Churches as described in the New Testament are made up of people. The church established in the first century (Acts 14:23) consisted of those who had obeyed the gospel and became disciples (Acts 14:21).
How were these churches identified? Paul described several groups of disciples as “churches of Christ” (Romans 16:16). These congregations belonged to Christ in a special way. Jesus had saved them when they obeyed the gospel. As a result, they were dedicated to Him and His teaching. How do we authenticate our claim to be a church of Christ? No man, or manmade organizations, determine whether we are “in” or “out”. Instead, our proof is our close adherence to the principles which Jesus and His apostles taught. This is the only basis for any group to claim to be of Christ.
Some of these principles include:
• Complying with what He requires for our entrance into His church.
• Speaking with and displaying a proper attitude in our personal lives each day of the week.
• Worship offered sincerely, in spirit and in truth, in our public assemblies.
• To learn and recognize God’s will in every area of our lives, both collectively and individually.
In short, the teaching of God’s Word is our guide for all aspects of our lives as we constantly seek a closer relationship with God through Christ.