In a previous post, we discussed the fact that the Lord’s church must be the right age. That correct age was traced back to the time of Jesus Christ. During His earthly ministry, when He was in Caesarea Philippi, Jesus Christ promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18). Paul said further in Acts 20:28, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.”
Back in the Old Testament, it was prophesied that Jesus would be the founder of the church. Isaiah 28:16 says, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” The fulfillment of this prophecy was Christ. Jesus said, “Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes” (Matthew 21:42)? Peter said, “This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner” (Acts 4:11). He furthermore reiterated this point in 1 Peter 2:8. Paul also took the passage in Isaiah and applied it to Jesus in Ephesians 2:19-20. In practical terms, Jesus declared how He would fulfill this prophecy in Matthew 10:34-39 and Luke 12:50-53.
Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 1:22-23). As He is the head, we must follow Him only. “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). The only one with the right to rule is Jesus Christ. He is the one with authority (Hebrews 1:1-2). John wrote, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Having authority, Jesus has the right to judge (John 5:26-27; 12:49-50). This is true because He is the church’s founder!
The name “church of Christ” is used in Romans 16:16 because it shows ownership. It attributes the ownership of the church to Christ because, as we saw earlier, He bought it with His own blood. A church that is founded by John Calvin, John Wesley, John Smith, Joseph Smith or Mohammed are counterfeits. If you are going to please God, you must be a member of a church which honors and follows the proper founder.