Question: You often make reference to the one true Church that is talked about in the Bible; please comment on that Church.
Answer: (Part 6) Unity has for many years, been a source of discussions and difference of opinions and has led, to a very large degree, to religious division. And we all know that religious division is sinful (John 17:20-21).
Yet, in the Bible, unity is spelled out very clear and is extremely important to the salvation of our souls.
Unity is the desire of Jesus our Savior. The foundation upon which it is to be accomplished is found in God’s holy word—the Bible, and is clear and easy to understand. The Bible contains the only plan that will satisfy the mind of God and meet with His approval. Therefore the religious division that exists in the world or in a local congregation is totally unscriptural—sin, and completely unnecessary.
In 1 Corinthians 1:10 Paul demanded unity among all Christians in the church of Christ at Corinth. While John, in 1 John 1:5-7, declares to us the message of God: that each one of us must walk (live our daily life) in the light (gospel or God’s revelation of truth) as He (Jesus) walks in the light in order for fellowship between us, God, and Christ to exist and then and only then does the blood of Christ cleanse us from sin.
In this lesson we will consider five points: the importance of unity; the undenominational character of the church; the sin of division; God’s plan for unity and unity, an individual obligation.
The importance of unity: Christ prayed for it (John 17:20-21)! That alone is enough to show the importance of unity among all believers. Also Paul demanded that the Corinthian Christians be in complete unity through the authority of Christ (gospel); that each one speak (teach and practice) the same thing (gospel); that they have the same mind and judgment (reasoning & conclusions) (1 Corinthians 1:10).
Yet, the religious world is so divided: Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist, Mormon, Christian Scientist, Jehovah Witness, Christian Church, etc. just to name a few. Is this what Jesus earnestly prayed for? Is this what Paul commanded Christians to do? Is this right (book, chapter and verse) according to the Bible? Is this how unity is secured and maintained? Think about it!
The undenominational character of the church: the one true Church of Christ in the Bible is the general assembly (all of the saved) or those who have answered the call of the gospel and been added by the Lord to the Church (Hebrews 12:21-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:14 & Acts 2:47). These are disciples (followers) of the Lord, not of men. They are not a part of (denomination) anything they are just citizens in the Kingdom of God here on earth—members of God’s earthly family. They belong to God in Christ Jesus they do not belong to any earthly denominational organization, they do not wear any earthly denominational name, they have no denominational creed to live by, and they have not obeyed any earthly denominational requirements for membership. They are the bride of Christ! God only has one family and Christ only has one wife. Yes, they are, in the religiously divided world, a “peculiar people” (Titus 2:14) but that is what God wants—undivided and undenominational.
The sin of division: Solomon in his wisdom told us of things that provoke God when he talked of seven sins. It is true that Solomon could have talked of many other sins but these were and are enough to get our attention to the fact that many things that mankind does is evil in the sight of God and that God hates them. In Proverbs 6:19 we learn that division is one of those evils. Paul also taught Christians to “mark” (identify) and “avoid” (no fellowship) other Christians that cause division (Romans 16:17-18). That puts the sin of division in a very serious place in the sight of God and man. Yet, it exists on a very large scale in our society. Makes you wonder why, at least I would think so?
God’s plan for unity: It is really quite simple and it is found in Ephesians 4:1-6. God has a standard for us to live the Christian life by and we are to endeavor to live by it; one God (unity in worship, John 4:24). One Lord Jesus Christ (unity in authority, Matthew 28:18). One faith (unity in message, Romans 10:17). One baptism (unity in procedure, Acts 22:16). One body (the church, unity in method, Colossians 1:18). One hope (unity in longing, Titus 2:13). One Spirit (unity in life, Romans 8:1-39). This is the one and only God given plan among men by which to obtain unity and yet present day denominationalism ignores and destroys this beautiful and meaningful arrangement. That arrangement which Jesus earnestly prayed for!
Unity, an individual obligation: that division exists is not up for debate (Matthew 10:34), but that still does not relieve us of the responsibility of diligently promoting unity (Ephesians 4:3).
Paul further reminds us that absolutely nothing is to be done through faction (Philippians 2:3). But, this does not give us the right to compromise the truth and give in to human wants and desires. The simple truth is; believers must be united in the gospel (John 8:32 & Romans 1:16). Whatever unity might be gained outside of the gospel is a failure, as far as salvation of the soul is concerned (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
If you have to stand alone to please God, are you willing and strong enough to do so?