What is the Church?

For this article I would like to briefly tell you about the church which Christ established back in the 1st century A.D., commonly known today as the church of Christ. My intent with this article is to arouse your curiosity and inspire you to go to God’s word to search for truth. Christ established his church…”And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:13)”.Nearly a year after Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:13, the church began (Acts 2). Peter, with the figurative “keys” (cf. Matt. 16:19), opened the doors to the church by preaching the first sermon (cf. Acts 2:14-41). The church of Christ didn’t begin in Rome in 606 A.D. or in England in 1739 A.D. The church of Christ began in Jerusalem in the 1st century, just as it was prophesied (Isa. 2:2-4; Dan. 2:44-45; Gen. 12:3; 2 Sam 7:12-13; Zech. 1:16; Mic. 4:1-3). It is, by its very nature, pre-denominational. Christ is the owner of His church. “My” is possessive, the church belongs to Jesus, He paid for it “with His own blood” (Acts 20:28; cf. 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9-10). Therefore, the church doesn’t belong to anyone else. Jesus started only one “church,” not many “churches.” It is unique in that it stands alone. In Ephesians 4:4-6, Paul writes, about oneness. What is the “body” (v. 4)? The body is the church (Eph. 1:22-23). Therefore, there is one church, just as there is only one God. Jesus only started one church, we see this in the New Testament by the distinguishing names. Jesus specified that He did not want His church to be divided (John 17:20-21). Do you want to know how the Lord’s church is to worship, organize, and govern itself? Do you want to know what the church should believe and practice? All you need is the New Testament. If you need to cite a creed book, head office, or ruling convention, you’re “going beyond what was written” (1 Cor. 4:6) and what Christ established. Members of the church of Christ in the New Testament were simply called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). The moment someone becomes a Christian, by being baptized for the remission of sins, they are automatically added to the kingdom, which is the church (Col. 1:13; cf. Matthew 16:18). This is clearly evidenced in Acts 2, when the 3,000 souls who obeyed the gospel (Acts 2:38, 41) were added to the church (v. 47). Until next week this is the Scriptural Truth. Tommy O’Kelley Minister Subligna Rd. Church of Christ (706) 638-1129 or (423) 413 – 5319, email tmdok4@windstream.net

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