Vol. 12 No. 2 February 2010
Rodney Nulph, Associate Editor
“What is so different about the church of Christ” is a question that is often asked among religious people. I truly believe the question is valid and of the utmost importance. People have a right to ask about the religious bodies in their communities. There are numerous religious groups found within any given neighborhood. What are the differences between all of these groups, and why do so many groups exist? While it is the case that I cannot know fully why so many groups exist, I can know that the Bible never permits all of the different groups to exist (cf. John 17:20-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10ff; 3:3; Ephesians 4:1-6; Amos 3:3; et al). Well then, one may ask, why does the church of Christ exist; what is so unique about the church of Christ? Let the Bible speak!
First, the church of Christ is unique in ORIGIN. The origin or beginning of any religious group is essential in determining whether that group has a Divine right to exist. I would never want to trust my eternal soul’s salvation to a religious group that traces its origin to a mere man, would you? Either Jesus is the Originator or its origin is not Divine! The apostles, speaking of Jesus, said, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12; cf. John 14:6). Jesus alone is the Originator and Designer of His church, or else it is not His! Consider some of the areas wherein the church belonging to Jesus is unique in origin.
The church of Christ is unique in origin because she has a scriptural builder. Upon the confession that He is the Christ, Jesus promised to build HIS church (Matthew 16:18-19). He never promised to build a multiplicity of churches, but rather one church, singular! He paid the costly price of His own lifeblood being shed to establish that one body (Acts 20:28; Ephesians 1:22-23; Hebrews 9:12-14). I could never be the scriptural builder of the church, nor could any other man, because it was my Lord alone that poured out His blood on Calvary’s tree to purchase the church! The Amazing Architect, The Extraordinary Engineer, The Master Maker, Jesus alone is the scriptural builder of the church!
The church of Christ is also unique in origin because she has a scriptural base. A structure is only as strong as the foundation or base upon which it rests. The household of God, the church (Ephesians 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15), is built upon the Christ of God (Matthew 16:18; Romans 1:4), Jesus Himself being the “Chief Cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20)! Truly there is no other suitable base (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:11)! All other bases will fall (cf. Matthew 7:26-27), but those who rest their eternal salvation upon the Rock of Ages are safe and secure (Matthew 7:24-25; Ephesians 2:19-22). The Solid Structure, the Unmovable undergirding, the Fortified Foundation, Jesus alone, is the scriptural base of the church!
Consider further the unique origin of the church based upon her scriptural beginning. Isaiah prophesied that the Lord’s house would find its beginning in Jerusalem (Isaiah 2:2-3; cf. Luke 24:47). The apostles were waiting in Jerusalem, as Jesus told them to do (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:12ff), when the miraculous events of Pentecost took place, which marked the beginning (cf. Acts 11:15). When Peter’s hearers obeyed the Gospel (Acts 2:38-41), the Lord added them to His church (cf. Acts 2:47). It was on that memorable first Pentecost following the resurrection of Jesus that the church began. Any earlier beginning is too early and any later beginning is too late!
Dear friends search the Scriptures and read about the church belonging to Jesus. Find her, love her and go to heaven with her when life is over! Read with us next month as we discover more unique features about the church of Christ.