Question:

Good day brother Jeffrey,

I need your help. Where does the church of Christ get the year 33 AD? What is the basis on this?

Another question: Is it true that no religion can save?

The Church of God said that the one true church is the Church of God because it is written in the Bible and Church of Christ is not found in the Bible only the plural phrase churches of Christ.

Thank you in advance and God bless.


Answer:

I assume that by 33 AD, you are referring to year that Christ's church began. Assuming that Jesus was born at 1 BC, Jesus began his ministry at the age of 30 (Luke 3:23), it lasted about 3 1/2 years (derived from counting the Passover feasts mentioned) and the church was established 50 days after Jesus' death on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). The problem is that Jesus' birth was probably closer to 4 BC, so the church was more likely established in the year 30 AD.

"Religion" is the system of what you believe. Belief is necessary for salvation. "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10). But not all faith is the same. "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? ... You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe -- and tremble!" (James 2:14, 19). The point is that faith by itself is inadequate. I guess you can conclude then that religion is necessary, but by itself is inadequate to save.

A group can call themselves anything they like, but that doesn't prove they are the original of that same name. There are a large number of groups using the name Church of God (see: "Church of God (Disambiguation)", Wikipedia). The most common one was started in 1922.

The truth is that there is no congregation, started during the first century, that has survived to the modern times. There doesn't have to be. If you plant an acorn, you get an oak tree -- every time. If the Word of God is planted in the hearts of people, Christ's church grows (Matthew 16:18). The problem with denominations is that additional documents are added to the Bible in order to distinguish the denomination from other denominations. Thus, the pure seed of God's Word is not used. Christians in the churches of Christ have long argued that the only way to have Christ's church is to only use the pure Word of God, unadulterated by men. Then the churches following Christ's teachings will belong to Christ.

The argument saying that the early congregations did not refer to themselves as a church of Christ because Romans 16:16 only uses it in the plural form only serves to demonstrate that someone doesn't understand how languages work. I Thessalonians 2:14 and II Thessalonians 1:4 both use the phrase "churches of God" to refer to the individual congregations in different regions. "Church of God" is used in I Corinthians 1:2 and II Corinthians 1:1 to refer to a single congregation. "Church of God" was also used to refer the the church as a whole in I Corinthians 10:32. We can conclude the same usage can be made of "churches of Christ" and "church of Christ." The early church did not use a single title to refer to itself. See: Names for God's People.

What makes a church like the original church is their adherence to the same teachings as the original church.