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The Church - Lesson 19

The Church in 25 Lessons

Jon Gary Williams

Lesson 19 - The Church's Undenominational Nature

We have already discussed the subject of division. However, this was in regard to 

division within the church itself. Now we want to look at division as it relates to differences between the Lord's church and denominationalism. The church of Jesus Christ was never meant to be denominational. The New Testament makes this abundantly clear.

I. The church is undenominational in scope
A. The word "denomination" refers to a fraction or part of a whole. The Lord's 
church is not a fraction or part of anything. Hence, the word "church" cannot be 
used in a denominational sense. 

B. The word translated "church" (ekklesia) means "called out." The church includes 
all who have been called out of the world by the gospel. (II Thess. 2:14)

  1. The Lord's church includes all the saved, not a part of the saved. The Lord 
does the adding himself. Acts 2:41,47 (cf. Heb. 12:22,23) 

  2. No one modern-day denomination can or will make the claim that all the saved 
are within it. 

II. The church universal is always referred to in the singular
A. Christ called it "my church" (Matt. 16:18)

B. Christ is the "head of the church" (Eph. 5:23)
C. Christ "loved the church" (Eph. 5:25)
III. Biblical descriptions of the church are in the singular
A. The "body" (Eph. 1:22,23; Col. 1:18)
  1. A body is not to be divided (I Cor. 12:25) (cf. Eph. 4:4)
  2. There is only one "head"- therefore only one "body" (I Cor. 12:20) (cf. v.25) 

B. The "kingdom" (Matt. 3:2; Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9)
  1. A "kingdom" must be united (Lk. 11:17)
  2. There is only one "king" - therefore only one "kingdom" (Lk. 23:1-3; Jn. 18:37)
C. The "bride" (Rev. 22:17)
  1. The saved are married to Christ (Rom. 7:4
  2. There is only one "husband" - therefore only one "bride" (Eph. 5:23)
IV. To remain undenominational, the church must have:
A. No denominational name (Acts 4:12) (cf. Rom. 16:16) 

B. No denominational doctrines or creeds (Matt. 15:9; I Cor. 4:6; Gal. 1:6-9)
C. No denominational forms of government (Phil. 1:1)
D. No denominational types of worship (Gal. 4:10,11) (cf. Jn. 8:24) 

E. No denominational (para-church) organizations (Matt. 15:13; Col. 3:17)