A. There are many different English word meanings to define denominationalism. To denominate is: “to give a name to; designate” (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denominate).
- We see the base of this problem as early as the first century, in THE CHURCH, and it had to be dealt with (I Corinthians 1:10-17).
- Our faith cannot be of men (Galatians 1:6-12 and Titus 1:14).
- You cannot follow the commandments and doctrines of men (Colossians 2:4-23).
- Such doctrines of men prevent true worship and service to God (Mark 7:1-13).
II. Body: To Be Saved, We Must Identify Ourselves After Christ (Acts 4:10-12).
A. Jesus promised to establish His church, body, kingdom (Matthew 16:13-18).
- The saved have been added to His church since the first century (Acts 2:36-47).
- The church is made up of people (I Corinthians 12:27), but it is borders [so to speak] are not earthly (Hebrews 12:22-28).
- The citizenship of the saved is in Heaven (Ephesians 2:19-20 and Philippians 3:20).
- Christ is the head (Ephesians 1:22-23 and Colossians 1:12-24).
- The purchase price was His blood (Acts 20:28 and Ephesians 5:25).
- We are members of one another (Romans 12:4-5). Therefore, we should NOT have divisions like this family, that family, etc. (I Corinthians 12:25).
- The church [public assembly], inferring there is no other, without further designation (Matthew 18:15-17, Acts 2:47, Acts 5:11, Acts 8:1-3, Acts 11:26, Acts 12:1, Acts 12:5, Acts 14:27, Acts 15:3-4, Acts 18:22, Acts 20:17, I Corinthians 6:4, I Corinthians 12:28, I Corinthians 14:4-5, I Corinthians 14:12, I Corinthians 14:28, I Corinthians 14:34-35, Ephesians 1:22, Ephesians 3:10, Ephesians 5:23-25; Ephesians 5:29, Philippians 3:6, I Timothy 5:16, Hebrews 2:12, and III John 1:6; III John 1:9-10).
- The church identified by location (Acts 11:22, Acts 13:1, Romans 16:1, Romans 16:5, Philemon 1:2, Colossians 4:15-16, I Thessalonians 1:1, II Thessalonians 1:1, I Peter 5:13, Revelation 2:1, Revelation 2:8, Revelation 2:12; Revelation 2:18; Revelation 3:1; Revelation 3:7, and Revelation 3:14).
- The church of God [living God] (Acts 20:28, I Corinthians 1:2, I Corinthians 10:32, I Corinthians 11:22, I Corinthians 15:9, II Corinthians 1:1, Galatians 1:13, I Timothy 3:5, and I Timothy 3:15).
- The general assembly and church of the firstborn (Hebrews 12:22-23).
- Churches of Christ in reference to multiple locations (Romans 16:16).
- The body of Christ (Colossians 1:18).
- Churches of the saints (I Corinthians 14:33).
- As God’s people, we are referred to the house or building of God/Christ (I Corinthians 3:9 and Hebrews 3:1-6).
- In all that though (and more could be stated), we must consider not only what is lawful; but also what is expedient and edifying (I Corinthians 10:23).
- Naming ourselves doesn’t make us the church belonging to Christ if we are sinners (Ephesians 5:27 and II Timothy 2:19).
- We must show ourselves faithful by more than a name (Matthew 12:46-50, Luke 6:46, Romans 2:1-29, Titus 1:16, and I John 2:3-6).
- If examined through the Scriptures, does the fruit of this congregation prove we are God’s people (Matthew 7:20)?
III. Conclusion: Mankind cannot denominate themselves even if the men they seek to follow are faithful (I Corinthians 3:1-11).
© 1999-2019 Brian A. Yeager