Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you. (Romans 16:16)
The Churches Of Christ
Jesus came to establish His kingdom and to open up the avenue of salvation for all men. His death was the sacrifice for sin. The burial was the reality of God inhabiting the abode of the dead. It was the resurrection that became the greatest miracle as Jesus came forth from the grave to build His church upon the truth that He was the Son of the Living God. Fifty days after His resurrection, Jesus witnessed the apostles gathered in Jerusalem preaching the gospel of Christ to a lost and dying world. On the day of Pentecost, three thousand souls were baptized for the remission of their sins and the Lord added them (and others) to the church. It was the beginning of the church of Christ. No plan has ever been as complete, no vision so fulfilling and no purpose more divine than the establishment of the church that would belong to Jesus Christ.
The first few years of the church saw an amazing amount of converts as Jews turned to the good news of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. Soon the Gentiles would be added to the fold when Peter went to the household of a Roman centurion and taught them the gospel. Men like Paul, Barnabas, and Silas began traveling around the Roman Empire establishing churches in every city. There were oppositions and persecutions but this only fueled the fires of the new covenant disciples with more faith. Churches were found in cities like Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, Corinth, Thessalonica, and even the imperial city of Rome. Spread throughout the world, the churches of Christ filled the landscape of communities far and near. It was a regal time in the development of the church. Facing the fierce oppression of the world against the disciples of Christ, the church grew stronger and bolder never accepting defeat. As a result of their faith, the church of Christ remains today a viable and influential part of the human fabric all over the world.
Paul penned a powerful letter to the saints in Rome whom he called beloved of God. His message was a bridge between the old law and the new law found in Christ. Throughout the Roman letter allegiance to Christ is set forth as the purpose of the gospel. As he concludes his letter naming many saints who inspired him and helped him in his work of preaching the gospel, the apostle sends greetings from the churches of Christ. This was not a title but a description. Paul recognized the church as belonging to Christ and none other. He gave glory to Jesus Christ by calling the church as that which belonged to the Son of God. The churches of Christ filled the world. Each congregation was a representation of Jesus. There were many names given to the early saints describing their relationship to Jesus but none so fitting as the churches of Christ. He died for the church and bought the church with His blood. As the head of the church, Jesus rules alone with no man to be a representative on earth. All authority comes from Jesus to rule over His church. The churches of Christ give honor and glory to the name of the Son of God. For two thousand years, the church of Christ has stood for He who is the way, the truth, and the life. Rooted in the rich tradition of the first century, the churches of Christ remain devoted to the cause of the first gospel sermon preached by Peter and the other apostles.