The One True Church Jesus Built
Since the time of Jesus, countless churches have declared themselves to be “the one true church.”
Some think that claiming one is a member of “the one true church,”
to the exclusion of all others, is mean-spirited. Such need not be true, though. This is the case because Jesus promised to build only one church (Matthew 16:18
), and therefore all other churches are man-made, and do not have Heaven’s blessing (Matthew 15:13
). With this reality in mind, then, what attributes does Christ’s church possess?
1. Christ’s church is scriptural in origin. The New Testament reveals that Jesus’ church was established on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2
), in Jerusalem, approximately 30 A.D. Every church that was established after that time, was established too late to be Jesus’ church.
2. Christ’s church is scriptural in doctrine. The church Jesus built had (and followed) only one body of doctrine (Ephesians 4:5
). This means that where ever Christ’s church existed (i.e., Rome, Ephesus, etc.), they all were taught the same thing (see 1 Corinthians 4:17b
). Every church which teaches more than can be found in Scripture teaches too much (Revelation 22:18f
3. Christ’s church is scriptural in worship. The church Jesus built had only five acts of worship they offered Jehovah: A capella singing
(1 Corinthians 14:15
); taking communion
every Sunday and preaching
); and contributing money
to the Lord’s work (1 Corinthians 16:1-2
). Every church which includes more than these five acts of worship includes more than Christ’s church did.
4. Christ’s church is entered only by scriptural terms. The book of Acts records those terms: Hearing
the gospel, believing
in Jesus and being baptized
of sin (2:38
) and confessing Christ
). These exact terms were taught uniformly by all the apostles. Any church which requires more or less than these scriptural ‘terms of entrance’ requires more or less than the church Jesus built.
The question of whether one’s church is actually a church of Christ cannot be determined by one’s emotions. Appeal must be made to Scripture, with a determination to believe and obey only what is found there. The Bible has all the answers to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3
). Let us be wise enough to search it daily (Acts 17:11