|Volume 25 Number 6 June 2023
Charles E. Burch
When one thinks of the church of the New Testament, he has to realize that the church of the Bible is distinctive. It is different from all other religious organizations. Let us notice some of these differences.
First, Christ said, “…I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18). We find several things from this verse. (1) Christ is the builder. (2) The church belongs to Christ, for He said, “my church.” (3) Christ used the singular tense (church not churches); therefore, there is one, not a multitude of churches differing from each other.
Second, Bible prophecy states that the Lord’s church would have its beginning in the city of Jerusalem.
Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the Lord’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. (Isaiah 2:2-3NKJV)
Yet, today, most religious people list Rome, Zurich, Holland, England, America, etc. when asked where their church had its beginning.
Third, the Bible states that Christ is the Head of His church. Paul, speaking of what God did, stated, “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23). Again, Paul speaking of Christ said, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18). However, today, many list men as the head of their churches.
Fourth, Bible prophecy spoke of a new name that would be given to God’s children. “…You shall be called by a new name, Which the mouth of the Lord will name” (Isaiah 62:2). We find the new name given in the New Testament. “...And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). Today, though, many wear names that do not exalt Christ, but exalt man instead; yet they claim to be Christians.
Let us all go back to God’s Holy Word to learn about the church. There is no other authority. The church of our Lord is distinctive!