Settling every Bible based question or studying every Bible based topic can hardly be resolved with a single verse every time, but there are times when a single verse is so clear and concise in what is being said, the point cannot be missed by any honest Bible student.
For example, take the question and topic of denominationalism and whether or not God approves of such behavior. If we’re looking for a straight answer the Bible provides one! It doesn’t matter how we feel about the restoration movement, the reformation effort, the evangelical community church push, or any other small or large-scale religious body … if you think there is godly wisdom in being able to “choose the church of your choice” think again. Denominationalism is against the will of the Father, the Son and the Spirit! Such a truth is too plain to deny according to the desire and prayer of Jesus before his betrayal, trial and crucifixion. While praying for the apostles, Jesus mentioned those who would believe on him through the teaching and preaching of the apostles by saying, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21 NKJV)
Denominationalism goes directly against the prayer of Jesus. Denominationalism goes directly against the mission of the church. Denominationalism goes directly against the unity the apostles preached (1 Corinthians 1:10). The error of denominationalism is more serious than what many consider it to be, and all it takes is one verse to prove it.
Some churches historically have taught that water immersion is the dividing line between the lost and the saved. This means that a penitent believer remains unforgiven of sin until buried in the waters of baptism (Romans 6:4). Much of the denominational world disagrees with this analysis of Bible teaching, holding instead that one is saved at the point of “belief,” before and without water baptism. Consider some of the points that are advanced in an effort to minimize the essentiality of baptism for salvation. Read >>
The following excerpt came from an article (Baptism for the Right Purpose) written by a brother who preaches in Smith County, Tennessee.
“If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved out of Christ (Galatians 3:27). If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without putting on Christ. If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without being buried with Christ (Romans 6:3, 4). If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without being raised with Christ. If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without being in the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). If one can be saved without baptism, they can be saved without obeying Christ (Acts 10:47, 48). Please take time to read and study God’s word on this subject.”
When an individual understands from whom the command to be baptized originated with, with what it gets us out of, and with whom it places us in, then any contrary argument against its necessity can be seen for what it is – wrong. The scriptures cannot be broken (John 10:35). So when the scriptures give a plainly revealed principal to be followed, the principal takes precedent over the vain suppositions and excuses that are offered in order to decrease the urgency in which an individual should have toward following the will of God.
Spurning the grace of God to the detriment of understanding in the hearts and minds of others does no favor for the hearers, the speaker or for the gospel that has been given to save our souls.
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:15-16)
Last week I posted an article called “Jesus is THE prophet of God” on Keltonburg Preacher and I received a comment that questioned the reliability of such a statement and belief. By doing so the comment revealed why extra-biblical resources for spiritual authority are so frustrating. How’s that? Let me show you how by dropping you in midstream of the conversation.
The reply to my article:
“Well, i’m a Christian and I believe Jesus to be the Son of God, not a prophet”
“…Now as to whether or not Jesus was a (and more importantly “the”) prophet of God consider a few things: Continue reading
I know it goes contrary to what many are taught within denominationalism, but the truth of the matter is that denominationalism damages the gospel – it does not promote it (John 17:20-21).
When you get down to the root of the issue many people in the denominational world know that division is wrong; that’s why they have “interfaith” meetings. But what they fail to understand is that the unity of the Spirit is meant to come before the spirit of unity so the bond of peace is based upon the joining power of God and not man (Ephesians 4:3).
I can appreciate the fact that many in the religious world are starting to see that division shouldn’t be so. I can appreciate the fact that many are beginning to understand that Christ wasn’t divided and those who profess to follow Him should walk according to this same measure (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, Philippians 3:16). But I cannot appreciate the fact that there are still those within denominationalism who celebrate denominationalism. There is not one single verse in all the New Testament that encourages or extols the so-called benefits of any spiritual division within the body of Christ outside of the correction of sinful living and heretical teaching (1 Corinthians 5:1-8, Titus 3:10-11). The lengths to which some go to justify their divisive teaching, divisive order and divisive influence reveals just how short-sighted their respect is for the unifying word of God.
At the end of the day setting aside the traditions of men and women for the commandments of God should be one of the many important goals that the church should have. Such was possible in the first century and such could be possible in the twenty-first century if we would only celebrate the right kind of unity that leads to true growth for the kingdom of God and stop celebrating the wrong kind of division that hinders it (Ephesians 4:13-16).
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” (Acts 2:42)