The Church of Christ

The Church of Christ: A Denomination?

Whenever we talk about the church of Christ,  we are not talking about a denomination or  conglomeration of denominations, but God  purposed the church as the Bible reveals (Eph. 3:10- 11). Prophets prophesied of it (Isa. 2:1-3; cf. 1 Tim.  3:14-15). Jesus Christ promised it (Matt. 16:18; 9:1). He  purchased it with His blood (Acts 20:28). On the Day of  Pentecost following His death, burial, resurrection and  ascension, it came with power (Acts 2). Notice with me  this undenominational church in light of the religious  confusion today by answering the following important  questions.

In times of the New Testament, were Christians  members of some denomination? No, Christians in  New Testament times were not members of some  denomination because denominations did not exist. In  fact, the first denomination did not form until hundreds  of years later. Were Christians in the times of the New  Testament members of the church of our Lord? Yes.  Why were they members of the church of Christ? They  were members of the church of Christ because the Bible  says so (Acts 2:47; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 1:1). Therefore, it  is possible to be a member of the church in the Bible  without being a member of a denomination.

If we were to follow the New Testament, would  its commands lead one to become a member of a  denomination? No, in order to become a member of a  denomination, one must do something more than what  the New Testament commands. Would it lead one to be  a member of the church of our Lord? Yes!

If following the New Testament will not lead one  to become a member of a denomination, what must one  do to become a member of a denomination? He must  leave the teachings of the New Testament. This shows  us that there is a great difference between the church of  our Lord and denominationalism.

Do those in denominations strictly adhere to  the teachings of the New Testament? If they did, they  would not be a denomination. We can see a difference  in what some do and what the New Testament teaches.  For example, concerning the plan of salvation, most  denominations teach other things. Concerning worship,  most denominations teach other things, although God  means what He says and says what He means—Cain  and Abel, Nadab & Abihu and such like illustrate this  (John 4:24; Acts 20:7). Scholars agree to what these  things mean, but it is a matter of whether God means  what He says.

If everyone quit following everything but the  New Testament and just followed the New Testament,  what would happen? Denominations would crumble  and go away. Would the church crumble? No, because  following the New Testament makes one a member. Are  there Christians in denominations? If so, how did they  get there? (cf. Acts 2:47).

Therefore, we learn that Christians were not  members of denominations in the times of the New  Testament. Obeying the New Testament does not make  one a member of a denomination. To become a member  of a denomination, one must leave the teachings of  the New Testament. Those in denominations do not  strictly adhere to the teachings of the New Testament.  If everyone followed only the New Testament, no one  would be a member of a denomination!

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