One Church, One Mind, One Voice
"“In the days of those kings the God of
heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed,
nor will its sovereignty be left to another people; but it
will break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it
will stand forever. "
~ Daniel 2:44
What Do You Think?
- Is there only one true church?
- Are denominations merely apart of this larger "church"?
- Are all churches to have the same doctrine, and if so what is this doctrine?
- Acts 20:28; "...to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and‡ God which he purchased with his own blood. "
- Notice the use of the word "the" denoting a singular entity.
- Similar to the use of "the faith" in Jude 3
- Ephesians 4:4-6; "There is one body..."
- What is this one body?
- Ephesians 1:22-23; "... and gave him to be head over all things for the assembly, which is his body,..."
- Therefore this "one body" is the church.
- Colossians 1:18; "He is the head of the body, the assembly,..."
Are denominations simply members of this one body?
- 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; "For as the body is one and has many members but all the members of that one body, being many are one body, so also is Christ.
- Many have misconstrued passages like this and John 15:1-10 to mean that the members of the body are denominations.
- This is simply not true; see verse 27.
- The members are individuals!
- See also Romans 12:5
- 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; "Is Christ divided?"
- This verse states very clearly "that
there be no divisions among you;" (KJV)
- What is a denomination?
- One of a series of kinds or one of many. How can one church, which is Christ’s body, be divided into a series of kinds?
Are all churches to have the same mind and say the same things?
- 1 Corinthians 1:10
- Here Paul tells Christians to "be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment. "
- Paul also tells the Corinthians church to speak the same thing.
- Romans 15:5-6; "that with one accord you may with one mouth..."
- Philippians 1:27; "stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the Good News; "
- Also see Philippians 2:2 and 3:16
- 1 Peter 3:8; "...being of one accord, of one mind; "
- Peter is addressing multiple churches here, and he admonishes them all to be of the same mind.
- Anyone who examines denominations will soon realize that they are not speaking the same thing, differ on fundamental issues such as baptism, and certainly not striving together for the faith of the gospel.
If churches are to have the same mind, what is the standard?
- Ephesians 5:23-27; "that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, ".
- Thus the word cleanses the church of its blemishes.
- What is this word?
- See John 17:7-8 and 17, 1 Corinthians 14:37, Psalms 119:160.
- Therefore we must be like the Bereans who "examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. "
- Acts 17:11
What did the apostles write about 1 century denominations?
- 1 Timothy 6:3-5
- Also see 2 Thessalonians 3:6
- 2 John 9-11; "Whoever transgresses and doesn’t remain in the teaching of Christ, doesn’t have God..."
- Romans 16:17
- Here Paul says there will be divisions, but note that they arise from those advocating something contrary to the word of God.
- See also 1 Corinthians 11:19
Then what must we do?
- 1 Timothy 4:1-6, 13, and 15-16
- Paul warns Timothy of false doctrine, and urges him to continue in the good doctrine.
- 2 Thessalonians 2:15; "So then, brothers, stand firm and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word or by letter. "
Is it possible to do this?
- Luke 18:25-27
- For it is easier for a camel to enter in through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into God’s Kingdom.”
- Those who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?”
- But he said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”