Who are the churches of Christ?
Who are these people who seek to be only Christians? The congregations of which they are a part are usually known as “churches of Christ.” This term is not used in a sectarian sense, but is intended to denote these Christians' desire to belong to Christ’s church. The Bible says, “all the churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16). The Bible also describes the church as “the church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:1), the “body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27), or “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10). These and similar Biblical phrases are not proper names, but descriptive expressions which show how the church is related to Christ and His Father.
Who are Christians?
Individually Christ’s followers are known as “Christians” in the Bible. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). “If a man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but glorify God in this name” (1 Peter 4:16). The Bible never associates another description or name to this God given name. The apostle Paul was a great Christian, but he did not want any of the disciples to be called “Paulites” or “Paulite Christians,” but just Christians.
Do you only follow the Bible?
We not only believe that the scriptures are inspired, but also are convicted that the New Testament must be our ONLY guide in religious faith. God’s Word frequently warns us against changing the divine message. (Please note Galatians 1:6-9) We, therefore, have no creed or catechism to present, but accept Christ as our only creed and the Bible as our only guidebook. this way we are never prevented by an erroneous creed from accepting any truth which may be learned from God’s Word.
In few places is there so much disagreement as in answering the Bible question, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) Again, we go directly to the scriptures for our answer. The Bible teaches that Christ shed His blood for our sins (Matthew 26:28), and that His sacrifice saves us (Hebrews 9:22). But what does Jesus require of us to appropriate His sacrifice to ourselves? Those who crucified Him were told to “know for certain” i.e., believe that Jesus is “both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). When the people on the day of Pentecost asked for further information, they were told, “Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).
Today we practice what the apostles taught, that for Christ’s blood to remove our sins we must believe in Him, repent and be baptized. As we are thus saved from our sins, the Lord adds us to His body, the church — “and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). “For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Those who were being saved were also being added to the body, the church of Christ. One cannot be saved and be outside His body.
The early disciples were Christians only. Although we live nearly 2000 years later, we too can be just Christians if we will follow the same teachings given to these first followers of Jesus. “The seed is the word of God” (Luke 8:11). Just as surely as a planted acorn will produce just an oak tree, so too the planted seed of God’s Word will produce just a Christian and nothing more.
We invite your earnest consideration of this plea and pray that He will bless your diligent search for eternal salvation through His Word.