Brother Mike’s Message
The Name of the Church Jesus Built | Part 2
Last week we showed that ekklesia literally means assembly. The church had a reputation of assembling regularly. Therefore they were called a church.
Additionally, the same people were called “The Way” (Acts 9:32) because they followed Jesus who was “the way” to life (John 14:6). They were called “Saints” (1 Cor. 1:2) because they behaved differently than other people (1 Peter 1:15). They were also called “Christians” (Acts 11:26) because they were followers and imitators of Christ (1 Cor. 11:1). Using the three distinct ideas for the use of the word “name,” we can easily perceive that the Bible commonly refers to the church Jesus promised by reputation and distinguishing characteristics, but never by a universal title. Jesus intends for His church to be a group of people that follow His example, share a common faith, and assemble together regularly. From this it is wondered how one can claim membership in a church and not assemble with the group (cf. Heb. 10:24-25).
The conclusion therefore, is that the Scriptures do not show a universal name by which the church Jesus promised is called. The designation of this church is a description of the people—their character and behavior. They are privileged to wear the name of Christ because they belong to Him and exhibit characteristics He exemplified. They are followers of Christ, devoted to God, and assemble together regularly to teach, pray, encourage and edify one another, worship God, and remember the sacrifice of Jesus.
The question remains however, “If the church Jesus promised has no universal name by which it is identified, how can one know if a church is the church Jesus promised to build?” He does as the Bereans did and examine “the scriptures daily” to see if what is being taught and practiced by a church is what is taught in scripture (Acts 17:11).
A church may be called “The Church of Christ, or “The Church of God,” or “The Church of the Firstborn.” All of these are biblical descriptions. But, being called one of these does not make a church the church Jesus promised. It is what is taught and practiced by those who assemble together that make a church Christ’s church.
Do not simply “attend the church of your choice.” Search the scriptures and look for the church Jesus promised to build.