Simply Christians

In a world so filled with religious traditions and denominational structures, the concept of being simply Christians is difficult to communicate, yet a careful reader of the New Testament will realize that Jesus did not die so that His followers could be divided into sects and parties. Jesus died that He might reconcile all men in one body to God through the cross (Eph. 2:16). To belong ONLY to Christ, to have been baptized into the one body of which Jesus Christ is the Savior, is something altogether different from belonging to just any one of the other 300 religious bodies in this country (1 Cor. 12:13; Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:23). The Bible teaches there is to be “one body” and “one faith,” just as there is to be “one God, one Lord, one baptism, and one hope” (Eph. 4:4-6). This “one body” is the church of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:22-23) which Jesus built, not men (Heb. 8:1-2). This spiritual house is made up of living stones (1 Pet. 2:5) who are citizens of God’s kingdom (Col. 1:13), saints (set apart ones) of the Most High God (Co. 1:2), having been born again of water and the spirit into God’s family (John 3:5; Eph. 2:19). The church of Jesus Christ is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” (Eph. 2:20), not on the sand of denominational creeds and traditions. Jesus Christ, as the chief cornerstone (Eph. 2:20), is the only head (Eph. 1:22) and all authority in heaven and in earth rests in Him. This leaves no room for Popes, councils, synods, conventions or so-called “latter-day prophets.”

Just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle: “See that you make all things according to the pattern which was shown you on the mount” (Heb. 8:5), Jesus built the church according to the divine pattern God gave Him. “Except Jehovah build the house, they labor in vain that build it” (Ps. 127:1). Jesus said, “Every plan which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13).

The intention of this message is not to defend and uphold any practices that originated with us, but to call attention to the plea of Jesus Himself concerning the unity of all believers (John 17:20-21). We have nothing personal to gain in the way of money, attention, or honor by pointing out the error of religious tradition and division. Quite the contrary, by honoring only Jesus Christ, we repeatedly have been reviled by religious people of every faith. Loyal to the One who bought us and loving the souls of men, we heed the words of James, “My Brethren, if any among you strays from the truth, and one turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

We do not claim that we understand all truth, and believe anyone who claims to be infallible to also be guilty of blasphemy, but we do seek to point men back to the source of truth (Jesus and His Word) and point men away from the doctrines of men which Jesus said would make our worship vain (Matthew 15:9). It is for these reasons: our love for God and men, the shortness of life, and the certainty of judgment, that we will use great plainness of speech. We speak this way, not with a purpose of offending, but to challenge you to “examine yourself to see if you are in the faith” (2 Cor. 13:5).

Simply A Christian