The church of the New Testament is not denominational. In
the first century there was only one church. At that time there were no
denominations. Denominations did not exist but the church of Christ did exist. The undenominational church of Christ is produced when the gospel of
Christ is obeyed."But God be
thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that
form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from
sin, you became slaves of righteousness." (Romans 6:17-18)The New Testament church and denominational
churches are far different from one another in origin, purpose, mission, and
Denominations were planned by men,
the church of Christ was planned by God: The Bible says, "To the
intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to
the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the
eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord."
(Ephesians 3:10-11.)God planned the
church in such a way as to have unity. Unity is possible when, "All speak
the same thing." (1 Corinthians 1:10) Denominations promote division
instead of unity.The church of Christ promotes unity!
Denominations exist without blood, the church of Christ was purchased with Christ's
Speaking to the elders from the church at Ephesus God said, "Therefore
take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among
which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own
blood." (Acts ) Christ and His church cannot be
separated because the church was purchased by His blood. His church is as
valuable as His blood. Those that reject the church of Christ do not recognize the connection
between the church of Christ and the blood of Christ.Your Bible says, "Husbands, love your
wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himselffor her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of
waterbythe word, that He might present
her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
but that she should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Denominations do no recognize Christ
as the head of the church; the church of Christ lifts Him up as the only head: Denominations have their heads
and headquarters in different places around the world. Jesus is the head of the
church of Christ. "And He is the head of the
body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn
from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence."
(Colossians 1:18) Neither the Pope nor anyone else can claim headship over the
church. Jesus is head. He is king over His kingdom.Christians are citizens in the kingdom and
thus must respect Christ's law. Denominations do not respect Christ as head
because they do not respect His law. Christ, the head, instructs the body, His
church, concerning what to teach and do.
Denominations do not teach God's plan of
salvation; the church of Christ teaches salvation God's way: Denominations teach people to go
to an altar and pray for salvation, pray the sinners’ prayer, or to just
accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. They do not tell sinners to hear the gospel
(Romans ), believe in Jesus (John ), repent of sins (Acts ), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans
10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ. (Romans 6:3-5) Denominations never tell
people what Peter told the people on Pentecost. "Repent, and let every one
of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and
you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." (Acts ) The church of Christ encourages gospel obedience.
Denominations do not encourage gospel obedience. (Acts 2:36-41)
God has blessed us with the great
privilege of being a part of the blood bought, God planned, heaven promised
church. Jesus gave the world His church before and without denominationalism.
Let's go back to the Bible, back to New Testament Christianity, back to the
Bible church. You can be just a Christian! It is a great blessing to be a
member of the undenominational church of Christ.
By Charles Box, WalnutStreetChurch of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama36037USA.