What Is The Church In The New Testament?

by Garland M. Robinson

        The word church means: "CALLED OUT." Those who are members of the church are "called out" of the world and into the Lord's church which is his body. Several things need to be understood in regards to the church. But it may also contain something other than water. There may be oil, detergent, rocks or sand or any number of other things in the jug. But if I say this container holds only water and nothing but water, that excludes everything else.
        Christ is the HEAD of the church. God the Father "...hath put all things under his [Christ's] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all" (Ephesians 1:22-23). Compare Colossians 1:18.
        The church brings GLORY to God. "Unto him be glory in the church..." (Ephesians 3:21). Men often seek to bring glory to God through Benevolent and Fraternal Organizations. But, no glory is found in men's societies. It is in the church that God receives glory.
        The church makes known God's ETERNAL PURPOSE. Ephesians 3:9-11 says, "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God...To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord."
        The church PROCLAIMS God's message. The Lord's people, through and by the church, preach the gospel to the whole world (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19-20).
        The church is made up of the SAVED. "For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body " (Ephesians 5:23). Jesus never promised to save anything but his body. The Bible says there is "one body" which is the church (Ephesians 4:4; 1:22-23).
        People are added by God to the church of Christ -- they do not join the church. "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). "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved" (Acts 2:47). God adds those who have humbly repented of their sins (Acts 2:38; Luke 13:3), confessed faith in Christ (Acts 8:37) and been baptized for forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). Have you been added to the Lord's church? If not, you cannot be saved because that's where God puts the saved!