The Church of Christ
"The Churches of Christ Salute You"
Romans 16:16 says, "The churches of Christ salute you" (KJV). What were the churches of Christ in the New Testament? Who were the churches of Christ? Are there churches of Christ today? Modern day believers should be asking these questions. After all, the church of Christ belongs to Christ. Acts 20:28 says it was "purchased with His own blood."
In Matthew 16:18, 19, Jesus was talking to His apostles and was making reference to Peter's confession of faith in Him when He said, "On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven."
This was the church of Christ in the New Testament. It was, and still is, the kingdom of Christ (Matthew 13). It was built by Jesus, Himself. He built it on the living, active, working faith of His apostles (Ephesians 2:19-22), and it still prevails today. Even though Satan has used every kind of weapon mankind could ever dream of in the most wicked of imaginations, the church still prevails today under the teaching left to us by His apostles and other inspired writers of the Holy Scriptures.
In Acts 2 the apostles used the "keys of the kingdom" that Jesus gave them when He ascended back to Heaven. They opened the door of the church when Peter preached the first gospel sermon. It tells us about 3,000 souls were added to the church that day when they obeyed Peter's words and were baptised "for forgiveness of sins."
The New Testament reveals a pattern that was left by them for us. This pattern separates His church and makes her a light for a world that has seen so much confusion as the result of the many "commandments and doctrines of men" (Colossians 2:20-23; Matthew 5:13-16). The church of Christ today is the church of Christ as long as we strive to fit that pattern in our worship, organization, service, and in our personal lives. II Thessalonians 2:15 the apostle Paul wrote, "Therefore brethren, standfast and hold the traditions
which you were taught, whether by word or our epistles." Timothy A. Sundlie Preacher/Evangelist for the Washington church of Christ