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The Name Church of God

paul churchthe Name 'Church of God‬'

People have asked: Why are you called the "Church of God"?
The historical background behind the naming of God's church was provided by Jesus Himself in a prayer. On the night of His arrest, Jesus prayed for the disciples--the first “called-out (ones)” who will compose His ‘ekklesia’ (the Church). His prayer was instructive:

“Holy Father, keep through YOUR OWN NAME those whom You have given Me, that they may be one, as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them IN YOUR NAME…I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth” (John 17:11-12, 14-17).

Jesus concluded His prayer with an affirmation, “And I have declared to them YOUR NAME, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me, maybe in them, and I in them.” (John 17:26)
Thus, in the New Testament, whenever the church was spoken/or referred to, it carries the name of the Father--God. There are twelve (12) separate instances where it records that the Church has been kept in the Father’s name. The first five of these refer to the entire Church, or ‘body of Christ’, as a whole. The next four speak of local congregations then existing, while using the same name “Church of God.” This may refer to the Church of God at ‘Judea’ or ‘Corinth’, etc. The final three references speak collectively of all the local congregations combined. All these references use the term “Church of God”:

[1] Acts 20:28: This verse is instruction to the elders to “feed the Church of God.”
[2] I Corinthians 10:32: “Give none offense, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God.”
[3] I Corinthians 11:22: “…or despise you the Church of God, and shame them that have not?”
[4] I Corinthians 15:9: Paul wrote the same thing to two congregations: “For…I persecuted the Church of God.”
[5] Galatians 1:13: “I persecuted the Church of God.”
[6] I Corinthians 1:2: “the Church of God which is at Corinth.”
[7] II Corinthians 1:1: “the Church of God which is at Corinth.”
[8] I Timothy 3:5, Paul refers to any elder in a local congregation: “For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the Church of God?”
[9] I Timothy 3:15: “…behave yourself in the house of God, which is the Church of the living God.” This verse adds a descriptive word to God by using the term “living.”
[10] I Corinthians 11:16: “…We have no such custom, neither the Churches of God.”
[11] I Thessalonians 2:14: “For you…became followers of the Churches of God which in Judea are in Christ Jesus.”
[12] II Thessalonians 1:4: “So that we ourselves glory in you in the Churches of God.”

Speaking prophetically, Jesus Christ assured His 'ekklesia' about the importance of their 'Calling' and always seeking the Kingdom of God, He promised, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). Such is the true body of believers, the Church of God: a “little flock.”

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