The Plea For The Church of Christ

W. Terry Varner
February 26, 2017

When we speak of the church we do not mean what most religious people when they speak of the church. Normally, they mean either a Protestant denomination, the Greek Orthodox Church, or the Roman Catholic Church. The early Restorers, and we, use the term church to mean what Jesus meant when He said, “Upon this rock I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18).

The church was prophesied in various places in the Old Testament. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the “foundation of the church (cf. 1 Cor. 3:11). We are told that “He [God] put all things under His [Christ] feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body” (Eph. 1:2-23, emp. added). Once Roman Catholicism came into existence, about AD 700, many believers in Christ (Restorers) accepted the Bible teaching as to who was the head of the church and rejected the Roman Catholic papacy who claimed to be the head of the church. This brought persecution to the point of death upon them from the Roman Catholic Church. The history of Christianity through the centuries is replete with such evidence. The Bible teaches Christ is the legislator of the church. “The church is subject to Christ” (Eph. 5:24). Again, the early Restorers were persecuted often times to death for rejecting the Pope as the authority to make laws. Catholicism taught that the Pope spoke ex cathedra; i.e. with full authority. Joey Sutton and W. Terry Varner serve as elders overseeing the West Union congregation but they and the congregation are subject to Christ. The Bible teaches the church was “purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28) which is “the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:18-19). It is the body or the church that Christ saves (cf. Eph. 5:23). Jesus taught that nothing—absolutely nothing—would prevail; i.e. conquer or prevent the church from not always existing.

The Restorers studied the New Testament to learn about the church. When they accepted only what the New Testament taught, they opposed the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and any group which did not practice New Testament teaching. They discovered:

Jesus is the Builder. Jesus said, “I will build My church” (Matt. 16:18). The prophets called the church “the Lord’s house” (Isa. 2:2-3). The prophet Zechariah said of Jerusalem: “My house shall be built in it” (Zech. 1:16). On the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2, the church was established.

Jesus is the Foundation. “Behold I lay in Zion [Jerusalem],..for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious comer stone, a sure foundation” (Isa 28:16). “No other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 3:11).

Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone. We “are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20). We are understand the role of the cornerstone when building a building a building. It is the key stone by which two sides of the building are united, and upon which the rest of the building rests. “Other stones” within the wall are aligned with it and receive their direction from the cornerstone. Peter calls these other stones as “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5, ASV). Christ gives us our alignment and direction for life; therefore, our chief cornerstone.

Jesus Purchased this House. Paul states Jesus “purchased the church with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). When we are obedient to the gospel, we are redeemed. When we are redeemed we are bought with a price. Peter says.the members of the church (Christians) are “redeemed_ with the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19). We are blood bought.