I. Introduction: The word “denomination” means: “1 : an act of denominating; 2: a value or size of a series of values or sizes; 3: NAME, DESIGNATION; 4: a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denomination). Denominationalism means: “1: devotion to denominational principles or interests
2 : the emphasizing of denominational differences to the point of being narrowly exclusive : SECTARIANISM” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denominationalism).
A. This lesson is by NO MEANS intended to negate the significance of the church (both locally [I.e. church in Corinth] and of all the saved) that belongs to our Lord (Matthew 16:13-18).
- We know that the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved (Acts 2:47).
- We know the church is vital (Hebrews 12:22-23).
- We have studied before Scriptural designations for us as individuals [christians, saints, disciples, etc.] as well as collective designations [body of Christ, the church, churches of Christ, church of God, church of the firstborn, church in a location, etc.] (https://www.wordsoftruth.net/wotvol17/wotbulletin08132017.html; https://www.wordsoftruth.net/Sermon_SomeBiblicalTerminologyDescribingWhoWeAre2018.pdf).
- Those Scriptural designations though have created in many a false sense of security. They falsely think they’re saved because they are “members of the church of Christ” just as some Jews suffered from in a similar mindset (John 8:31-33).
- This is an awareness lesson and a caution to us all (Colossians 2:4-10).
II. Body: Many In Today’s So-Called “Churches of Christ” Have A Denominational Mindset. They Are More Devoted To Their Principles Than To Our Lord Our His Word (Colossians 2:16-23).
A. The church is not the source of truth or salvation (John 17:17, Colossians 1:5, and Hebrews 5:5-9).
- Within and without the assembly we must adhere to the teaching of our Lord to be His people (Luke 6:46-49, John 14:21-24, and II John 1:8-9).
- Our fellowship is determined not by being in the church of Christ, but by faithfully obeying our Lord’s will (Mark 3:31-35, II Corinthians 6:14-7:1, Ephesians 5:6-11, and I John 1:3-7). So, those who create lists of "fellowship" or "salvation" issues are false teachers 100% of the time! Follow Romans 16:17-18 accordingly.
- The church is His house and must follow His rules (Hebrews 3:1-6).
- While elders “watch for your souls” (Hebrews 13:17), they are subject to the authority of Christ just like everyone else (Colossians 3:17). They cannot Lord over the flock (I Peter 5:1-4).
- They had been baptized and designated (Galatians 3:26-29).
- However… (Galatians 3:1-3 and Galatians 5:1-9).
- How are we taught to know the difference between true and false disciples (Matthew 7:15-20)?
- In this congregation, that belongs to Christ unlike all those around us, let’s be sure we are supporting His truth (I Timothy 3:15).
- In our frustrations, let’s be mindful that there is a remnant however visible or invisible they may be (Romans 11:1-5).
- Brethren, what we see going on around us is a reminder that we need to be ready to protect what our Lord died to establish (Philippians 1:17 and Jude 1:3-4).
III. Conclusion: Today’s, Churches of Christ are mostly denominational. Outside of a Biblical name, they have little in common with the Lord’s true people. Lest we too fall into denominationalism after the doctrines of men, let us hold fast (Hebrews 10:23 and Jude 1:21).
© 1999-2020 Brian A. Yeager