EVANG-02 - The Oneness of the Church

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In John 12:48 Jesus said, “He who rejects me and does not receive
my word has that which judges him. The word that I've spoken will judge
him in the last day.”
Welcome you to our series of personal evangelism lessons. In our
last series we noticed the importance of only listening to the Bible as our
guide in religion. Today we're going to continue that idea and talk about the
one church that Jesus built.
We hope that you'll have your Bible handy as we study the word of
God together.
In our last lesson if you saw that we noticed that the Bible is our only
authority in all matters of religion, that the Bible was given through the
apostles by the Holy Spirit, and that the Scripture says the word of God is
our only guide in all matters of religion. Remember 2 Peter 1:3. Peter said,
“God has given to us in the Scripture all things that pertain to life and
godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us.” We don't need
other books. We just need the Bible.
We continue today with the idea of our authority being the Bible by
noticing that we must not add to or take away from the word of God. If


God's word is going to be our authority, we've got to let the word of God
stand as it is without addition, without editing, without changing the Bible at
all. In fact, did you know that the Scripture says there is going to be a curse
from God upon anyone who tries to change the word of God in any way?
Listen to Galatians 1:6-9. Paul said to the Christians in Galatia, “I marvel
that you turned away so soon from Him who called you into the grace are in
the grace of Christ to a different gospel which is not another, but there's
some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.” Now notice
this, “Even if we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that
we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so now I say
again if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what we've received
let him be accursed.”
Does that passage teach that we'll be accursed if we add to or take
away from the Bible? Well it absolutely does! If anyone teaches any other
gospel than what we've preached, Paul said ‘let him be accursed.’ When
God gave us the Bible as the only authority, it doesn't need man's help.
God doesn't need us to change it or edit it in any way. In fact let me share
with you an example of sadly what happened to two young men when they
tried to change the will and the word of God. If you want to follow along in
your Bible, we're looking at Leviticus chapter 10. I want you notice what
happened to two men who tried to change God's command. Leviticus 10:1
the Bible says, “Then Nadab and Abihu the sons of Aaron each took his
censer and put fire in it put incense on it and offered profane fire before the
Lord which He had not commanded them.” So fire went out from the Lord
and devoured them, and they die before the Lord. As we think about this
example, these men the Bible clearly says right here ‘these men offered
strange,’ some versions will say ‘unauthorized fire before the Lord,’ notice,
‘which He had not commanded them.’ Did Nadab and Abihu alter or
change God's command? Absolutely! Did they did something God hadn't
commanded them? Was God pleased with them? Did God say to Nadab
and Abihu ‘Well I know you made a little change, but that's okay come here
and let me pat you on the back and everything's all right anyway’? No! God
was not at all pleased with them. What happened to Nadab and Abihu?
They altered God's commands, and God rained down fire from heaven on
them because of their disobedience.
What do we learn from their example? We learn that when God tells
us something in the Bible, when God gives us His word which the Bible is


the word of God, when God gives us His word; God doesn't want me to
change it. I need to be very careful that I follow the Bible and do what the
Scripture says to be right with God. In fact in 2 John 9 we're told exactly
that. John says this in 2 John verse 9, “Whoever transgresses and does not
in the by abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God whoever abides
in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.” If we don't abide
in the doctrine, doctrine means teaching, if we don't abide in the teaching of
Christ is God pleased with us? No! He doesn't have God as His Father.
Just like Nadab and Abihu, we’re separated from God and suffered the
consequences. The New Testament teaches us if we don't stay true to the
teaching of Christ, God is not pleased with us. Each of us want to please
God, right? How do we please God? By abiding in the teaching of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ.
Now I want to show you that man's traditions, according to the word
of God, man's ideas man's traditions these catechisms and confessions of
faith have no place in the Bible. Matthew 15:9 of people who were really
good at putting their tradition in the way Jesus said, “Hypocrites well has I
Isaiah prophesied about you saying they honor me with their lips they
glorify me with their mouth, but their heart is far from me.” Now listen to
Matthew 15:9, “in vain do they worship me teaching as doctrine the
commandments of men.”
Why was their worship unacceptable to God? Because they taught as
doctrine the commandments of men. Do the commandments and the
commandments of men and does do my commandments do men's
commandments and anywhere have a place in the Bible? The
commandments of men and have no place in the word of God. In fact
Jesus clearly said that the person who's going be allowed into heaven is
going to be the one who submits to God's word. Listen to Matthew 7:21.
Jesus said, “It's not everyone who looks up into heaven and says ‘Lord,
Lord’ that's going there but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”
According to Jesus, who's going to be allowed to enter into heaven? The
one who does the will of the Father in heaven. Don't you want to go to
heaven? If that's the case, you must submit to the will of the Father.
Now as we think about the idea of putting our trust and hope only in
the word of God as our only and final authority, we also need to realize that
as we look to the Bible we today are under the law of Christ. The Bible


