HOW DO WE KNOW THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS NOT A DENOMINATION?

 

 

  1. THERE IS AN EXCLUSIVE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH:
    1. Church: “Ekklesia” ek – out of, klesis – a calling: AN ASSEMBLY

                                                              i.      Universal aspect: Matthew 16:18

                                                            ii.      Local aspect: Romans 16:16

    1. The church is the body of Christ: Ephesians 1:22, 23; Colossians 1:18

                                                              i.      ONLY ONE: Ephesians 4:4; I Corinthians 12:20

    1. The church is the bride of Christ: John 3:29; Romans 7:4; Ephesians 5:23. One Husband, One Bride!
    2. Christ owns but ONE church: Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:25; Acts 20:28. Local congregations: Galatians 1:22; 1:2; II Corinthians 8:1

     

  1. THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH ORIGINATED ON THE FIRST PENTECOST AFTER CHRIST’S DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION:

Christ’s Church

Present Tense                                                                                                                        Future Tense

                          PENTECOST

                        Matthew 16:18                                                              Acts                                                  Acts 2:47

           

a.      Prophecy pointed to that day of Pentecost: Isaiah 2:2,3:

i.                    Mountain of Jehovah’s house to be established in the last days!

ii.                  All nations would flow unto it!

iii.                The word of Jehovah would go forth from Jerusalem! Luke 24:44-49.

iv.                Began to be fulfilled on THAT day of Pentecost in Acts 2!

(a.)  Peter referred to that time as “the last days” Acts 2:16, 17.

(b.)   The commission that embraced ‘all nations’ began to become operative: Matthew 28:19, 20; Luke 24:47.

(c.)   The word of Jehovah went forth from Jerusalem that very day: Acts 2:16-47.

     

  1. THE KINGDOM (CHURCH) CAME WITH POWER:
    1. ‘Kingdom’ & ‘Church’ often used interchangeably. Matthew 16:18, 19; 28; Mark 9:1; Luke 24:49; Acts 1:1-8; The Holy Spirit (the power)

        came in Acts 2 upon the apostles, and the church, the kingdom was established on Earth, fulfilling God’s prophecies.

    1. This happening was referred to as ‘the beginning’ in Acts 11:15.

 

  1. IS THE CHURCH OF CHRIST A DENOMINATION?
    1. What is a denomination?

                                                              i.      “A party or sect in religion”. But God’s ‘Way’ is NOT a sect: Acts 24:14-16. (Sect is from ‘Section’, a part of something)

                                                            ii.      What is the foundation of Denominationalism? DIVISION, different interpretations of God’s Word. Without the teaching of conflicting doctrines of men, denominationalism could not exist. If DIVISION is wrong, then so is denominationalism! John 17:20-23. DENOMINATIONALISM IS THE VERY OPPOSITE OF THIS PRAYER!! I Corinthians 1:10

                                                          iii.      Can one today become a Christian, becoming a member of the New Testament Church without belonging to a Denomination? THEY COULD, AND DID, IN NEW TESTAMENT TIMES!!

                                                          iv.      When people obeyed the Gospel, as taught by the apostles, did that make them members of a Denomination? Acts 2:37, 38, 41, 47.

      

  1. A KINGDOM IS REPRODUCED BY ITS SEED!
    1. God’s law of reproduction! The complete destruction of a plant would require the destruction of the seed by which it is produced.
    2. True also of the church, God’s kingdom: Daniel 2:44 God’s kingdom shall never be destroyed! That includes the seed, the Word of God: Luke 8:11; I Peter 1:23-25.
    3. The unadulterated Word of God, the seed of the kingdom, will not produce denominations, but only the church found in the seed; only true worshippers, only Christians that make up the Lord’s church!
    4. Man is warned NOT to add to, or take away, from God’s inspired Word! I Peter 4:11; I Corinthians 4:6; II John 9; Revelation 22:18, 19. God has always warned against this: Deuteronomy 4:1, 2; Proverbs 30:5, 6. We must not change God’s meaning, but we must understand it correctly, as the apostle Paul did: Ephesians 3:3, 4.

     

  1. EXAMPLE OF TEACHING OF THE SEED VS. THE TEACHING OF MAN THROUGH DENOMINATIONALISM:
    1. What must I do to be saved?

                                                              i.      God’s Seed, His inspired Word:

1.      Hear – Romans 10:17; John 6:44, 45

2.      Believe – Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24

3.      Repent – Acts 17:30, 31, Acts 2:38

4.      Confess Christ as Lord – Romans 10:9, 10; Matthew 10:32, 33

5.      Be baptized in water into Christ for the remission of sins! In other words, according to the Word of God, the seed of the Kingdom of God, man must be born again: John 3:5 – and notice, this is WATER baptism – Hebrews 10:22; Titus 3:5; I Peter 3:21;

I Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:26; Acts 8:36-39; 10:47, 48. Notice also that this water baptism into Christ is FOR the remission of sins: Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Romans 6:3-6; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12, 13; I Peter 3:20, 21.

 

a.      The alien sinner meets the blood of Jesus Christ in water baptism: Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5; Romans 6:3-6; I Peter 3:21.

b.      Water baptism, the one baptism – Ephesians 4:4, puts one into Christ’s church, His kingdom: Ephesians 1:22, 23; 5:23; I Corinthians 12:13.

   

    1. But Denominationalism teaches the EXACT OPPOSITE:

                                                              i.      Teaches an alien sinner to pray and mourn and then imagine he is ‘born again’ WITHOUT WATER & THE SPIRIT! Then, they pronounce him a child of God, and saved eternally! In other words, IN THE KINGDOM, and then they LATER baptize him into a denomination, a church of HIS choice, NOT into Christ, for the remission of sins!

 

IS THE CHURCH OF CHRIST A DENOMINATION?

 

NOT IF IT IS PATTERNED AFTER THE CHURCH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT TEACHING, THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST!!!

 

The churches of Christ (non-institutional)

 

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