The church “of Christ” what does this phrase really mean?
During His ministry upon the earth, Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18). Although He was rejected and crucified, His promise did not fail. God’s promises never do (2 Peter 3:9; Numbers 23:19). In Acts 2, we find the church in existence on the earth just as Jesus had promised (Acts 2:47). His death was not an unforeseen occurrence but rather a part of the “determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23; Isaiah 53; Revelation 13:8). His death facilitated, rather than frustrated, God’s eternal plan (Ephesians 3:10-11). It was through the shedding of His blood at Calvary that the church was purchased (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25).
The difficulty that faces man today is not whether the church of Christ exists, but rather how to find it among the hundreds of man-made churches that dot the religious landscape. For sure, the search can be frustrating. In fact, some have given up on ever finding the church, while others have simply settled for something less than the church recorded in the New Testament. While identifying the church among so many counterfeits may be difficult, it is not impossible. God has given man a blueprint by which he can prove that which is god and reject that which is bad (1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Peter 1:3).
From the beginning, the followers of Christ have been identified by their steadfast adherence to the commands of Christ. To some Jews that believed on Him, Jesus declared, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed” (John 8:31). In like manner, concerning the church, Luke recorded, “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).
How do you identify the true church in the midst of so many churches today? You find it in the same way that men and women found it is the first century. You find it by finding those who are abiding in the doctrine of Christ in all aspects of their work and worship (2 John 1:9-11). We humbly ask for you to put us to the test (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We sincerely invite you to “come and see” if we are that church (Isaiah 2:2-3; John 1:39, 46, 4:29).