A. If your friend were to ask you why you are a member of the church of Christ, would you:
1. Know how to answer them? … Paul said:
a. Be “prepared for every good work” (2 Tim 2:21)
b. “Be ready to every good work” (Tit. 3:1)
c. And, Peter said … 1 Peter 3:15
2. Or, Would we be ashamed or afraid to answer them?
a. Romans 1:16
b. Luke 9:26
c. “Do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Tim 1:8).
B. In previous lessons we have noted that I am a member of the church of Christ because:
1. It was founded by the scriptural builder – Christ
2. It was founded on THE scriptural foundation – Christ
3. It was founded at the scriptural place – Jerusalem
1. He who has ALL authority in heaven and earth said, “Upon this rock I will build my church…” (Mt. 16:18).
a. Jesus did not say that He would build a church, or His churches, nor one of His churches.
b. He said, “I will build my church.”
c. Let me spell it for you: C-H-U-R-C-H … that is how many Jesus promised to build.
d. Everyone who knows anything about the English language as to whether nouns are singular or plural knows that the word “church” is singular and means one.
e. It is hard for many good people, in view of the present conditions, to be convinced of the oneness of the church; but the multiplicity of churches about us has no power to alter the words of Christ.
f. Jesus declares, “My words will by no means pass away” (Mt. 24:35).
2. The apostle Paul teaches that there is one body
a. Ephesians 4:4
b. Romans 12:4-5
c. “But now they are many members, but one body” (1 Cor. 12:20).
d. We can see that Paul taught time and time again the oneness of the body.
1) But does the body mean the church?
2) We shall see… Ephesians 1:22-23
3) Colossians 1:18
e. Thus, the church is the body and the body is the church
1) Therefore there is ONE CHURCH
2) This agrees perfectly with Jesus’ promise, “I will build my church” (Mt. 16:18).
3. The oneness of the church is also seen in the figure of a vineyard, with God the husbandman… John 15:1
a. We do not see the picture of many vineyards, being worked by the vinedresser in a way as to conflict with the welfare and growth of each.
b. Today there are thousands of religious vineyards “claiming” God as their vinedresser.
c. This is what you see when you lift up your eyes in the world, but this is not what you see when you look into the Bible.
d. In the Bible we see ONE vineyard – ON husbandman!
4. This idea of one church is further portrayed in the figure of the vine and the branches.
a. John 15:1-8
b. Christ here is pictured as the true vine and each redeemed person, each Christian, as a branch in the vine.
c. We do not see Christ as a plurality of vines with many branches in each vine, and each vine and its branches growing in such a way as to conflict with the growth of the others. This is not what we see at all!!!
d. What we see is one great and beautiful vine, Jesus Christ, with every saved person as a branch in Him, saved by Him and bearing fruit to His glory.
e. Man in his desperate attempt to justify denominationalism has tried to tell us that the vine is the original and true church and all the branches are the different denominations of the world.
1) This is their number-one argument in behalf of denominationalism
2) A little logical thinking will show this to be false:
a) Christ was speaking to His disciples, and not denominations (Jn. 15:5)
b) Christ said to abide in ME, in the vine, thus if you are abiding in a branch you are in error
c) Jesus plainly taught that a branch was a person (Jn. 15:6; a man – ASV), not a denomination!
d) It does injury to the parable. It is preposterous and ridiculous to think that on the true vine can grow a grape, a pumpkin, a squash, and etc. We would not accept this in the physical world, why accept it in the spiritual world???
5. The oneness of the church is also presented in the figure of a house or a family.
a. Paul tells us that the church is the house or family of God (1 Tim. 3:15).
b. That we are God’s family is clearly seen in Romans 8:16-17
c. We do not see pictured in the Bible thousands of different families, each more or less conflicting with all the others each with a distinct government of its own, each wearing its own name, and claiming to have the same Father.
d. This would be bigamy!
1) Men ought not by word or deed to cast such a poor reflection upon God.
2) The divine picture is one great united family with God as the Father, Jesus as the Elder Brother, and all members working together for the good of the family.
6. The oneness of the church is also portrayed in the figure of the one fold and one shepherd.
a. “There will be one fold, and one shepherd” (Jn. 10:16).
b. We must look into the world and not the Bible to see many flocks, each claiming to have the same shepherd.
c. God does not picture thousands of flocks, each with its peculiar kind of sheep, and each more or less at variance with one another.
d. God says, “ONE flock, ONE shepherd!!!!”
e. There are no more true flocks than there are shepherds!
7. The oneness of the church is further taught in our Lord’s prayer to the Father.
a. John 17:20-21
b. Jesus prayed that all who believe on Him might be one.
c. This prayer is a cutting rebuke to the plurality of churches in our world today.
d. We know that Jesus did not pray for oneness and turning right around and establish many church conflicting in doctrine with one another
e. Such would be fickle and hypocrisy.
f. Every time a man says that Jesus is the author of many churches and doctrines he accuses the Lord of hypocrisy.
g. How many times have you heard of denominational preachers falling to their knees and thanking God for all the many different denominations in the world today.
1) This is not what Jesus prayed for!!!
2) Thus many have drifted far from the spirit of Christ
A. I am a member of the church of Christ because:
1. It was founded by the scriptural builder – Christ
2. It was founded on THE scriptural foundation – Christ
3. It was founded at the scriptural place – Jerusalem
4. And, Christ is the founder of only one church – His church

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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