When you travel around the country, you will notice many churches or as some may refer to them as congregations. You will see churches with the name, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican, Mormon on the building they occupy. Have you ever wondered why there are so many Churches? In one estimate found on a quick internet search there is said to be over 300 denominations! So when thinking about Christianity today, why can we not say, “there is one church“. Perhaps you have never really thought about it. As you think about it, let me ask you a question. Do you think it was always this way and did God intend for there to be many churches and congregations of his followers?
The First Sermon Preached on Pentecost
In Acts 2, when the apostle Peter gave what is known as the first sermon on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, there were three thousand souls baptized and added to the church. You can read the full account in Acts 2, but look specifically at Acts 2:41. These souls were the first Christians. Now ask yourself this question. When those who were baptized and added to the church came up out of the water and were asked which church they were a member of? What do you think they would have said? Do you think they would have been puzzled by the question? Sure, they would, why? When those souls were added there was only one church! The church of Christ which we read of in Romans 16:16. There was no Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, Mormon or any other religious body, only one church
Let us read from the Book of Ephesians, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”Ephesians 4:4-6
There is One Church
Notice what it says, there is “one” body. What does the word, “body” mean in the Bible? It means church.
Let us now look in the Book of Colossians, “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
Notice it says that the body is the church. As we follow this thought pattern, the bible says there is one body and that the body is the church. Therefore, we must conclude that there was only one church when Christ established it. So then why so many churches? Would you be shocked to hear that man created churches for himself with doctrines of their own that are not found in the bible? Well, that is exactly what happened. History is filled with the accounts of denominations forming over time where man built his own church and created his own doctrines which are not approved by God.
How Can You Identify the One Body?
So how would you go about knowing if the congregation you attend is “the one” church that was started in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost? Here are some pointers.
If the Plan of Salvation that is being preached is not consistent with that which is prescribed in the bible, then it is not the one church. That plan should be as follows.
- You must hear the Gospel being preached: Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
- You must believe what is being preached: John 8:24, “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”
- You must repent of your sins: Luke 13:3, “I tell you, no; unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
- You must confess that Jesus is your savior: Acts 8:37, “Then Phillip said, If you believe with all your heart, you may. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
- You must be baptized: Mark 16:16, “he who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”
- You must remain faithful: Revelation 2:10, “….Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
The Plan of Salvation is Scriptural
Finally, the above Plan of Salvation is not made up, but is scriptural and biblical. Look at the Book of Acts, here you will see precisely how many in the first century church in the City of Corinth were added to the body.
“Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized.”Acts 18:8
In this great example you see the logical pattern that was followed in order to be added to the church. They heard the word being preached, they believed it and then were baptized. This is how you can be added to the one church today.
Friend, you can be a child of God today by being added to the church in the same manner as those who were first added to the church in the first century. Contact us or any local church of Christ in your area and I am sure they will be happy to help you.
You can reach us at Alkire Road Church of Christ in Grove City, Ohio. We would love to meet you and teach you more about God’s word.
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