The church of Christ is the greatest institution that the world has ever known. The case being that it is a divine institution, we should never think of it in concepts that are ordinary. One cannot belong to God in a New Covenant relationship unless one has been added by the Lord to the church that belongs to Christ.
One cannot be loyal to Christ without also being loyal to his church. Let us note some of the characteristics of greatness regarding the Lord’s one true New Testament church (Matthew 16:13-20).
The Church is Great Because of its Founder
When one considers any type of organization thought must be given to its founder. The founder sets forth the code or standard of its nature and operation. His wealth serves as the basis for such an institution.
The case being that the New Testament church is of divine origin we thus identify Christ as the founder of the church (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 11:1-3; Phlp. 2:5-8; Acts 20:28).
No religious denomination or human religious organization can claim Christ as its founder. Only the church that was purchased by the blood of Christ claim Christ as its head (Col. 1:18).
The Church is Great Because of its Purchase Price
Most worldly concerns were founded to enrich the founder. Such is not the case with regards to the church of the Lord (Acts 20:28).
Christ purchased his church in the sense that he satisfied the attributes of God to save sinners in the confines of one aggregate (Eph. 1:21-23; 4:4; 5:23; Acts 2:47).
The Church is Great Because of its Relationship With Christ
The church of Christ is essential to the salvation of humanity not because the church saves individuals. The church of Christ is essential to the salvation of humanity due to the fact of the relationship it sustains to He who purchased it—Christ.
The New Testament church is essential to the salvation of humanity because it is the spiritual body of Christ. There is no salvation outside that body (Eph. 1:22-23; 5:23).
If one could be saved as an accountable individual outside of the church of the Lord, then one could be saved outside of Christ. The case being that the church is his spiritual body there is no salvation outside of such.
The New Testament church is essential to the salvation of humanity because the church is the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:22-23). One cannot be saved without being joined to Christ in a spiritual union, which is found in the church.
The New Testament church is essential to the salvation of humanity because it constitutes the kingdom of God (Matt. 16:18-19; Col. 1:13-14; John 3:1-5). There is no new birth; neither is their submission to Christ outside of his kingdom.
The New Testament church is the army of Christ (Heb. 2:10; 2 Tim. 2:3-4). There is no spiritual service unto God found outside the church.
The New Testament church is the family of God (1 Tim. 3:15; Matt. 12::47-50). One cannot be a covenant child of God outside the church.
The Church is Great Because of its Collective Work
The church of Christ has a collective responsibility assigned to it in accomplishing specifics that are essential to the salvation of humanity (Mark 16:15-16; Col. 1:23; Eph. 4:11-15; 2 Pet. 1:10-11; Gal. 6:10).
We are under obligation to respect the authority of the New Testament of Christ (Col. 3:17). To fail in this obligation would result in sin (2 John 9). Therefore we note that the collective work of the local church is limited to that of evangelism of the lost, edification of those who are saved, restoration of fallen children of God, and benevolence to qualified needy. To go beyond the authority of Christ would involved the church in unauthorized activity.
The Church is Great Because of its Blessings
Indeed all blessings come from God, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17). The New Testament church is the collective recipient of all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1:3-7; 5:23).
The Church is Great Because of Those Who Comprise it
The conditions of salvation are equal to terms of church membership. Therefore when one is saved from past alien sins one is added to the church (Acts 2:47; John 17:14; Rom. 12:1-2).
The Church is Collectively Great Because of its Ultimate Goal
As members we have the responsibility of walking in the light of truth to be kept pure by the blood of Christ (1 John 1:6-10). Upon the condition of faithfulness Heaven will be our eternal home (1 Cor. 15:24; Heb. 12:22-23; Rev. 21:1-4).
The New Testament church is great because Christ is its Savior, Christ is its Lord, and Christ is its King!