“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.” – Ephesians 5:25
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We’ve discussed restoration and restoring the church to what it was in the New Testament. It’s important, if we want to be Christians like the church was then, that we be and do what they did.
One thing that they did was call the church by whom it belonged. Many congregations within Christendom call themselves by so many different names. But if we want to do Bible things in Bible ways then we ought to call ourselves by Bible names.
No where do we see in the New Testament the church being called Baptist church, Episcopal church, Methodist church, or many of the others that we see today. We do see specific designations of the church, however.
The church is called the church of God (1 Cor. 10:32; 11:16, 22). Jesus purchased the church with His own blood, so it belongs to Him (Acts 20:28). We also see the designation churches of Christ in Romans 16:16.
The church of the New Testament is also called the church of the saints (1 Cor. 14:33), the church of the living God (1 Tim. 3:15), the church of the firstborn (Heb. 12:23; cf. Col. 1:15), the house of God, and the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).
Lastly, we see that the church is the body. “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 preeminence” (Col. 1:18).
Christ is the head of the church so it ought to be called by His name. He bought it with His blood, and He loved her so much that he gave Himself for her.
The church is not a building; it’s a group of people. It’s made up of Christians. We don’t “go to church.” We go worship with the church. I know we’ve all been accustomed to saying it that way, but it’s not accurate to say “go to church.” People are the church – Christian people.
The churches of the New Testament bore the name of Christ and had their locations as the only other distinct designation for it, i.e., the church of God at Corinth (2 Cor. 1:1) or the churches of Galatia (Gal. 1:2).
That’s why for the church of Christ the only other designation you will see is where it is located. We should aim to be like the church that Jesus died for – the church of the New Testament – and remove all names and designations that are not biblical.
If you aren’t a member of His body, the church, the Lord will add you to it if you will obey Him by believing that He is Christ, repenting of your sins, confessing His name to others, and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will be a member of Christ’s church, a Christian – nothing more and nothing less.
What designation does the congregation you’re a member of have? Is it biblical?
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