As you read through the pages of MonticelloChurchOfChrist.com you will find common concepts that appear quite often.
The Bible is like a ball, round, smooth and can easily move one from one place to another in one's search to understand God and His relationship with His Creation. Everything in scripture flows back into itself. Nothing is sticking out to hamper the movement of the Word.
The overwhelming percentage of "Christian" groups say, "Not so!" They say even though there are differing beliefs all "Christian" churches are part of the one universal church. One denominational radio program I listen to has the congregants occasionally do an "Apostle's Creed" responsive recitation which includes the phrase, "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church." The word Catholic essentially means "universal" or all encompassing.
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 NKJV)
The scriptures tell us the body and the church are one and the same.
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 NKJV)
I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, (Colossians 1:24 NKJV)
Do those verses, and others, mean any "Christian" church, no matter what it teaches, is part of that one body, that one church?
II John 1:9, the Bible itself, says that not all "churches" are part of the body, the church, mentioned in Ephesians 4:4...
Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. (II John 9 NKJV)
A church, or anyone else, who teaches other than the teaching of Christ (doctrine of Christ - MW) does not have God. For instance, some 1600 years after the resurrection of Christ most churches taught baptism for the remission of sins in keeping with Jesus' Commission in Mark 16:15-16, now few do. Now they teach a form of gospel obedience that is not found even ONE time in scripture. They have not abided in the doctrine of Christ in this and other important teachings of Christ. Therefore they are outside of the Bible church and do not have God.
Matthew 15:9, the Bible itself, says that not all "churches" are part of the body, the church, mentioned in Ephesians 4:4...
And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ” (Matthew 15:9 NKJV)
Any church based on the teachings of man, Calvin, Smythe, Russell, Smith, or anyone else., is not part of the Biblical church. That church is outside of the Bible church and is vain and worthless.
All man can do is add to or take away from what the Bible says about the church. Any of man's creeds that say more than what the Bible says about the church is worthless because it goes beyond what the Bible says. Any of man's creeds that say less than what the Bible is worthless because it doesn't go far enough. Any of man's creeds that say what the Bible says is worthless because we already have the Bible.
Acts 2:47, the Bible itself, says that not all "churches" are part of the body, the church, mentioned in Ephesians 4:4..
praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 NKJV)The church was already established on the Day of Pentecost in AD 33. Any church established after 33AD is not part of the Biblical church. The Bible church was in existence in the first century. Any church started or established after that date is not part of the "one body." That church is outside the Bible church.
The Bible contains numerous passages that tell us the importance of the right church and how to identify it.
There is no "universal church." There is only the Bible church.
Don't trust a preacher. Test EVERYTHING you are told by the Word. Your salvation depends on it.
God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:24 NKJV)
To be sure you are in the one body, the church, compare it to the church of the Bible. The one true church, Christ's body, was started by Christ, himself in the First Century and it exists today just as it did then. You can find it by examining the Bible pattern.
If we can be of assistance in any way, feel free to contact us.
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