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Why I Love The Church Of Christ

 

Why I Love the Church of Christ

If you are able to attend a worship service of the church of Christ next Sunday, you probably wouldn’t see anything too fancy. The simple worship you will witness will probably fall short of the much more entertaining services of large denominational or ‘community’ churches. The methods you will see will probably not reflect the latest cultural trends or religious fads. The members you will meet will probably just be ordinary, friendly, down-to-earth folks, eager to meet you. And it seems most church buildings bearing the name “church of Christ” are modestly small and aging.

I don’t love the church of Christ merely because of the people (there are good, friendly people in other churches too), methods (other churches are sometimes more efficient and entertaining), or facilities (other churches often have prettier buildings and more to offer).

The reason I love the church of Christ is because of what Jesus and His New Testament have said about it.

I love the church of Christ because of when it began.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock (the rock-solid truth of Peter’s confession, BG) I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:13)

Abraham, Moses, and King David – though they were great men – were not members of the church. Why? Because it hadn’t been built yet. They all lived before Jesus had been resurrected.

Nearly a year after Jesus’ words in Matthew 16:13, the church began in 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).

Thus, the church of Christ didn’t begin in Rome in 606 A.D., or Germany in 1520 A.D., or Holland in 1607 A.D., or 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.

I love the church of Christ because of Who owns it.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:13)

“My” is possessive. Meaning, the church belongs to Jesus, which He paid for “with His own blood” (Acts 20:28; cf. 1 Pet. 1:18-19; Rev. 5:9-10). Therefore, the church doesn’t belong to Luther, King Henry VIII, Calvin, Knox, Smythe, Wesley, Smith, or Eddy (and therefore shouldn’t bear their names). When 1st century Christians started practicing sectarianism by wearing other names, they were quickly condemned (1 Cor. 1:10-13).

In the words of N.B. Hardeman, “I was not baptized in the name of Campbell, nor of Luther, nor of Wesley; but into the name of the spotless Son of God divine” (269). I simply want to be a member of the church that belongs to Jesus, claiming His name and only His name. And His blood cleanses me when I am baptized into Christ (Rom. 6:3-4; 1 Cor. 12:13).

I love the church of Christ because of its distinctiveness.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. (Matt. 16:13)

Jesus started only one “church,” not many “churches.” It is unique in that it stands alone.

In Ephesians 4:4-6, Paul writes,

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

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. By asking someone, “What church are you a member of?” you may as well be asking, “What god do you believe in?” (Colley).

The fact that Jesus only started one church is evidenced in the New Testament by the lack of distinguishing names for the church. All references to the church refer to the same church:

  • The body of Christ (Eph. 1:22)
  • The bride of Christ (Rev. 21:2; Eph. 5:25
  • The house of God (1 Tim. 3:15)
  • The kingdom of God (Rom. 14:17)
  • The church of God (1 Cor. 1:2)
  • The churches (congregations) of Christ (Rom. 16:16).

Jesus specified that He did not want His church to be divided (John 17:20-21). In fact, the only way His church is to remain united is by adhering only to the apostles’ word (John 17:20-21), the New Testament. Any congregation of Christ is destined to become a different church when it goes beyond what is written (1 Cor. 4:6; 2 Tim. 1:13; Rom. 16:17).

Attending “the church of your choice” is foolish if you did not choose that church based upon whether or not it is THE church of Jesus (cf. Acts 20:28; 1 Tim. 3:15).

I love the church of Christ because of what it believes and practices.

Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions (inspired teachings, BG) which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. (2 Thess. 2:15)

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).

If all someone knew were the writings of the New Testament, he wouldn’t know enough to be a Catholic, Mormon, Methodist, or Baptist. All he would know is how to be a Christian.

For example, here are some things the New Testament says about the church of Christ. Notice how the Lord’s church is remarkably uncomplicated. They:

Were very loving (John 13:34-35) and benevolent (Acts 2:44-45; Gal. 6:10).
Worshiped and engaged in the Lord’s Supper every Sunday (Acts 20:7).
Contributed financially to the church (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:7).
Sang congregationally and a cappella, without mechanical accompaniment (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16).
Encouraged and taught one another (Rom. 14:19; 1 Cor. 14:26).
Members of the church of Christ in the New Testament were simply called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). They didn’t need to designate themselves by different “flavors” of Christianity because doing so is sinful (1 Cor. 1:10).

I love the church of Christ because of the kind of people in it.

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Cor. 12:12-14)

There are no saved people who are not part of the body, or church, of Christ (cf. Eph. 1:22-23). The moment someone becomes a Christian, 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).

I love the people in the church of Christ because they are members of the “household of faith” (Gal. 6:10, 1 Tim. 3:15) – a truly special people (Matt. 11:11; John 3:5). They have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus (1 Cor. 6:20).

Conclusion

Why do I love the church of Christ? Because it belongs to Christ, and therefore is not a denomination of Christendom. Christ built His church, the church of Christ. It is His exclusive body. And it shall be presented to God “a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27).

Source:Plain Simple Faith

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