On the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus promised, “....upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). In Jesus’ statement, there are several observations we wish to note: (1) Jesus Christ would be the One to build this church, (2) The church that Jesus promised to build belongs to Him, and (3) Also, it is very significant that Jesus promised to build one church and one church only. In looking at these three major points, we can learn much about the “church of Christ”. The Apostle Paul taught that the church was made up of “many members” (1 Corinthians 12:20). The church is not a building made of wood, bricks, or stucco. The church is made up of people; individuals like you and me. We are not talking about just any individual here. Rather, those individuals who have been cleansed from their sins (Romans 5:6-8). It is the blood of Christ that washes away the sins of men (Matthew 26:28). It is that same blood of Jesus Christ that purchased the church (Acts 20:28). That is why Luke recorded, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). Thus, the Lord built His one church by cleansing men from their sins and saving them. Those saved were then added to the church.
This is exactly what “church of Christ” delineates. The word “of” shows possession. Jesus Christ “purchased [the church of God] with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). Concerning the church, Paul said that Christ “gave Himself for it” (Ephesians 5:25). It is thus no surprise that the church is spoken of as “the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:14). Christ built the church, and He purchased the church.
When one looks out upon the religious condition today, he sees a multiplicity of religious bodies. Literally thousands of entities that claim to be “religious” exist. Hundreds claim to be Christians. Yet, when Jesus made the promise in Matthew 16:18, He promised to build His “church” -- in the singular form. There are many passages which indicate there is “one body.” A couple of those passages are: Ephesians 4:4, “there is one body” and 1 Corinthians 12:20 “But now are they many members, yet but one body.” There are also passages which show that the church and the body are one and the same. In Ephesians 1, Paul wrote that God “gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22, 23). Colossians 1:18 says, “And He is the head of the body, the church.” Though the phone book may indicate a multiplicity of churches, the Bible teaches there is but one church -- the church of Christ.
Not only is it possible, the Bible teaches that denominational sectarianism and Christianity are in opposition to each other. No denomination exists with God’s approval. You can be a member of the church Jesus built, the one he purchased with his blood (Acts 20:28). You can be a “Christian”--- nothing more, nothing less or nothing else --- a member of the church of which you read on the pages of your New Testament.
The Bible teaches that the seed of the kingdom is the word of God (Luke 8:11). It is our intention, then, to plant that seed, without addition or subtraction, in good and honest hearts (Luke 8:15). Today that idea has not changed.
If you would like to know more about the one church we read of in the Bible, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to set up a study or provide you with more information. If you are looking for information and are ready to begin a dialogue, we would be thrilled to talk with you.