What is Christ's church
How We Become Members of Christ's church
Salvation and Christ's church
Local church or congregation
Jesus said, "I will build MY church..." Matt. 16:18
What is Christ's church
The word church, from the Greek ekklesia, means “called out”. The Greek ekklesia was not a “religious” word as our use of the word church. It is translated “assembly”, three times, in Acts 19 referring to a mob of people “called out” of the city by the makers of idols in opposition to Paul’s preaching against idolatry.
I could “call out” a group of people for some purpose, based on my terms. It would be “my” group or church. Let’s suppose my purpose is to free people from poverty and give them $1,000,000. It’s offered to all. But there are some terms which one must meet to escape poverty and receive the gift of $1,000,000. Those who believe my words and want to escape poverty and receive the gift of $1,000,000 would be ready and willing to meet any reasonable terms. Those who met the terms would be “my” church (group) of millionaires. Most will have no problem understanding this situation. Now, let’s apply it to Christ and his church (called out).
Christ’s “called out” (church) are those “called out” by Christ, for his purpose, by his authority. He calls them out of and into whatever he specifies based on his terms. We decide if we want to escape what he is calling us out of and receive the gift he is offering.
Jesus calls all men out of sin and into a saved relationship with him and God now and the hope of eternal life. He calls men out of the control of Satan and corruption of sin into salvation.
Jesus told Paul he was sending him “to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me.” (Acts 26:18)
Peter said, God “called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:” (1 Pet. 2:9)
How does He call men out of sin into salvation?
Paul says, “whereunto he called you through our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Thess. 2:14)
That’s why Jesus told his disciples to “...Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved;…” (Mark 16:15-16)
This brings us to the important question:
How Do We Become Members of Christ's church?
In Acts 2 we are told how men became members of the Lord’s church. After noting the miraculous events of that day (spoken by the prophet Joel) Peter noted this was the day men could “call upon the name of the Lord and be saved” (Acts 2:21); Peter shows that Jesus is the Lord and how men can call on him to be saved and thus be added to Christ’s church.
Peter called upon them to hear about Jesus and understand that he was the fulfillment of God’s promise to David to set one on his throne when he raised him from the dead. Peter says that the events of the day prove God has fulfilled this promise and that “God hath made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36).
They “heard”, were “pricked in the heart” and asked the apostles what “to do”. So we see that they heard, believed and acknowledged their belief, wanting to know what they needed to do to call on Jesus, the Lord, and be saved.
Peter told them to “repent and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins… and exhorted them, saying save yourselves… they that received his word were baptized: and there were added unto them that day about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:38-41)
Who were these that were saved? In verse 47 he says that “the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
Salvation & Christ's Church
Through the rest of the New Testament we see the same thing repeated over and over again.
Jesus has indeed set before us the purpose for calling us -- that we may escape the consequences of sin and receive the remission of sins (salvation) by his death upon the cross. Then he sets before us the terms necessary to receive this salvation which also adds us to his church.
Christ’s church is that body of people “purchased by his blood” (Acts 20:28). In fact, there are several terms used to identify people who are purchased by the blood of Christ.
Christ’s church = the saved (Acts 2:47)
Christ’s church = the blood bought (Acts 20:28)
Christ’s church = the body of Christ (Eph. 1:23)
Christ’s church = the house of God (1 Tim 3:15)
Christ’s church = the kingdom of Christ (Col. 1:13)
Christ’s church = those IN Christ (1 Cor. 1:2)
Christ’s church is those called out of the world of sin by the gospel and saved by Jesus’ blood.
Local Church or Congregation
Jesus teaches those who are saved and added to his church are to be joined with others in a local church or congregation - either start one or become part of one that is truly the Lord’s. The following is a brief outline of the distinguishing characteristics of Christ’s church.
Organization: Independent congregation with Elders (bishops), Deacons and members (saints) - Phil. 1:1
Work: Teaching and Preaching (1 Tim. 3:15)
Helping needy saints (Acts 11:27-30)
Worship: Congregational Singing (Eph. 5:19)
Prayer, led by one of the men of the congregation (Acts 2:42)
Partake of Lord’s Supper each Sunday (Matt. 26:26-29, Acts 20:7)
Freewill offering by members each Sunday (1 Cor. 16:1-2)
Gospel teaching designed to reprove, rebuke and exhort those who hear (2 Tim. 4:1-2)
The Christians meeting at 16196 Bench Lane (rear) are a church, simply following the teaching of Jesus Christ. We do ONLY those things approved by Jesus in his Word & nothing more.
For more information on Christ's church
see the PowerPoint Video on our Biblical Video Page
and/or listen to Lessons on our Biblical Audio Page