WHAT IS THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
The “church” of “Christ” is the “assembly” belonging to Christ. The church has nothing to do with a building and everything to do with the people. The Church of Christ is the people of Christ who have given up their lives to Jesus as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36 - Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has
made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.). With or without a building, the churches of Christ have always existed from the time Jesus founded it some 2000 years ago.
OUR NON-DENOMINATIONAL NATURE
The “Church of Christ” is not a denominational designation, but a description of who we are. We practice fellowship based on doctrinal purity (according to the scriptures), or pure teaching and practice of the truth. (Galatians 1:6-9 - I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.; 1 John 4:1 -Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.)
We use the name “church of Christ” because it is found in the scriptures and it gives glory to our founder, Jesus Christ. (Romans 16:16 -Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.) Jesus did say, I will build MY church. (Matthew 16:18 - 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.). The Bible tells us Jesus established the church with his own blood (Acts 20:28 - Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own
MEMBERSHIP OF THE LORD'S CHURCH
When one is saved, he/she becomes part of God’s household. This example is clearly seen in
Acts 2:37-41 - Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call. And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, be saved from this perverse generation. Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. The people heard the message, repented (turned their life over to Christ), were baptized, and were added to the church (verse 41).
What are the biblical conditions of salvation?
First, we read we are to Hear the word of God, Romans 10:17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Second, we need to believe (faith) in Jesus Christ and His word is true. Hebrews 11:6 - But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Third, we are to repent. Acts 2:38 – Then Peter said to them, Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Fourth, we are to confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Matthew 10:32 - Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.
Fifth, we are to be baptized. Romans 6:3-5 - Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.
When one follows these steps of obedience, he/she becomes a child of God and a part of the body of Christ, the church (Acts 2:41-47 – Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their
possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.)
To remain a child of God and hear well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things; enter into the joy of your lord (Matthew 25:21), we need to be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).