The Church We Read About in the Bible
You don’t need a college decree to know that there are many churches in the world today, and that all claim to be the Lord's church. You don’t need a PhD to know not all these churches are the same. Even the most casual observer can see that all these churches teach and practice different "doctrines" and/or traditions.
Just stop and think for a minute about this: Is it possible for all these churches, while all claiming to follow Christ and His teaching, to be scripturally right while practicing different doctrines? No. Anyone, regardless of their education level, can figure that one out.
Let’s think very seriously about the Lord's church as we study our Bibles together today. Get your Bible out and let's study. The church we read about in the Bible:
1. Was established (built) by Jesus Christ. Some might say, "I know that!". The significance of this, however, is not realized in the religious world. Just do a little research and you'll find that the churches of today have been founded or started by men and some by women. Jesus said, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18, emp LS). Whose church did Jesus say He was going to build? His. Why would anyone want to be a member of a church that was not started by Jesus Christ? Who founded the church you are a member of?
2. Is One in number. "You mean there is just one church?" That's exactly what the Bible says my friend. Notice, "There is one body..." (Ephesians 4:4) and Paul explains what the body is, "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body" (Ephesians 1:22-23, emp LS). How much plainer can the Bible be? Paul said there is but one church! "Which one is it?" The one that Jesus built (Matthew 16:18). Someone says, "Well I believe there are a lot of churches that are the Lord's church." Well my friend, you are entitled to believe what you want to, but the Bible still says there is but one church, and that one church is the one that Jesus Christ founded (Psalms 127:1).
3. Is the Saved. The church is a group of saved sinners. The Jews (that had crucified Jesus Christ) on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) heard the Gospel preached (Mark 16:15-16) and when they heard it "they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:37-38). We then learn, "they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls...And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:41, 47). The church is not a social club nor recreational center (Romans 14:17), but simply the saved of God and Jesus Christ is its Savior (Eph 5:23).