“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:3-6
Today, there are so many church denominations and divisions, it makes your head spin, from Methodist to Lutheran to Assemblies of God to Episcopalian to numerous others. How does one figure out which one is “correct?” Did Jesus intend for there to be so many varying choices of which church denomination of His to go to? Which one would He think is “correct,” or maybe, none of them is “correct?” Each division broke off because of variations in religious doctrine, i.e, man’s interpretation of what was really meant by Scripture. It is sad that the first church of Acts has been corrupted so deeply that there are now over 41,000 denominational divisions in the world. Islam uses this as a ‘draw’ to their religion because the Christian faith is obviously so confusing and divisive.
Denominations cause division instead of perfect unity of the Spirit.
- “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossions 3:14
Many times in my life, I have witnessed tension and outright rebellion against an ‘opposing’ denomination. It would seem that our unity of peace, love, and of the Spirit have been quenched by “Who’s right?” and “Who’s wrong?”
- “…I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of your calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.” Ephesians 4:1-2
From Ephesians 6, we learn that there are majors that all Christians must agree on in order to call themselves followers of Jesus Christ, the Way.
- Being Called – Each believer is called by God
- One Body – One church, one body of Christ, all believers belong to this body
- One Spirit – One Holy Spirit, from God, placed in each of the believers, the same Spirit once there, does not leave
- One Hope – The eternal inheritance of each believer, our hope in Jesus Christ alone
- One Lord – Jesus Christ, the head of the church, the Lord of our lives
- One Faith – The belief and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins
- One Baptism – One baptism of the Holy Spirit, and could also mean one water baptism symbol made by each believer
- One God & Father of all – One God who created everything and is the Father of all things, is in all things, and works through all… total sovereignty”
Agree on, and focus on, the majors. Have tolerance for your brothers and sisters who differ in the minors because, who knows?, maybe they are correct and you have it wrong. Unify for the sake of the One Body of Christ. Pray to be of one mind and one heart in order to serve Jesus more completely. Stretch yourself to partner up with other believers from other denominations, working together to share the One Gospel of Christ with the world.
- “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.” Philippians 4:1-3
“Also in Judah the hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king and his officials had ordered, following the word of the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 30:12