What Is the Basis of Union?
1. “…all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ.” (Romans 12:5)
As it is here stated, there is but one body in Christ; it necessarily follows that the many separate sect bodies are not in Christ. As we are all one in Christ Jesus, to join anything else but Christ incurs the sin of sectism.
2. “Holy Father, keep through [Greek, in] thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are…. I kept them in thy name.” (John 17:11-12) Here the church was named by “the mouth of the Lord” as had been predicted in Isaiah 62:2. Ephesians 3:15, as correctly rendered from the Greek by the Emphatic Diaglott and other versions, reads thus: “From whom the whole family in the heavens, and on earth is named.”
The name of the church was given by the mouth of the Lord, and was derived from God, His Father. The apostles respected the prayer of Christ, and kept the church in God’s name.
“Feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28)
“…the church of God which is at Corinth.” (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1)
“Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:32)
“Despise ye the church of God?” (1 Corinthians 11:22)
“I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13)
“For ye, brethren, became followers of the churches of God which in Judaea are in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 2:14)
“We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God.” (2 Thessalonians 1:4)
“If a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?” (1 Timothy 3:5)
“These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” (1 Timothy 3:14-15)
Here are twelve instances of the title, “church of God.” This corresponds with the Savior’s prayer, and is the only proper appellation. But as there was but the one church, the qualifying part of the name was not needed in every instance. Hence, for convenience, they usually said, “the church,” or “the church at ——”; some certain place.
We hear a babel cry, “There is nothing in the name.” It is a false assertion. In the Bible, as shown above, God is honored as the maker and owner of the church. Would an appellation that does not indicate whether God, man, or the devil founded and owns the church do equal honor to God? Let it also be known there is enough in false names to divide and confuse the family of God. Therefore Christ prayed the Father to keep them in His name, “That they may be one, even as we are.” (John 17:22) Therefore all persons that join themselves to any other name, are guilty of the sin of division.
3. “I have given them thy word.” (John 17:14) This said Christ in His prayer for our perfect oneness. To impose any other creed, or subscribe to any other, is to make and join divisions, and is a sin against Christ and His body, the church.
It is claimed that the organized divisions are necessary to convert the world. But Jesus prayed that all His disciples should be one as He and the Father are, “that the world may believe.” (John 17:21)
O ye sectarians, thus saith God: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8)