The Called Out of God
We concluded last week in our study of God's Word that one that has obeyed Christ in baptism is saved (Mark 16:15-16; Acts 2:38,41,47). And the one that is saved is a Christian, a disciple of Jesus Christ (Acts 11:26). Are the saved, Christians, disciples of Jesus Christ, members of Christ's church, the church of Christ?
First, I would like to encourage our readers to open your Bibles and study each passage of scripture. It doesn’t matter what man teaches, but what does God teach through His Word.
What is the church? Jesus Christ said He would build HIS CHURCH (Matthew 16:13-18). The church that Jesus built BELONGS to Jesus Christ, thus the church of Christ (shows possession). The church of Christ is the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:23; 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18). Jesus Christ is the HEAD of the body, the church (Ephesians 5:23). Jesus Christ being the Head of the church is thus the SAVIOUR of the body, the church (Ephesians 5:23; I Timothy 1:15).
But who is the church? Please turn and read Acts 11:26. We can plainly see that the church in this passage were disciples. And these disciples were called Christians. And we know that Christians are the saved of God.
The word church, from the Greek word ekklesia: "from ek, out of, and klesis, a calling (kaleo, to call)", W.E.Vine, p85. What we have then, the ekklesia (church) is simply the CALLED OUT. How is one called? One is called of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:14). One is called of God when taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ (John 6:44-45). The gospel of Jesus Christ is the ONLY power to save (Romans 1:16-17). What is one called out of by the Gospel of Jesus Christ? SIN! We notice in Romans 6:17-18 that Paul says, "ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." The called out, the church, are those that have been taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and have obeyed it.
"Preacher, you mean that the ones saved in Acts 2 were members of Christ's called out, the church of Christ?" That is exactly what the Word of God teaches! Notice Acts 2:47 again. Those that had obeyed the Gospel of Jesus Christ were baptized and "the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." That day God added "about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41) to the called out, the church of Christ. In Acts 4:4 the three thousand came to be about five thousand. In Acts 4:32 they were called "the multitude". And later in Acts 5:11 they were called "the church". Whose church was this? It was Christ's church, the church of Christ!
One that is saved is a Christian. A Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ. A disciple of Jesus Christ is a member of Christ's called out, the church of Christ.