What is the Church of Christ?
The word or concept of “Church” (Greek-Ekklesia) is, in brief, defined by scholars as “a called out assemble, a congregation.” The “Church of Christ” is therefore, the “called out assembly of Christ,” composed only of individuals washed in and by the blood of the Lamb. The “calling out” is through the gospel-2 Thess. 2:14, and the “washing” is through one’s immersion (baptism) into Jesus as an act of faith and obedience—Acts 22:16, Rom. 6:3-5; Gal. 3:26-27. This must be predicated by repentance, Acts 17:30, and confessing Jesus as Lord, Rom. 10:9-10.
God uses this word or concept, “called out assembly”, in at least four spiritual ways:
1. Of His universal Church, the whole family of God in heaven and on earth, Eph. 3:15; Heb. 12:22-24.
2. Of God’s Old Testament elect and of the exiting Israelites in the wilderness; the faithful of those now washed in the blood of Christ, Ex. 19:1-8; Acts 7:38; Heb. 9:15.
3. Of the Lord’s New Testament Church, Matt. 16:18. This aspect of God’s Church is composed of individuals (Jews & Gentile) saved from all the ages of Old and New Testaments, washed in the propitiatory blood of the Lamb, Heb. 9:14-15; I Pet. 2:9-11. It was founded in the first century of Christ on the first Jewish feast of Pentecost after His resurrection and ascension, Acts 2.
4. Of individual (local & Autonomous) congregations of Christ in the world, Rom. 16:16; I Cor. 1:2; each and all. This includes the East Foothill Church in San Jose and other local congregations throughout the world.
True Church of Christ (Rom. 16:16) throughout the world are equally not bound to one another through earthly organizations, headquarters, or human leaders. There is no “fellowship” (functional, organizational operating control) between and among congregations. A working organization and operating control must scripturally be found only within the confines of each local and self-ruled group, governed only by Jesus Christ as Head, and guided only by the Holy Spirit through His divine revelation, the Bible.
Congregations of Christ will endeavor to appoint elders (also referred to in scripture as “shepherds or pastors,” and “overseers or bishops”), and deacons. These men must meet the qualifications given by the Holy Spirit in such Scriptures as, I Tim. 3:1-12 and Titus 1:5-8, et al. Each local congregation must strive to be biblically autonomous in its identity, worship, work, planning, organization, and disciplinary actions. In so doing, each represents God’s Kingdom on earth fully capable of doing the work He has assigned His people until Jesus comes again to receive us to glory.
Our plea to our community and to the world is for all to look to Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith” Heb. 12:2, and for the restoration of simple New Testament Christianity, to speak where the Bible speaks and to be silent where the Bible is silent, to call bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways. The Bible only, as God’s seed (Lk. 8:11), make Christian only, servants of Jesus Christ.
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
HEAR THE WORD OF GOD: Matt. 7:24-27; John 5:24; Rom 10:17
HAVE FAITH & BELIEVE: Heb. 11:6; Mark 16:15-16;(not by faith only) James 2:24
REPENT: Acts 2:38; Acts 17:30; 2 Pet 3:9
CONFESS JESUS AS LORD: Matt. 10:32-33; Acts 8:36-37; Rom. 10:9-10
BE BAPTIZED: Acts 2:38: Mark 16:15-16; Acts 22:16
WALK IN CHRIST’S LIGHT AND REMAIN FAITHFUL: 1 John 1:7; I Cor. 15:58; Col. 3:1-7