding the flock among them (Ac. 20:28). They are called by different names in the New Testament but all refer to the same work; pastors (Eph. 4:11), shepherds (1Pet. 5:2-4), rulers (Heb. 13:17), bishops or overseers (Ac. 20:28).


Deacons. Special men called deacons are asked to serve in the congregation under the direct oversight of the Elders. Because of the seriousness and importance of their work, certain qualifications for this ministry are outlined in the New Testament (1Tim. 3:8-13). They help relieve the burden of the work that the Elders are responsible for (Ac. 6:1-4).


Preachers. Preachers, sometimes called evangelists (2Tim. 4:5) do the work of preaching and teaching the gospel. They serve under the authority and oversight of the Elders in the congregation where they preach. These men must know the Word and speak it in such a way as to convict and inspire.


Teachers. The apostles Paul considered himself to also be a teacher of the gospel (2Tim. 2:11). Teachers may be women, if they instruct other women (Titus 2:3-5) or children (1Tim. 2:12). Other passages to see on the ministry of teaching are; Phil. 2:25; Eph. 4:12; Col. 4:17; Rom. 10:14.



Salvation is by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8,9). But the New Testament also teaches obedience as characteristic of the faithful Christian. We must say and do God's will (Mt. 7:21; Jas. 1:25). We must obey God and not man, when their laws conflict (Ac. 5:29). Jesus saves those who obey Him (Heb. 5:8,9). Those who do not obey the gospel will be lost (2Th. 1:8).



To sin is to "miss the mark" of God's righteousness. Jesus came to save the world from its sin (1Tim. 1:15). All men and women who know the difference between right and wrong, are accountable for their actions, and are deemed by the Bible as sinners. All have sinned (Rom. 3:23); there is not one righteous person (Rom. 3:10). Sin is lawlessness, a disregard for the law of God (1Jn. 3:4-12). Sin is by commission (Rom. 2:12-16) and by omission (Jas. 4:17). Sin separates one from God (Isa. 59:1,2), but cannot be inherited from one generation to the next (Ezek. 18:20).


Sins are forgiven by the shed blood of Jesus. He has reversed what Adam has done (Rom. 5:12-21). Baptism is the final act of conversion that brings one into contact with the saving blood of Jesus (Heb. 9:22; Ac. 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4).



Jesus prayed for the unity of all believers (Christians) in His great prayer in the garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion (Jn. 17:11,20,21). Paul preached this same unity (Eph. 4:4-6). This unity includes teaching the same doctrines in all places (1Cor. 1:10; 4:17). The work of the apostles, prophets, elders, evangelists, and teachers is to bring everyone to a maturity in the unity of the faith (Eph. 4:13-16). Division among brethren is condemned in the Scriptures (1Cor. 1:10-13; Eph. 4:14; 1Cor. 3:3-9; Gal. 1:6-10; 2Jn 9-11).



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Sunnyside Road church of Christ

Not a creed or dogma, but a brief statement of what we practice.






Trusting His Word, Receiving His Grace, Sharing His Love