Brother Bob Pellien: If you believe you are a Christian, you likely accept the biblical truth that Christ built a Church. It’s simple enough, but it gets complicated because many preachers today teach that the true Church is made up of everyone who truly believes in Christ, regardless of what denomination or church they belong to. But that’s wrong. The true Church is only one organization. Why are we sure? Let’s find the answer in the Holy Bible.
Brother Bob: Hello everyone! Welcome once again to this program, That’s in the Bible. The basis of the teachings here inside the Church Of Christ is, first and foremost, the Bible—the Holy Scriptures. Now, we want to clarify, as we always do, that the Bible questions we address on this program are regarding proper worship, the right relationship with God, and most importantly, salvation—those answers are most definitely found right here, in the Holy Bible. So, we’ll be turning today to the Bible to answer these following questions: First, why is it important for me, you, everyone, to be baptized into the true Church? And secondly, what if one would say, “Well, I’m already part of a particular Christian church or denomination, aren’t I then a believer?” And next, “How can I differentiate between the Church Of Christ and the various Protestant churches?” Let’s start with the first question: Why is it important for me to be baptized into the Church? Let’s go directly to the Holy Bible and begin receiving our answers. And to do so, we turn to the book of Acts 2:41, where it says:
Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.
[Acts 2:41, New King James Version]
Brother Bob: So, dear friends, the Bible clearly says here that those who believed and were baptized “were added to them.” What does the term “them” refer to? Those that they were “added to,” those that underwent the true baptism. Well, let’s turn here to chapter 2:47 in the book of Acts. It says this:
Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
[Acts 2:47, King James Version]
Brother Bob: So, the term “them” in the verse that we read refers to the Church—and of course, the true Church. So why is it important for you to be baptized into the true Church? Because—being part of the true Church is important. Why? Because that’s where the believers were baptized into. They were baptized into “them,” baptized into the Church. Maybe someone might say, “Well, I’m already part of a different denomination. I’m part of a different Christian-professing church or denomination, doesn’t that make me then also a believer?” Well, consider the Bible’s answer to those who may think like that. So, for the Bible’s answer, we turn to 1 Corinthians 12. We’ll read verse 13, then we’ll read verse 12:
By one Spirit all of us—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—were baptized to form one body, and that one Spirit was poured out for all of us to drink…As the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts of the body, many as they are, form one body, so is Christ.
[1 Corinthians 12:13, 12 Beck]
Brother Bob: So the true Church is, dear friends, it’s very clearly described as singular—“one body”—and the members all make up parts and form that one body. Not many bodies. How many bodies did we read? Only one. One body, one true Church. Are we sure that there’s only one? How does the Bible further clarify that the body, or the true Church, is but one? Romans 12:4-5:
We have many parts in the one body, and all these parts have different functions. In the same way, though we are many, we are one body in union with Christ, and we are all joined to each other as different parts of one body.
[Romans 12:4-5 Good News Bible]
So dear friends, the body, it’s just one. Like a human body, there’s a lot of different parts to it, but yet all its members, all its parts compose or make up just one. In this case each of these parts serve their own function. They are united and one. What outstanding quality can be found therefore in the true Church that functions like this as described here? Well, 1 Corinthians—let’s go back to the writings of Apostle Paul, he describes here in chapter 12:25 of 1 Corinthians. It says:
And so there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another.
[1 Corinthians 12:15 Good News Bible]
Brother Bob: Dear friends, members of the church, although yes, they may have different functions, but they still work together cohesively as one body not split up and not denominationalized. No. And to answer then the question that we posed together earlier, which went like this: Are you really a true believer if you are part of a different, “detached,” let’s say, Christian professing religion, religious organization, church or denomination? No, you’re not. No matter what you may say, the Bible is very clear. The true Church is not made up of different denominations. It’s not—the body is not all divided up with different names and all sorts of things like that. No, it’s a single organization, a single body. What are many? The members are many, but the organization, the body, is but just one. Well, what then about all these various denominations? How can we differentiate between the true Church Of Christ recorded here in the Bible and the multitude, the many Protestant churches prevalent all over the world? They have:
“20,800 denominations in the world, supplemented by more than 15,000 distinct parachurch agencies, we have ‘something for everyone,’ the carnival midway of Christianity. But the competition among these carnival booths is anything but amusing.”
[Moody Monthly, September 1984]
That quote is from a 1984 periodical named the Moody Monthly. What did I just quote? That there was already 20,800 Protestant denominations, and that was already back in 1984. We’re reading that particular periodical, because they’re saying, almost sarcastically, that we have all of this different “carnival midway” of denominations. But, what we can notice is, clearly, they have no unity, no single body, just division, strife, different names, different everything, beliefs. What must we learn from seeing that? What should we understand? Beloved friends, again, we pose the question. We turn now to the Holy Scriptures. James, chapter 3, where he provides an answer. In verses 14, 15 and 16. What does he have to say about these denominations and these divisions and such that man has created for himself. The Bible answers:
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
[James 3:14-16 King James Version]
Brother Bob: Division, strife and confusion: Where do they come from? The Bible said that’s devilish. That’s from the devil then. Not from God. There’s no division in the true church. Why not? How does the Bible describe here, dear friends, the true church of Christ? Is the true church of Christ described having divisions and denominations and different beliefs and different faiths and different forms of baptisms and all those kinds of things? Let’s check together. You can read along on the screen. I’m reading Ephesians 4:4, 5, 6. Let’s include reading verses 12 and 13:
There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; there is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all. …He did this to prepare all God’s people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ’s full stature.
[Ephesians 4:4-6, 12-13 Good News Bible]
Brother Bob: Dear friends, the difference then between the true Church Of Christ, the biblical Church Of Christ, and the various Protestant denominations and other organizations that are different than the one true body of Christ, the singular organization described here in the Bible, is that Protestantism is full of division, so much so that the different denominations even end up competing with one another. The Church Of Christ, the biblical true Church Of Christ, the church found in the Bible is the one single organized body.
So, dear friends, in conclusion, let’s summarize the questions that we posed. The first: Why is it important for me to be baptized into the true church? Well, as we learned, being part of the true church is so important because that’s where true believers are baptized into the church. And then we asked, in response to the mindset of some who say “I’m already part of a certain Christian church or denomination, so that makes me a believer too. Right?” What did we learn? No, you are not. The true church is not made up of different denominations and different churches with different names and different faiths and different baptisms and different worship service. All such things, it’s not divided up and everybody just do what you want. No, it’s a single organization, a single body that is made up of many members. Join with us and be part of that.
And then we asked “Well, how can I differentiate between the Church Of Christ and these different Protestant denominations and organizations?” Well, we even quoted the Protestant Church is made up of over—and this was a quote from quite a while ago. We quoted that one because it’s they themselves who are pinpointing and describing their own situation. The church, they said, is made up of over 20,000 denominations. What else did they say? It’s full of division but the Church Of Christ, the true church founded in the Bible is not like that. Again, I repeat, it’s one single organized body. Dear friends, we’d like you to continue learning about all of these things—it’s so important. Learn with us here in the Iglesia Ni Cristo, the Church of Christ. Visit us online, browse the different topics or set up an appointment to meet with a minister of the Gospel. If you have any questions about the Bible or salvation, you can email them to us.
I’m Bob Pellien. Thanks for watching. See you next time right here on That’s in the Bible.
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