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Jesus said, “I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18). The word for “church” in the New Testament comes from a Greek word meaning “called out.” We are called out of the world.  As people who have been called out of the world, let’s review what it means to be the church Jesus is building.

  • Jesus has a church. It does not belong to anyone else. It is his church. No one else can claim ownership.

  • Jesus gave his life to establish his church. That is how precious the church is to Jesus.

  • Jesus is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23). No man can claim to be head of the church.

  • Jesus is the only lawgiver of the church. Through his apostles and his Spirit, he gave us through the New Testament everything we need to know and practice to be his church. No man can make rules for the church.

  • Jesus gave his church the commission to go and make disciples of every person on this earth. The church is the only instrument Jesus has to win a lost world.

We believe all of the above. We want to be the church that Christ is building. We want to call ourselves just the “Church of Christ.” We do not believe we are the only Christians but we want to be Christians only. Where the Bible speaks, we will speak. Where the Bible is silent, we will be silent. We do not believe we can improve on the practices of the church in the New Testament, so we attempt to pattern ourselves after the New Testament church. The Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead flows through us. We are the church of Christ.          

 

 

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come.

1 Corinthians10:11 NIV

We are New Testament Christians, meaning, that we let the New Testament serve as our guide in matters of faith and doctrine.  The Old Covenant ended at the Cross - “He [Christ] took it away, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14).  With that being said, should you spend time reading and studying the Old Testament?

 

Jesus frequently referenced people and events in the Old Testament.  For example, Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife!” (Luke 17:32).  You cannot fulfill his command if you do not know anything about Lot’s wife.

 

Years ago a Chinese woman told me about her experience while a college student in Beijing.  Bibles were banned, but someone let her borrow an English Bible. (She had studied English).  With tears in her eyes, she told how she opened to the first page and read: “In the beginning God…”  She was an atheist, but she could not stop reading.  In secret, over many weeks, she read the entire Bible.  God captured her heart she said in those first four words: “In the beginning God.”

                                                                                                                                             — Mike

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