We established on Tuesday the nature of the church yesterday and demonstrated the ownership of the church by Jesus Christ alone. Notably, the church is not owned by any man or organization. Any church which points to a mortal man as its founder is unsuitable and finds itself in competition with the one true church for which Jesus died (Acts 20:28).
The name of the church is important. In Jesus’ day there were many religious groups. The Jews were predominant in the history of Christianity. Less important initially but still notable were the various pagan religions which flourished in the Roman Empire. One would think that a single name would demarcate the early church from the surrounding groups. However, the gathering of God’s people under Christ were known in a variety of ways. Sometimes as simply the church in a given location (Colossians 4:16), sometimes as the church of God (Acts 20:28) and as the churches of Christ (Romans 16:16). Many other names are also given.
The best understanding seems to be that the term “church” was understood to signify the collection of believers placed into the church by God himself (Acts 2:47). Since there were no denominations in the first century there was no need for a single moniker for the assembly of God’s people.
We may be assured that the names found in Scripture for the church are acceptable and therefore represent the appropriate names for the church. It is important that church was never known by a mere man’s name.
Some think the name doesn’t matter at all. Ask Pepsi and Coca-Cola if names are important.
In the afternoon, more sermon prep as we refined the “big ideas” from the day before and began to craft three to five main points all of which come from the text itself.
A round of Bible memory work marked the end of the day.