Does The Church of Christ Have The Divine Right To Exist?
[In another Q & A, we answered the question from the Bible to the negative as to why human-made denominations do not have the Divine right to exist. See Do Denominations Have The Divine Right To Exist?]
The term “church of Christ” is a designation (literally means “the called out of the Anointed One”). [For different designations that the Bible gives for the church, see Are There Any Different Titles For The Lord's Church?)
Below are some scriptural reasons why the church of Christ can exist by Divine right:
God pre-planned the church to be included in His purpose of the plan of redemption from all eternity (Ephesians 3:1-13).
In the Old Testament God prophesied about the kingdom that would be given over to the Messiah to rule (Daniel 2:44; Colossians 1:13).
John the Immerser was making the way of preparation for the Messiah, immersing those who would obey God and receive remission of sins. These were the ones who chose to believe on the Messiah who was to come during their lifetime (Acts 19:4; Mark 1:4). The faithful disciples of John (such as Andrew and Peter – John 1) who became faithful disciples of Jesus were immersed for the remission of sins, faithfully following Him. On the Day of Pentecost they were automatically added to the church of Christ and then about 3000 souls were added “unto them” (Acts 2:1-47). Therefore, the church of Christ was divinely established on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus
Jesus had promised that He would build His church and it would rest on the rock-solid foundation that He was and is the Messiah (Matthew 16:18).
A person must trust and obey the true gospel of Christ (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Romans 10:16; 1 Peter 4:17) in order to be added to the Lord's church, the church of Christ (Acts 2:47). Since the word of God endures forever (1 Peter 1:22-25) and the word is like a seed (Luke 8:11), which can be planted and sown even after thousands of years, then it is the case that whenever a person receives the pure truth of God's word (James 1:18) [that is not mixed with any man-made, denominational creeds], then that person will become/be a Christian (Acts 11:26).
Some try to make the case that the church of Christ is just another denomination by stating that it started with the Campbells and Stone in the early 1800s. This is another failed tactic used to revise history. True history/the testimony of Scripture indicates that a person does not and will not affiliate with any denomination [because denominations implicitly result in supporting the work of the flesh - “division” (Galatians 5:19-21)], but will adhere to the word of God only, and just be a Christian. The true history in Acts indicates that the early evangelists preached the pure gospel of Jesus Christ and were able to get the word planted, sown, and watered into some good and honest hearts. These people in the book of Acts did not join any denomination [denominations did not even exist]. They were added to the Lord's church by obeying the gospel of Christ as taught in the Scriptures. People such as the Ethiopian eunuch and the Samaritans became a part of the one body of Christ (Acts 8). The famous Jew, Saul of Tarsus. became a part of the one body of Christ (Acts 9). The Gentiles, Cornelius and his household, became a part of the one of Christ (Acts 10,11). Many Corinthians became part of the one body of Jesus Christ around twenty years after the church was established (Acts 18). These were not several denominations. They had all obeyed the same gospel and they were united under the apostles' doctrine that had been revealed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42).
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