Who are the Churches of Christ?
When I logged on to this site and saw this area designated to discuss the differences between different denominations I was very glad. As a member of the church of Christ I look forward to a space that allows me to explain who we are. I will respect the rules governing this forum and refrain from comparing my church with other churches, but I will allow the scriptures to define the facts pertaining to the gospel and the church that Christ said he would build.
The word church is not found in the Old Testament but the prophecies pertaining to it are there. The bible says that the church was in the mind of God from the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3, 4), so we should be able to go the Old Testament and see the church in prophecy.
(Isaiah 2:2, 3) the bible says in the last days the Lord’s house would be established in the top of the mountains, and be exalted above the hills, and that all nations (nationalities of people) would be in this house. He goes on to say that Jerusalem would be the place of its origin.
(Dan. 2:31-45) King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that was interpreted by Daniel. The last part of the interpretation was that the God of heaven would set up a kingdom that would never be destroyed, and this He would do during the time when the Roman Empire ruled the world.
Zechariah 6:12, 13) the word of the Lord was given to Zechariah letting him know that the man whose name is the “BRANCH” would build the temple of the Lord. He would sit on the throne and rule as King and priest. We know this to be Christ by looking at other passages (Isa. 11:2, 3 and Jeremiah 23:5).
To this point we have learned three things from the Old Testament about the church of Christ.
1 Where it was built (In Jerusalem)
2 When it was built (during the reign of the Roman Empire)
3 Who was going to build it (Christ)
If we look in the New Testament, we see the same three points revealed.
Luke 24:46, 47 in this passage the risen Christ is telling his apostles to go to Jerusalem, (the city the prophets said where his house would be built ) and wait for the power they would need to open the doors to the church.
Acts 2:17-21 tells us it was the time called the last days, and if we read John 11:48 we see that during those days the Romans were in power.
Matthew 16:18 after Peter’s confession that Jesus was not only the Christ, but that he also was the Son of God, Jesus declared he would build his church.
As we read further in the scriptures to the epistles, we see even more evidence of the church of Christ. The dates of the writing of the epistles begin around 45 A.D. for the book of Galatians, to around A.D. 90 for 1, 2, and 3 John and the Revelation. The point being that the church of Christ is a reality and men and women are being saved in it long before the appearance of any denominations.
Acts 2:27 the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Acts 20:28 the church was purchased by the blood of Christ.
Romans 16:16 the churches of Christ salute you.
Ephesians 3:10 the church has the responsibility to make known the manifold wisdom of God. She is the pillar and ground of the truth (1Tim. 3:15).
In response to the question “who are the churches of Christ?” We may conclude from this lesson that the church of Christ are a people under one head (Christ) and not a collection of different denominations.