"Upon this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."
- Matthew 16:18
The Church of Christ
Paul, the great apostle of Christ wrote in Romans 16:16, "The churches of Christ salute you." This means there was a reality called the church of Christ in the first century, the time of Paul's writing.
The term "churches of Christ" refers to the different local groups of people who had confessed Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Those groups were also described as "Christians" in Acts 11, verse 26 and 1 Peter 4, verse16. Together they made up the universal church Jesus promised to build in Matthew 16 and which came into existence in Acts 2, just as Jesus said it would in Luke 24.
We believe that if men and women in the 21st century follow the pattern for becoming a Christian that we find in the New Testament they too can become Christians. Christians are all those who have heard the message of salvation (Romans 10:17), believed it (Mark16:16), repented of their sins (Acts 17:30), confessed faith in Christ (Acts 8:35-38), have been immersed in water for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38), and keep walking faithfully with God thereafter (1 John 1:5-7).
This church is not a man-made organisation. It's a spiritual institution that is presided over by the Son of God, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23). All its members depend on God's mercy and grace as they seek to honour God with their lives while serving Him.
Today Christians assemble in congregations that wear the name of Christ; hence they are called churches of Christ. They exist all over the world.