The Church Jesus Built
The Church Jesus Built
The church of Christ is not a physical building nor is it a denomination. It is the blood-bought body of Christ. Paul wrote by inspiration of God, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25-27) At the end of time the church which is the kingdom of God will be delivered up to God, the father. “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-25) If you will do what the Bible teaches, the Lord will save you and add you to His church.
The church Jesus built is made up of saved people. (Matthew 16:18-19) Jesus did not build a denomination. His interest is not in a physical building. The church of Christ is a living organism. It is composed of people saved by the blood of Jesus. If you have read your Bible you have read about the church of Christ. The church of Christ exists anywhere people follow the Bible and the Bible only. (Acts 2:38-47)
The church Jesus built is God’s promised kingdom. (Daniel 2:44-45) The church is that kingdom which shall stand forever. The eternal kingdom was established in the days of the Roman kings. This was during the lifetime of some who heard Jesus speak. "Assuredly, I say to you that there are some standing here who will not taste death till they see the kingdom of God present with power." (Mark 9:1)
The church Jesus built wears a Bible name which honors Him. (Romans 16:16) The name "church of Christ" is a Bible name and it is a name big enough to embrace all the saved. The Bible gives no specific name for the church. It does, however, identify the church with several Bible expressions. The members of this body are known simply as Christians. (1 Peter 4:15-16)
The church Jesus built worships according to the New Testament pattern. (Acts 2:42) The day of worship is the first day of the week. (Acts 20:7) On each Sunday we sing (Ephesians 5:19), study God's word (Acts 20:7), pray (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18), give (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), and observe the Lord's Supper. (I Corinthians 11:23-26) Only these Bible things are done in worship! We cannot conclude our discussion of New Testament worship without looking at Paul's warning to the Colossians. The apostle warns them not to be beguiled by religious ordinances which are merely "the commandments and doctrines of men." He cautions that such ordinances "have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh." (Colossians 2:18-22)
The church Jesus built has no religious guide but the Bible. (John 17:17) Churches of Christ have no "creed books", "manuals", or "confessions of faith". Our only rule of faith is the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:16-17) Wise men and women learn to obey God, and leave all the consequences to Him. There is nothing more important in life than following the teachings of the Bible and trusting God to care for your needs.
It is in harmony with the Bible to use the name church of Christ, to call yourself a Christian and to accept Jesus as the only head of the church. It is scriptural to accept the Bible as your only rule of faith, to plead for unity in Jesus and to follow the Bible pattern in worship. Those who follow the Bible are Christians, members of the church of Christ. Will you be baptized into Christ to put on Christ so that your sins can be forgiven by His blood? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) Believers contact Christ's saving blood by being baptized into His death. John said, "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life." (1 John 5:11-12) We join with Paul in saying, "To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen." (Ephesians 3:21) Are you a faithful member of the church of Christ?
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037