What Is The Church That Jesus Built?
By sis Esther Tok
Many think religious belief is a form of spiritual sustenance and that all religions teach the same thing – to do good onto others.
Some may choose to attend church services at a convenient location near them.
Everyone has the freedom to choose their beliefs and which church organization they wish to attend, but if you are searching for the truth and the true church which leads to the way of salvation, you will have to seriously seek and consider. There is such a thing as vain worship – Jesus mentioned in Matthew 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
The church belongs to Jesus Christ and was established through His apostle Peter.
Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16:18-19 “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
If one were to say that he or she is the builder of a building, then that person would hold the plans for the building works to be carried out. The same logic applies to the church. Christ owns the church because He purchased it with His blood, by dying on the cross for all of us and He has given Peter the keys and instructions for His church. Just as how construction needs to follow the plans of the owner of the building, Peter, with the rest of Christ’s apostles, had to (and did) carry out Jesus’ instructions on how His church needs to be like. The church has to be exactly how Christ wants it to be. Therefore, if a church is not built upon Christ’s instructions then we can be sure that the church is not the same as the one Christ built, the one that Christ died for.
Just as every building has a foundation, the church has a foundation too. Interestingly, the Bible does not mention a certain type of brick or mortar as the church’s foundation. In fact, in Ephesians 2:20, it reads, “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” Therefore, the foundation of the church is Jesus Christ and the church is not a physical building. In Colossians 1:18, apostle Paul wrote “And he is the head of the body, the church:”. “He” in this verse refers to Christ and this same verse also tells us that the church is actually referred to in the Bible as a “body”, in contrast to the popular understanding of the church being a building.
The establishment of the church took place at the location written in the Bible, Jerusalem, an unforgettable place where Jesus was crucified. The first members of this “body” (the church) were the three thousand souls who heard Peter preach, as written in the book of Acts 2:41, “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”
The Bible also reveals when the church was established. The book of Acts chapter 2 records the first sermon, brought forth by apostle Peter. In verse 1 of Acts 2, it reads that Peter preached on Pentecost and on the same day, there were people who received his words, believed and were baptized – the three thousand souls who were saved and added to the church (verse 41). The Pentecost which Peter preached on was when the church was established. If we read about the history of other churches, we would read about their founders and when they were established. How then could these be the same church that belongs to Christ?
Jesus Christ died for His church and He died for only one church. There are many today who think that the name of a church is unimportant. If Christ bought His church with His life, can we still say the name of a church does not matter?
The church of Christ is not a man-made church with doctrines that serve man’s purpose; the name itself honours Christ and His sacrifice for us. Unless the church was established on Christ’s instructions, established according to His words, and continues in the apostles’ doctrine, one cannot say he or she is worshipping in spirit and in truth. We are to continue according to the exact instructions which Christ handed down to His apostles, as mentioned in Acts 2:42 “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”