6/18/2017 6:04:06 AM
One Church or Many Denominations?
Jesus founded one church, not many denominations. In fact, He prayed for His people to be united in the truth of His Word (John 17). Paul urged believers to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace because there is one body and one Spirit (Eph. 4:3-4). He rebuked the division that was forming in the Corinthian church when some were following Paul and others following Apollos (1 Cor. 4:3). After the Reformation denominations emerged that shared a common faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ but held to different teachings on baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the sovereignty of God in salvation; the future of Israel; eschatology, and gifts of the Spirit. These doctrinal differences continue to be based on flawed understandings of the whole counsel of God’s Word.
Every born again Christian is sealed with the Spirit of Truth, however there are factors that may prevent them from gaining a clear understanding of God’s Word. Some have a flawed understanding of theology because they do not study the Word diligently with the proper hermeneutic. Others are misled because they embrace teachers who are blinded by unbiblical religious traditions. Jesus said, ”In vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9). Still others twist the meaning of Scripture for their own personal agendas, religious pride, or the presence of sin. Tragically, the lack of unity can destroy the witness of the Lord’s church. The unbelieving world sees denominational differences as a reason to reject Christ because Christians cannot agree on what the Bible teaches. Some denominations have drifted towards apostasy because they no longer submit to the supreme authority of God’s Word.