What I Believe about the Church
- We are added to the church when we obey the gospel – Act 2:47.
- We obey the gospel when we by faith put on Christ – Gal 3:26-27.
- All that put on Christ are Christians and a part of Christ’s Church – Mat 16:18.
- The Church is not an institution of man – Eph 3:8-10.
- The Church is the living Body of Christ of which Christians are members – Rom 12:4-5, Eph 1:22-23.
- The Church is the Kingdom foretold by the prophets – Col 1:13.
- The Church (Kingdom) will be delivered to God at the end of time – 1 Cor 15:24.
- Those in the Church (Kingdom) will be eternally in heaven with God – 1 Cor 15:50-54.
- The Church is the Bride of Christ – Eph 5:21-33.
- Those in the Church (as the Bride) will join in the marriage ceremony of heaven – Rev 21:2, 9.
From these observations, we conclude that one has to be in Christ to be saved. To be in Christ one obeys the gospel – the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We do that when we put on the name of Christ, when we are crucified with Christ therefore dying to self and to sin, being buried in a likeness of His burial and rising to walk in a new life (Rom 6:3-6). We also conclude that when we are in Christ, God adds us to His Body, His Kingdom, His Bride, which is His Church – the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of Christ, the Bride of Christ, which is the Church of Christ. We are not added to “The Church of Christ” as a denomination, but to the Church of Christ that is the assembly of those who, being saved by Christ’s blood, are His people, called out by, calling on, and given His name – CHRISTians.
I am not a member of a human institution. I do not want to be. I am a member of Christ’s Church – the people of His own possession (1 Pet 2:9-10). I am a Christian, I wear the name of Christ. I live to honor His name, do His will, serve in His Kingdom, demonstrate His loving compassion, and worship as He prescribes. I assemble with like-minded Christians who are Christians only. The sign on our place of assembly says Central Church of Christ. Our logo, stationary, and my business cards carry the heading “Central Church of Christ.” The designation – “Church of Christ” is not to indicate our association with any earthly institution, but to give name to our allegiance to Christ as Head of the Body, as the King of the Kingdom, as the Husband of the Bride, and as the one to whom the Church belongs.
To say it another way those who will be in heaven are not necessarily a member of the CHURCH of Christ, but are a member of the Church of CHRIST. Maybe that is why Paul says as he closes his letter to the Romans, “Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.” (Rom 16:16)