CALLED INTO AND
BEING THE LORDíS ONE CHURCH
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 THERE IS ONLY one church taught and found in the New Testament Scriptures (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:4-6). Itís "membership" is constituted of those who are saved, as salvation and being in the Lordís church in the true sense are synonymous. It is not a man-made, human denomination. In fact, no man has the authority to start a denomination or the right to invite anyone to join one. The only authority that we have is to invite people to accept Christ to be a part of this one church that has already been established in the first century. A person may join a human denomination, but in reality no one can join the church of Christ. To be acceptable to the Lord, we must be that church and be in that church today. Are we being presumptuous, Pharisaical or self-righteous in saying this? No, not at all, it is the Word of God. Actually a person is being presumptuous in promoting and trying to defend denominationalism. Let us consider this.
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 Religiously, we work under the authority of the Great Commission. After his resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ repeatedly gave this commission to his followers. What he had to say was prefixed with the declaration, "All power [authority] is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be savedÖ" (Mark 16:15,16). Matthewís account reads, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost [Spirit]: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world [age]. Amen" (Matthew 28:19,20). Luke 24:47 narrows it down another step, saying that "repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem." 
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 Here in Jerusalem on the first Jewish Pentecost after his resurrection (Acts 1:8 and chapter 2) the gospel was preached for the first time in all of its fullness. Men who were convicted of their sins were told to, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost [Spirit]" (Acts 2:38). "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (2:41). Jesus had said, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18), and now it was a reality. Consequently we read, "And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved [Greek: were being saved]" (2:47). In anticipation of this time, earlier in his ministry Jesus had told Nicodemus that a man had to be "born of water and of the Spirit" to enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
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 This church came into being as a result of preaching the gospel and carrying out the Great Commission. It was simply the Lordís church, not a human denomination or division. When people repented and were baptized (immersed) for the remission of their sins, the Lord "added" them to his church. When they did this, they were "born of water and of the Spirit." They were "born" into the kingdom. You cannot "join" the church of the New Testament, the Lord adds you to it; you are born into it. Acts 20:28 speaks of "the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Ephesians 5:23 tells us that Christ is "the saviour of the body," the church. The same transaction that saves a person from his sins thereby puts him into the one church we read about in the Scriptures. Being saved and becoming a part of the one church are synonymous. Yes, we are all "called in one body" (Colossians 3:15), and we are "all baptized into one body" (I Corinthians 12:13), if we have accepted Christ in accordance to the Scriptures. If we are working under the authority of the Great Commission, we have no authority to invite anyone to join any denomination. In fact, the promise of, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world [age]" is only for those fulfilling the terms of the Great Commission. Denominationalism and denominational doctrines are excluded.
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 It is so simple, becoming and being a part of the Lordís one, undenominational church. One does not have to trace an unbroken lineage all the way back to the first century. To grow watermelons in North Carolina, one would not have to have a vine coming all the way from Georgia. No, we would simply plant the seed. When the seed of the gospel is planted and men properly respond to it, the Lord adds them to the one church already started on the day of Pentecost. (However, the Lord said, "Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up," Matthew 15:13). Now being simply Christians, the Lordís church (and that alone), we press on like those on the day of Pentecost who "continued stedfastly in the apostlesí doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of bread, and in prayers" (Acts 2:42). We have divested ourselves of denominational names (Colossians 1:18; I Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:4) and doctrines. The creed books and traditions of men have been discarded (Mark 7:7-9; Galatians 1:8; II John 9-11). This oneness and unity is practiced in the context of the local church as we "keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). We are simply being and doing what the Lord wants us to do. There is nothing Pharisaical about this. To do otherwise is to be presumptuous.

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