I. The church of Christ is, by nature, different.
A. It is unlike all other religious bodies, movements, and organizations.
B. If the church of Christ is not different and distinct, it ceases to be the Lord's church and its members cease to be God's people.
II. Let us seek the truth; what does the Bible say about the church.
III. The Lord's church is different because of:
A. What it was.
B. What it is.
C. What it is not.
A. It was purposed by God.
1. Ephesians. "To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:"
2. Romans. "(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were."
B. It was preached by God.
1. Mark. "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel."
2. Matthew. "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."
3. The 70 (Luke); the 12 (Matthew); John (Matthew); Jesus (Mark).
C. It was purchased by God.
1. Acts. "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."
2. Ephesians. "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 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
3. 1 Peter 1:18-19. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:"
A. It is the church of the only Savior.
1. Ephesians. "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"
2. Colossians. "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence."
B. It is the church of the saved.
1. 2 Thessalonians 2:14; define ekklesia. "Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2. Acts. "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."
C. It is the church of the scriptures.
1. It has a scriptural time of beginning.
a. Daniel. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
b. Mark; Luke; Acts; 2:1-4, 47.
c. Acts. "And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning."
2. Place (Isaiah 2:2-3).
3. Builder (Matthew).
4. Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11).
5. Price (Acts).
6. Number (Ephesians; Colossians).
7. Name (Romans).
8. Rule of faith (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
9. Headquarters (Daniel).
a. Not voted in but added by the Lord.
b. Give plan of salvation.
a. Lord's Supper (Acts).
b. Singing (Ephesians).
c. Giving (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
d. Prayer (Acts).
e. Preaching (Acts).
A. Not of human origin.
1. If Christ only built one church then all others must be of men (Matthew). "But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up."
2. Cannot glorify God in a man-made church (Ephesians). "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
3. No salvation in man-made church.
B. Not of human order.
1. Matthew. "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."
2. The Bible is our only rule book.
3. Hebrews. No churches where the word hasn't gone.
I. There is only one church.
II. Review points.
III. Are you one of the called out?
IV. Please see Plan of Salvation.
-- Ralph Price, 1998 --