Mar 10

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Is There But One, Undenominational Church?

Notice very carefully what is and what is not meant by saying there is but one, undenominational church. It is not being said that there is one big, all-inclusive church which is made up of all the denominations. Neither is it being said that there is only one denomination (out of all the hundreds) which is accepted of God. Nor is it being said that the church is non-denominational (a church which accepts all denominations). Rather, the statement does mean: there was and is still yet one church which Jesus purchased with His blood (Acts 20:28); was established on the first Pentecost following Jesus’ resurrection (Acts 2) long before the invention of divisive man-made denominations; and which itself is not a denomination, does not consist of any or all denominations, and is separate from the concept of a denomination.
What then, saith the Scriptures concerning a single, undenominational church?
Ephesians 1:22-23 states, “And he put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body.” Here we see that the church is also called what? His body. Thus, the church is His body, and His body is the church. Then we come to this statement in chapter 4 verse 4, “there is one body.” “One” is singular. This means that just as there is but one Father (V:6), one Jesus (v:5), and one Holy Spirit (v:4), there is also but one body. Thus, since there is but one body, and since the body is the church, what does that tell us regarding the number of churches? There is but one church.
But, although this proves that there is only one church, could this not mean that this is referring to one big universal church that is made up of many different denominations? To answer this crucial question, consider what the figure of the head/body is illustrating. Whenever God uses a figure to illustrate a spiritual truth, He always makes use of real-life objects (lilies, birds, door, salt, etc.). Likewise, with the head/body, there is only one body attached to one head. However, since each denomination is a separate and distinct body of people with each claiming to have Jesus as its head, then denominationalism is implying the existence of a creature of a single human head with 100’s of human bodies attached to it! But such does not exist; and thus, denominations is not what makes up the body of Christ.
The truth regarding the body is revealed in 1 Corinthians 12. Again, it is made clear that there is but one body (v:12-13,20). It is also stated that there are many members which make up this body (v:12,14,20). Although the attempt is made to claim that “many members” is referring to “many denominations,” God is very clear in telling us who the “many members” are. Verse 11 states, “But all these work that one and selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” Then, in the next verse, He explains how all these men work together in the church with the “body” illustration: “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.” Thus, the members of the body are none other than individual Christians in the one church! This point is repeated in verses 27-29 in which the members are declared to be individual Christians (apostles, prophets, teachers and various workers). Furthermore, since verse 25 declares “that there should be no schism (division) in the body,” and since denominations are sharply divided over 100’s of beliefs and practices, then “members” is not denominations!
Tell us plainly, is there but one, undenominational church? Yes, there is but one, undenominational church.
What then, is to become of man-made denominations? From the words of Jesus we read, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Mat. 15:13).
Our plea to you is to come out of man-made denominations, reject man-made creed books, and use the Bible and the Bible only to become a member of the one church you read about in the Scriptures.

Gary Henson
Series on: “Tell Us Plainly” (John 10:24)

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