What makes the church of Christ so different from the various religious organizations of today? The churches of Christ exist today because people have separated themselves from the various man-made religious institutions and returned to following the simple New Testament pattern as is found in the Bible. We adhere to the Bible as our only source of religious authority, and we are opposed to all departures from the original Biblical plan. We wear the same name as the Christians did in the first-century church (Rom. 16:16), teach the same plan of salvation (Acts 2:37-42), and worship the same way the church did in the days of the apostles (Acts 20:7).
The phrase "church of Christ" is a descriptive term to signify Christ's Lordship of the Church, not a denominational label. In the New Testament, there was only one church, and every Christian who obeyed the plan of salvation was a member of it (Acts 2:38, 47). The idea of more than one church with various doctrines, forms of worship, and different names simply was not God's plan. The Bible never mentions modern denominations, and divisions in the original Church came about years later. The oldest denominations did not begin until several hundred years after Jesus established His church. Many man-made denominations have begun only within the last 100 years. However, God knew that there would be departures from His original plan (1 Tim. 4:1-2; 2 Tim. 4:3-4; Acts 20:29-30; 2 The. 2:3). The only guide for faith and practice of those early Christians was God's Word by the inspired preaching of Apostles. It is the map that gives all Christians the divine guidance that we need.
Today we have the Bible and can know which doctrines are based on Biblical principles. If we compare ourselves, our beliefs, and our actions to what is written in God's holy Word we can know the truth. The Bible is the inspired, authoritative, and all-sufficient Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16-17). The word "Church" is Ekklesia in Greek and literally means "To call out". The church in the New Testament Scriptures refers to "A Called Out Body of People". The church includes all the saved who have been called out of the world into God's service through their obedience to our Lord's commands.