A casual observation of our religious landscape reveals that there are thousands of different churches spread throughout the world—Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Adventist, Presbyterian, Non-Denominational, Inter-Denominational, and many, many more. All of these churches believe and teach varying doctrines, creeds, and traditions. Some of these churches are very old and are composed of thousands of followers. Some are relatively new and have only a small following. Regardless of size or influence, each one claims to be following Christ in the correct way, and to be heading down the path to ward Heaven.
In the middle of all of this religious confusion stands the church of Christ. This church is unique because it is pre and anti-denominational. It is certainly not the largest in the world, and you will not find many majestic edifices of meeting among its members. The message that it preaches is one that is not very popular, and you will not find many of its preachers making national news headlines or being invited on prime-time television news. However, there are many things about this church that make it stand out. Consider these three reasons why you must be a member of the church of Christ.
It is the Body of Christ – In speaking of Christ, Paul wrote, “And [God] hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23). The church of Christ is the body of Christ and Paul would later write, “There is one body…” (Eph. 4:4). We are baptized into that body (Gal. 3:27) and all spiritual blessings are found within it (Eph. 1:3). Why does all of this matter? Christ has promised to save only His body (Eph. 5:23), and therefore, it is impossible to go to heaven without being a member of it.
Christ purchased it with His blood – Just before his departure Paul exhorted the Ephesians elders to “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and unto all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost has made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The church of Christ is so important because it is blood-bought, not man-made! Jesus “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5). He shed His blood on the cross to buy us back from the bondage of sin (John 8:34) and give us the opportunity to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). No other religious body can trace its origin to the blood that flowed from Calvary.
It is the Church the Prophets saw – In Ephesians 3:11 the Scripture speaks of God’s eternal purpose. That purpose, or goal, was to provide a way for all mankind to be saved, and that salvation is found in the body of Christ, which is His church (Eph. 1:23; 5:23). In Acts 15:18 James said, “Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Before He spoke the Universe into existence, God knew that the church of Christ was going to be established. Little by little, He revealed through the Old Testament Prophets, that the church was coming (Rom. 16:26; 1 Pet. 1:10-12). Today, there are many churches in existence, but the prophets saw only one church—the church of Christ.
God wills that all people be saved (2 Pet. 3:9), but salvation is not found just anywhere. It is found only in Christ (Acts 4:12), His blood (Eph. 1:7), and His body (Eph. 5:23). Therefore, God has called all people through the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14) to leave the life of sin and be added to the body of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:47). That is why you must be a member of the church of Christ.