"How to dentify the New Testament church" (Part 1)

How do we identify things in this life, whether it is a person, a place, or a thing? Don’t we identify things by marks of identity, or characteristics? If you had never met me before, someone could describe me and you would pretty much know me when I walked through the door. With those thoughts in mind, consider with me for a few moments the church. The Bible teaches there is only one church. Christ Promised To Build "His" Church. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18). In this passage, Christ did not promise, to build “a” church or “one” of my churches. Christ promised “I will build ‘my’ church,” in the singular sense. The Bible clearly teaches there is only one true New Testament church. There is only one body. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Rom. 12:4-5). “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ” (1 Cor 12:12). “But now are they many members, yet but one body” (1 Cor 12:20). The Bible also teaches that the “body” is the “church.” “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col 1:18). Since the body is the church and there is only one body, the logical, and Biblical explanation is, there is only one church. How do you know which one is the right one? In the yellow pages that I have on my desk, there are 7 ½ pages of church listings. Consider the News Paper. It is filled with churches who all claim to be the church of the Bible. Are all of these churches the right one? Not according to the Bible. How then can one tell which one is the right one? We must look for marks of identity, or certain characteristics. Consider with me one of those identify characteristics of the New Testament Church. To begin with, the New Testament church is “not” a denomination. Many who are religiously affiliated are happy to admit that they are members of a denominational church. What Is Denominationalism? The word denomination is defined as a religious body with a distinct name and doctrine which separates it from other religious bodies. It does not claim to be the church as a whole but only a part of it, or a section of the body of Christ. The New Testament church is "NOT" a denomination. It is the true church, the whole body of the saved, the original church revealed in the Bible long before denominations came into being. It is also important to know that denominationalism is sinful. The word denomination comes from the word “denominator” which means “division.” Division is a direct violation of God’s Word. It is God’s desire that man be unified. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” (Psa. 133:1). The plea of Jesus before His death was a plea for unity. “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (Jn. 17:20-21). The apostle Paul pleaded for unity. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor 1:10). The most interesting thing concerning this passage is not only does Paul make a plea for unity, but he also informs his readers of the process that brings about unity. We must all speak the same thing! How is this possible? We must all follow the teachings found in God’s Word. As one can see from the above mentioned passages, denominationalism is a clear violation of scripture and a violation of the very last plea of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The New Testament cannot and must not be identified as a denomination among the denominations, because denominationalism is sinful. In part two of “How to identify the New Testament church,” we will discuss the fact that the New Testament church was established by Christ.


Wait on the Lord

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen tine heart: ...

Daily Verse

Psalm 23:6

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever." The Hebrew word for 'follow' in this verse means to run after, chase, hunt, or pursue. The idea is that when individuals allow the Lord to be their Shepherd, they will literally be chased down by God’s goodness and mercy. Have you made the Lord your Shepherd?