Tuesday, March 28, 2017

What is the church of Christ?

The church of Christ is God’s institution. It is not man-made. It has existed on Earth since it was instituted after Christ’s death. It began at the first Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2.

God planned for the church from the beginning of time. We see that in Genesis 3:15, Daniel 2, and Isaiah 53.

The Church is God’s!

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their's and our's. (I Corinthians 1:2)

It is the body of Christ. 

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:18,24)

It is God’s kingdom.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)

It is the house of God.

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (I Timothy 3:15)

Who founded the church of Christ?

Christ founded the church somewhere around A.D. 33. The church of Christ you see in your town is a congregation of believers that try to follow the pattern set forth in the Bible. We are autonomous of other congregations of the Lord’s church. We have no central man-made head, or council, or synod. We only follow Christ, and we learn of Christ through his word, the Bible.

Christ is the head of the church 

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23)

We do Bible things, Bible ways. We are happy. We are kind, and we are in Christ where all spiritual blessings are found! (Ephesians 1:3) What could be better? NOTHING! We want you to know the peace that comes from being in Christ. (Philippians 4:7)

Can you imagine someone dying for you? Someone who loved you so much that they took upon your sin as their own? That’s what Christ did.

Christ died for the church!

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)

Because he died for us, we can have salvation! Christ didn’t just die for those who believe on him. He has died for all of us. To be welcome at his feast we must accept the invitation he offers. It’s his church, so it’s his invitation. No man can set the terms to enter into the church. We do not have that right, or authority. Christ alone is head, and he alone sets the terms.

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

Who can be members of the church of Christ?

Everyone is welcome to be added to the church Christ built. (Acts 2:47) We do not vote to decide if you can be a member. We do not wait for you to have some kind of feeling, or an epiphany. All you have to do is obey the pure gospel as taught by Christ and his apostles. That’s all! Nothing magical. Everyone can be a Christian, and God wants all men to come to repentance. (II Peter 3:9)

How to be a member of the church that Christ built.

Hear the gospel

How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10: 14-17)

Believe the gospel

I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. (John 8:24)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:1,6)

Repent and be converted

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3)

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: (Acts 17:30)

Confess that Jesus Christ is the son of God

Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

Be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins

For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27)

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38)

So, now you know. Be like the Bereans and study to see that these things are so (Acts 17:11). We hope to see you at worship, and look forward to welcoming you as a brother and sister in Christ.

51st MSOP Lectures Live