What the phrase "church of Christ" means

by J. Randal Matheny, editor
The website for the congregations in the Paraiba Valley is being updated, so I wrote this short introduction for the new domain name and facelift. The translation has been ever so slightly adapted.
To some the phrase, “church of Christ,” is a name, a denomination, a title, and if you search you’ll soon find several groups with official names: International Church of Christ, Pentecostal Church of Christ, Church of Christ in Brazil, and so on.
The religious world seems to think only in terms of names, titles, and labels. But the Lord Jesus did not want this, nor does he permit it.
To speak, in the proper, biblical way, of the church of Christ is to use a description, one of many found in the New Testament, of our reality as the church which belongs to Christ, the church which serves Christ as Lord, the church used by Christ to fulfill and proclaim his good news in the world.
The church isn’t a denomination, not a building built with brick and cement, not a hierarchy, not an organized religion. In the sense in which Jesus established it, the church is his obedient people, those who do his will, those who carry the Cross.
The term “church” means “meeting, assembly,” and it refers to the people who are literally assembled for worship and edification or, in a wider sense, to God’s people assembled around Jesus in order to be his presence in the world today. It has, then, both a literal and metaphorical sense.
The church, then is the family of God, the body of Christ, the dwelling place of God, the launch pad of the Holy Spirit for the divine work in our day.
Church is where spiritual liberty exerts itself for humble service with a towel in hand, with sleeves rolled up, with a hug for one’s neighbor, where we learn to surrender our wills, listen, love, and be loved.
Church is where reigns equality among saints, respect, communion, patience, forgiveness, where everything revolves around the Lord Jesus Christ.
Come be a part of this reality with us.
“All the churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16).

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