WAS FOUNDED BY JESUS AND ON HIM
by Hugh Fulford
The church of Christ is correctly called the church of Christ
for several reasons. Such designation is not a denominational name nor the only
exclusive name by which the Bible refers to the church. But because Christ
founded the church and because he is the very foundation of the church it is
very appropriately called the church of Christ.
THE CHURCHíS FOUNDER
In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said to Simon Peter, "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." From this passage it is very
obvious that Christ is the builder or founder of the New Testament church and
that he calls this church his church. Any church founded by someone other than
Christ is not Christís church. David, in the Old Testament, announced a great
truth when he said, "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that
build it" (Psalm 127:1). In the New Testament we learn that the "house of God is
the church of the living God" (1 Timothy 3:15). If the Lord did not build the
house (church) those who did build it labored in vain. Jesus declared, "Every
plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up" (Matthew
15:13). No one should be a member of any spiritual household, religious plant,
or church which man was responsible for starting. One should be a member of the
church Christ established!
CHRIST THE FOUNDATION
Not only is Christ the founder of the church but he is also
the foundation of the church. In that same statement to Simon Peter cited
earlier Christ said, "Upon this rock I will build my church" (Matt. 16:18). What
was or is the rock on which the church of Christ is established? It is the
bed-rock foundation fact that Peter had just acknowledged Ė namely, that Jesus
is the Christ, the Son of the living God. In Matthew 16:16 Peter said to Jesus,
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Following this statement Jesus
said that upon this rock he would build his church. The rock was not the apostle
Peter or any other man; rather it was Christ and his divine relationship to God
Ė the fact that he is Godís Son. The apostle Paul makes this abundantly clear
when he states, "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is
Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 3:11). Any church built on a man or some special
religious doctrine or some form of church government is built on the wrong
foundation and will not stand. The church our Lord established is built on him Ė
on the fact that he is Godís Son. That is why every person who becomes a member
of the church must confess his faith in Christ as the Son of God (Act 8:37). The
church is said to be a spiritual house made up of lively or living stones.
Before a person can be placed on Christ the foundation and made a stone in that
house he must believe that Jesus is the Son of God (1 Peter 2:5, 6).
FOUNDED IN JERUSALEM
The church Christ established and which is founded on him was
started in the city of Jerusalem on the first day of Pentecost following the
resurrection of Christ (Acts 2). The prophets had long predicted the coming
kingdom of the Messiah (Isaiah 2:2-4; Daniel 2:44). This kingdom was not a
physical kingdom but a spiritual one (John 18:36) and was realized in the
founding of the church by Christ.
After his resurrection Christ appeared to his apostles and
said, "Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise
from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be
preached in my name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem" (Luke 24:46,47).
Then in Acts 1:8, just before he ascended back to heaven, Christ said to the
apostles, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon
you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and
in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." Observe in this statement
that Jesus said the apostles would receive power (power to preach the gospel in
all its fullness, resulting in the coming of the kingdom or church) when the
Holy Ghost came upon them. In Acts 2:1-4 we find the Holy Ghost coming upon the
apostles and their being empowered to preach the gospel in the languages of the
people gathered in Jerusalem for Pentecost. As a result of the apostlesí
preaching, people were pricked in their heart and asked what to do to be
forgiven of their sins (Acts 2:37). They were instructed, "Repent, and be
baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins,
and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" (Acts 2:38). "Then they that
gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto
them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:41). Thus, the kingdom or church of our
Lord came with power (Mark 9:1). It was established in the city of Jerusalem in
the year 33 A.D. by Christ upon the bedrock foundation truth that he is the Son
of God. On every occasion thereafter when people heard of Christ, believed in
him, repented of their sins, confessed Christ to be the Son of God, and were
baptized for the remission of their sins, the Lord added them to his church.
"And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47).
A GREAT PRIVILEGE TO BE IN
is a great privilege to be a member of the church Christ established and of
which he is the foundation. By being a faithful member of that church one can
have eternal life in heaven when his life here on earth is over. On the other
hand, it is dangerous to be a member of any church not founded by Christ and not
established on him. There is no promise of eternal salvation by being a member
of a church devised and established by man! Why take a chance with your soul?
Is it scriptural to refer to the church as the church of
Who is the founder of the church?
How many churches did Christ promise to build?
What will happen to plants (churches) not planted by the
Is the New Testament church founded on some man, religious
doctrine, religious practice, or form of church government?
What is the foundation of the church of Christ?
Can one become a member of the Lordís church without
confessing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?
Where was the church of Christ established? When?
What does the Lord do with a person who hears the gospel,
believes on Christ, repents of his sins, confesses faith in Christ, and is
baptized for the remission of sins?
this material is reproduced on our website from the book published by Star
Star Bible Publications, Fort Worth, Texas 76182
booklet may be purchased from Star Bible Publications. You may call
them at 1-800-433-7507 or visit their website at: Star Bibles
for more information. It is also
available in Spanish.
Horse Cave church of Christ
Introducing the church Index
Note: This material is copyrighted
(1981) by Star Bible Publications, Inc., P.O. Box 821220,
Fort Worth, TX 76182 and is used
with the express permission of Mr. Alvin Jennings, owner