Names and Designations of the ONE TRUE CHURCH
Names and designations are identies. These are the titles given to explain something about the organization or church. We find that the ONE TRUE CHURCH has many different names and descriptions.
As you view the religious world about you, you are very familiar with the names of many different groups of people who claim to worship God. One of the identifying marks of the ONE TRUE CHURCH is the name by which they are known. As we will search the scriptures, we will look at the names by which God recognizes His church.
By reasoning, we can figure out, that if the name of your church is not listed here, you have an unscriptural name, and your church is not of the ONE TRUE CHURCH. Please do not get upset about this fact, but pray that you will only seek to do that which is right in the sight of God. Too many folks will reject God to keep themselves in a wrong relationship of people. If you are truly seeking to please God and worship Him the right way, please consider the scriptural names by which His church is called.
We already saw in Matthew 16:18 that Jesus said that He would build His church. So we have the church that belongs to Jesus and the Church that Jesus built.
Jesus also used the term "kingdom" in place of church. It is not a different entity, but the same entity, only a different designation.
Luke 22:29-30 "and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
Jesus was saying this to His disciples. Jesus also told the officials that his kingdom was a spiritual kingdom.
John 18:36 "Jesus answered, 'My kingdom is not of this world, If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.'"
The church is also called the "kingdom of heaven"
Matthew 16:19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
This kingdom is not only called the kingdom of heaven, it is called the kingdom of God.
John 3:5 "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.'"
Luke 22:16 "for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
Other holy inspired writers called it by various names and designations as well.
Colossians 1:18 "He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything."
Ephesians 1:22-23 "And He (God the Father) put all things in subjection under His (God the Son) feet, and gave Him (the Son) as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all."
Ephesians 3:10 "in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places."
Notice also how the phrase "body" is used in these passages. Telling us that the body and the church are one and the same. The phrase kingdom is also used in the same way. They are one and the same, only they are different designations for the same thing. If you have the time (and I suggest you take it), read Ephesians 5:23-32, and notice how often these phrases are used.
In other places we read of the church of God.
Acts 20:28 "Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood."
1 Corinthians 1:2 "to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours;"
Galatians 1:13 "For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it."
Paul wrote of a plurality of churches and called them churches of Christ. Thus a single body of believers in a local congregation can be called a church of Christ.
Romans 16:16 "Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you."
In another place, the church is called the house or household of God.
1 Timothy 3:15 "but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth."
It is also called the household of faith.
Galatians 6:10 "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith."
Once again, it is called the Kingdom of God.
Acts 28:23 "And when they had set a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers; and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening."
Acts 28:30-31 "And he stayed two full years in his own rented quarters, and was welcoming all who came to him, preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness, unhindered."
Notice also what the church is called in Colossians 1:13 "For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son."
Hebrews 12:28 calls this "a kingdom which cannot be shaken,"
There will be a few other designations as we continue this study of the ONE TRUE CHURCH. We will see how various names are used in particular relationships. This we will see as the designations of the members of this church.
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