WHY DID WE USE THE NAME “CHURCH OF GOD”?
There are numerous churches today with the name CHURCH OF GOD, from Pentecostal, Adventists, Holiness, and non Trinitarian denominations of Christianity. All of them claim that they are the true church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ because they used or declare the biblical and historical name of the local churches of the New Testament: the Church of God. So the question is why did we use this name?
BECAUSE THE NAME “CHURCH OF GOD” IS BIBLICAL
Let us look in the Holy Bible for guidance and evidence that this name is a biblical name for the local churches in the New Testament.
Act 20:28 (GNB) So keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock which the Holy Spirit has placed in your care. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he made his own through the blood of his Son.
1 Corinthians 1:2 (GNB) To the church of God which is in Corinth, to all who are called to be God’s holy people, who belong to him in union with Christ Jesus, together with all people everywhere who worship our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
1 Corinthians 10:32 (GNB) Live in such a way as to cause no trouble either to Jews or Gentiles or to the church of God.
1Corinthians 11:22 (GNB) Don’t you have your own homes in which to eat and drink? Or would you rather despise the church of God and put to shame the people who are in need? What do you expect me to say to you about this? Shall I praise you? Of course I don’t!
2 Corinthians 1:1 (GNB) From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and from our brother Timothy — To the church of God in Corinth, and to all God’s people throughout Achaia:
Galatians 1:13 (GNB) You have been told how I used to live when I was devoted to the Jewish religion, how I persecuted without mercy the church of God and did my best to destroy it.
1 Timothy 3:5 (GNB) For if a man does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of the church of God?
1 Corinthians 15:9 (KJV) For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
1 Corinthians 11:16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
1 Timothy 3:15 (KJV) But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
1 Thessalonians 2:14 For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus: for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they
have of the Jews:
2 Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
12 verses in the Bible declares and proclaims that one of the names of the local churches in the New Testament is the Church of God.
OTHER NAMES FOR THE LOCAL CHURCHES IN THE BIBLE
Romans 16:16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
Romans 16:4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
There are other names of local churches in the Bible aside from the name Church of God.
BECAUSE THE NAME CHURCH OF GOD IS HISTORICAL
After the death of the Apostles. The Apostolic Fathers Clement, Polycarp, Ignatius and Hermas wrote about the Church of God.
I Clement 1:1 “The Church of God which is at Rome, to the Church of God which is at Corinth…”
Ignatius to the Trallians 1:7 “…For they are not the ministers of meat and drink, but of the church of God…”
Ignatius to the Trallians 3:1 “I Salute you from Smyrna together with the churches of God that are present with me…”
Ignatius to the Philadelphians 1:1 “Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the church of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ which is at Philadelphia in Asia…”
Ignatius to the Smyrneans 1:1 “Ignatius, who is also called Theophorus, to the church of God the Father, and of the beloved Jesus Christ…”
Polycarp to the Philippians 1:1 “Polycarp, and the presbyters that are with him, to the church of God which is at Philippi…”
I Hermas Vision 2:32 “Thou art mistaken, said he, she is not. I replied, Who is she then sir? He answered me, It is the church of God…”
III Hermas 9:175 “So the church of God, when it shall be purified…shall become one body, and there shall be one understanding, one opinion, one faith, and the same charity…”
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
There are so many churches today who uses the name CHURCH OF GOD, and sadly most of them are anti-catholic and anti-gay. I believe that one of the biblical names of the local church is the Church of God it is biblical and also historical as preached by the Apostles of Jesus Christ and the Apostolic Fathers. It is time to restore the church of God to its original state. It is time to restore the church of God back to the primitive church or the New Testament times. While other churches of God are anti-catholic and anti-gay, Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd Church of God in union with the Christian United Church will always defend unity, ecumenism, inter-faith relations, justice for all, liberation and freedom from oppression, creedal or catholic expression, and inclusivity. Here everyone is welcome, men, women, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgenders. This is our church, this is our denomination, this is the Church of God – CUC.