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 One Church, One Body of Christ

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TomL
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PostSubject: One Church, One Body of Christ   Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:08 am

What does the Bible say about the church? Is the church properly divided in hundreds of denominations? If so, where is there authority for that in Scripture?

First, I believe we should start with who is the head of the church? Ephesians 1.22&23 establishes that Christ is the head over all things to the church, which is also His body. No Pope, nor human vicar needed. Jesus Christ is the only head of the church, and that by the authority of God.

Second, it is established in Scripture that there is only on body/church of Christ. There are no denominations authorized anywhere in Scritpture. 1st Corinthians 1.10-13 states, "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe’s household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" - NKJV

Paul's question, "Is Christ divided," could be asked today. Is the a Lutheran Christ? Is there a Baptist Christ? Is the a Calvinist Christ? Is there a Presbyterian Christ? How many different ways does denominationalism diivide Christ? But, Biblically, Christ is not divided, nor is His body, which is the church.

1st Corinthians 12.12-27 establishes that there is ONE BODY. Eventhough there be many members, individually, there is one body.

In John 17.20, Jesus prayed that all believers would be one. Christians are to be in a common union, in Christ.

The only division in the church is geographical. The church at Rome, the church at Corinth, the church at Galatia, etc.

The oneness of the body of Christ is taught in various Scriptures. I have just mentioned a few. Not one denomination is mentioned anywhere in Scripture. So denominations have absolutely no authority to exist.

Denominations came as the result of hundreds of years of division. The first major division was between the church of the West, and the church of the East. The church in the West eventually became the Roman Catholic Church. The church in the East became the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Eventually, Martin Luther came along, whose goal it was to reform the Catholic Church. His attempt failed, and his followers went out on their own, and eventually formed the Lutheran Church. Then there were other reformers that didn't quite agree with Luther. Menno Simons, whose followers eventually became the Mennonite Church. Jacob Ammons, whose followers became the Amish Church, John Calvin whose followers became the Presbyterian Church.

It is clearly obvious that denominations are the result of division, which was condemned by the apostolic writers. The Word of God is so very clear that there is only one church, it's hard to understand why it is not understood by anyone who does any study at all. It is possible that theologians do understand it, but choose to ignore the truth out of pride and arrogance. Perhaps they want their own kingdom. Whatever the reason is, they seem to ignore the plain and simple truth.

There is but one church of Christ. That is not to say that the denomination that wears that name is that one church. Having been a member of that institution it is hard to believe that it is. There is so much division among the American churches of Christ. Many have actually split over little things like the color of the carpet, a kitchen in the building, musical instruments, etc.

Divisiveness is carnal according to Paul, in I Corinthians 3.1-4. It is the difference between walking in the flesh and walking in the Spirit of God.

God save the one church.

Amen
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