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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 5:22-33


The Church of Christ

Things Concerning Christ (#6)



1.  We must understand who we are! Misunderstanding the church leads to...

  a.  Devaluing of the church (small groups, etc. that deconstruct local churches of Christ).

  b.  Sectarianism / Denominationalism (divisions will continue).

  c.  “Choosing the church of your choice” (viewed as optional).

2.  The church is central to God’s eternal purpose of redemption in Christ, Eph. 3:10-11.



  A.  Definition (ekklesia):  “to call out of.”

    1.  Church“Called Out Ones,” an assembly, Acts 7:38.

    2.  Greeks used of “an assembly of the people convened at the public place of council for the purpose of deliberating,” (Thayer, 196), Acts 19:39 (32, 41).

    3.  Assembly of the saved: Called out of darkness by God through the gospel (1 Pet. 2:9-10; Acts 2:39; 2 Ths. 2:14), Matt. 16:18.

    4.  “Church of Christ” designates possession (statement of relationship) -- ownership. (Matt. 16:18)

    5.  “Called out” of sin into salvation; Head and body, Eph. 1:22-23.

  B.  How the Word “Church” is Used in NT:

    1.  Universally: All the saved (Heb. 12:22-23; Col. 1:18; Eph. 5:23).

    2.  Locally: Congregations (1 Cor. 1:2; 1 Ths. 1:1; Rom. 16:16).

    3.  Denominationally is an addition, 1 Cor. 1:10, 13.

  C.  The Church is Christ’s Called Out People.

    1.  Composed of saved (Acts 2:47), blood bought (Acts 20:28), God’s people (Heb. 12:23).

    2.  To understand the church we must think “people”, not “institution”, Acts 2:47.

      a.  Believers, Acts 5:14.

      b.  Disciples, Acts 6:1, 7.

      c.  Christians, Acts 11:26.

      d.  Those of “the way”, Acts 9:1-2.

      e.  Saints, 1 Cor. 1:2.



  A.  Built by Jesus on Pentecost in Acts 2.

    1.  Establish a body of called out souls, Matt. 16:18.

      a.  Draw all men to himself (salvation), Jno. 12:31-33 (Eph. 5:25).

      b.  Great commission, Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.

      c.  Gospel preached, souls saved and church began, Acts 2:41.

    2.  The Lord adds souls to His church, Acts 2:47.

  B.  The Church of Christ did not Originate in America in the 1800’s.

    1.  Restoration Movement: Men and women of faith began to leave creeds and denominations to “restore the ancient order” and “restore the ancient gospel”.

      a.  “The Disciples” (A. Campbell); “The Christians” (Stone).

      b.  “By the early 1830s the Disciples of Christ had emerged as an independent denomination and, under the capable and energetic leadership of Alexander Campbell, made impressive gains during the decades between 1830 and 1860.”[1]

    2.  They helped start churches of Christ (congregations), but they did not begin the “Church of Christ denomination”!

    3.  The seed principle: Plant same seed, get the same plant, Lk. 8:11.

      a.  Plant the gospel...Christians...churches of Christ, Rom. 16:16.

      b.  Plant error...not Christians...not churches of Christ.



  A.  The Threat of Modernism (Rejecting Bible authority), Jgs. 21:25.

    1.  False teachers and false doctrine, Gal. 1:6-9; 2:4-5; Jude 3-4.

    2.  Compromisers of the faith, Rev. 2:14-16; 2 Jno. 10-11.

  B.  The Danger of Sectarianism / Denominationalism, 1 Cor. 1:10.

    1.  Reliance on preachers, periodicals, relationships to determine faith, 1 Cor. 1:21; 2 Cor. 4:5.

    2.  Desires to be “like all the nations” around us (1 Sam. 8:5, 20).

       -Developing a new denomination: “The Church of Christ”.

  C.  The Encroachment of Worldliness, 1 Jno. 2:15; Jas. 4:4.

    1.  Friendship with the world is making Christians God’s enemy!

    2.  Clothing, entertainment, language, priorities, selfishness...



1.  Must behave properly in the church of God (His house), 1 Tim. 3:15.

2.  Begins by remembering who we are – the church of Christ.


[1] Harrell, David Edwin Jr., “The Sectional Origins of Churches of Christ”, 45, American Origins of Churches of Christ, ACU Press



By: Joe R. Price

Posted: September 11, 2014