OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST built or established His Church (Matt. 16:18). Apostle Paul described the Church that this is the body of Christ:
“Christ is the head of the body. (The body is the church.) …” (Col. 1:18 Easy-to-Read Version)
The apostles also tell us that the Church is analogous to a physical human body with many parts or members:
“For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use, So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ, the Messiah and individually we are parts one of another—mutually dependent on one another.” (Rom. 12:4-5 Amplified Bible)
According to Apostle Paul, as there is only one head—Christ— there is only one body or Church that belongs to Christ. It follows then that the true Church remains a single organization no matter where it spreads and no matter how many its members are.
The only name by which one may be saved
At present, there are many religions that claim to be the Church established by Christ. How can we identify the Church founded by Him? Apostle James tells us:
“Do they not insult the holy name of Christ by which you are called?” (James 2:7 Christian Community Bible)
The true Church can be identified by how it is called—by the name of Christ. This is very important since “there is no other Name given to humankind all over the world by which one may be saved” (Acts 4:12 Ibid.). Hence, the Church that will be saved bears the name of the Savior. As such, the apostles called the Church established by the Lord Jesus “Church Of Christ”:
“Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.” (Acts 20:28 Lamsa Translation)
Church Of Christ—its importance
One might ask: “How is the Church Of Christ essential to man’s spiritual well-being?” Christ Himself emphasized His purpose in establishing the Church:
“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.” (Matt. 16:18 Revised Standard Version)
The true Church is far more important than wealth, wisdom, power, and anything else in this world because if one is a member of the true Church, Christ guarantees that he will never be defeated by death.
Does this mean that members of the Church Of Christ will no longer die? They may experience death, but, they will live again:
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.’” (John 11:25 New King James Version)
When members of the Church Of Christ are resurrected from death, it will be for the eternal life. On the other hand, those who are not part of the body of Christ are the unfortunate ones who will be condemned:
“Do not be surprised at this; the time is coming when all the dead will hear his voice and come out of their graves: those who have done good will rise and live, and those who have done evil will rise and be condemned.” (John 5:28-29 Good News Bible)
Indeed, God’s purpose in having Christ establish the Church Of Christ is very noble. God wants people to be saved from punishment in the lake of fire.
The Church is God’s master plan
Even if people say they have faith in Christ, but they are separate from the flock or Church (Acts 20:28 Lamsa), they are not truly believers of Christ (John 10:26 Living Bible). So for man to become part of the flock or Church and be saved, he must heed the commandment of the Lord Jesus:
“So Jesus spoke again: ‘In very truth I tell you, I am the door of the sheepfold. … I am the door; anyone who comes into the fold through me will be safe’.” (John 10:7, 9 Revised English Bible)
Entering or joining the Church is indeed the way to salvation. This has been the master plan of God since the beginning or even before the creation of everything:
“May he be given glory forever and ever through endless ages because of his master plan of salvation for the church through Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 3:21 LB)
According to Apostle Paul, it is God’s master plan to give salvation to the Church through Christ. Hence, the Church is important just as salvation is important. The Church Of Christ is what Christ will save on Judgment Day.
We owe it to ourselves to be saved on Judgment Day. May all of us heed immediately to this call of God for
now is the right time to do so:
“As God’s partners, we beg you not to reject this marvelous message of God’s great kindness. For God says, ‘At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you.’ Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation.” (II Cor. 6:1-2 New Living Translation).
This article was originally published in the Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, July 2017 Issue.