contains both the old and the New Testament. The Old Testament was
written specifically to the Israelites, and the New Testament was written to
followers of Christ. We can learn from both laws. But which law today are
we under and which law are we going to be judged by?
As we begin, let's turn our attention to what the Bible says. Listen
again to Hebrews 1:1-2. “God who at various times and in various ways
spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets has in these last days
spoken to us by His Son.” Now friend that text clearly shows us that God
formerly gave His Revelation to the fathers, to the patriarchs, by the
prophets. But notice this, “but today God speaks to us through whom
through His Son.” Which law are we under today? Wherever we find God's
son’s law. That's the law we're under today. Of course we know that's in
Matthew through Revelation in the New Testament. Now remember it's
Jesus- not Moses, not the prophets that have all authority over us today.
Matthew 28:18 Jesus said, “All authority has been given to me in heaven
and on earth.” How much authority does Jesus have? All. If Jesus has all
authority, then that's the law that we want to follow. Do you remember John
12:48? Jesus said, “He who rejects me and does not receive my word has
that which judges him.” What is it Lord? “The words that I've spoken will
judge him in the last day.” It's not the 10 Commandments. It's not the
prophets. It is not the law of Moses. For the child of God, it is the law of
Christ that's going to judge them today. If I'm going to be but judged by the
words of Christ, then friend it's the law of Christ in the New Testament in
Matthew through Revelation that I'm under today. I'm not going to look and
say ‘Lord do you want me to go alter of offer a bull as a sacrifice? Do I
need to go build an ark to get in today? Do I need to do what King David
did?’ No. I'm under the New Testament. I'm under the law of Christ, and
specifically for us today that's the law that we follow.
Now I want to direct your attention to the words of Jesus in John 1:17.
Jesus said, “The law was given through Moses but grace and truth came
by Christ or in Christ the law.” What was it given by Moses? What about
grace and truth? Would you rather be under law? Or would you rather be
under grace and truth God's unmerited favor and the truth can set you
free? I don't want to be under the law. The law was given by Moses. It
doesn't mean we don't have a law today, but a system of law without
salvation without a Savior, that's not what we want to be under. Christ is
God's grace and God's truth and that's what we're under today.


Now I want to show you the exact moment in time when the law of
Christ went into place. The old law went out and the new law went in and
that's found in Hebrews chapter 9. I want to direct your attention to
Hebrews 9:15-17. It clearly shows us when exactly in time the law of Christ
when into place. Listen to these words. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:15
“And for this reason He, Jesus, is the mediator of the new covenant by
means of death for the redemption of the transgressions under the first
covenant that those who were called may receive the promise of the
eternal here inheritance. For where there is a testament there must also of
necessity be the death of a testator for a testament is in force after men are
dead since it has no power at all while the testator lives.” Now is it the case
that that verse teaches us Jesus is the mediator of the New Testament?
Yes! He absolutely is the mediator of the New Testament. Now let's ask the
next question. When did the New Testament of Jesus go into effect?
According to the word of God, the Scripture says ‘a testament has no force
at all while men are alive,’ listen to this now, ‘it's in force after they are
Let's say you've got a will. Let's say your parents write a will, and
they're going to leave you everything. They're still alive. They're in good
health. Can you go over and say ‘You know what? I want to claim my
inheritance today. I want you to give me what's...’ No, it doesn't work that
way. They die, the will is read, and then their lawyer goes into place about
their inheritance. Jesus gave His law while He was alive. A testament is in
force after men are dead. When Jesus died on the cross, from that point
forward His law went into place. Friend it is the case today that we're living
under the new covenant, Hebrews 8:13, in that He says a ‘new covenant.’
He's made the first obsolete. Now what is growing old and ready to part is
vanishing away. We're living under the new covenant of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ. In fact Colossians 2:14 clearly teaches that the bond
written in ordinances was done away with or abolished at the cross.
There are a lot of people who wonder about the Old Testament and
the 10 Commandments. Are we living under those today? Let's let the Bible
teach us on that. Let's let the Bible show us what it says about that. Would
you turn in your Bible to Ephesians 2:14? Look at Ephesians 2:14 the Bible
says of Jesus, “For He, Himself, is our peace who has made both one Jew
and Gentile and has broken down the middle wall of separation.” Now


notice verse 15, “Having abolished in His flesh the enmity that is the law of
commandments contained in ordinances so as to create in himself one new
man from the two thus making peace.” What did Jesus abolish in His flesh
on the cross? The law of commandments contained in ordinances. When
did the old law go away and the new law come in? On the cross. Does that
mean the old law wasn't God's word? It was, but it was given to the
Israelites. The new law is specifically given for Christians today. And so,
here's the application. It's okay, what's it mean? We're under the old we're
under the new law and not under the old law. Friend when it comes to
matters of salvation, where am I going to look to answer the question,
‘What must someone do to become a Christian today? What must I do to
be saved?’ I'm not going to do what Abraham did. I'm not going to take up a
lamb up on Mount Moriah and sacrifice it today. I'm not going to do what
Noah did and build an ark to be saved. I'm not going to do what David did
and offer animal sacrifices as an atonement for sin. If I want to know today,
if a person wants to know today, what must I do to be saved? I need to look
to the New Testament. Here's another important fact about the authority of
God's word today. When I want to learn how to worship correctly as a
Christian, where do I look? I don't look to what Nadab and Abihu did in
offering's burnt offering incense and sacrifice. I'm not going to open to
Leviticus and offer a peace offering. I'm not going to do what Elijah or
Elisha or Solomon did. If I want to know how to worship correctly today,
where do I look? To the New Testament to the new law of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ- that's the law that we're living under today.
Now here are the things that we've noticed in our study of the
authority and inspiration of the Scriptures, the teaching of God through
Jesus Christ, it was from God. Jesus himself received all authority from
God in heaven and on earth over all flesh and over the church today. It is
the words of Jesus that we're going to be judged by today, and the apostles
under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote and taught those words. That
inspired word in the New Testament is our guide today. We must not add to
or take away from the word of God. The New Testament is the law the
Christians are living under today.
Now let's direct our attention in this personal evangelism series to the
church that Jesus built and how to worship God correctly. What church is
one going to become a member of when he obeys the gospel? What do we
know about the church of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?


In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said this He said to Peter “I say to you that
you are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell
shall not prevail against it.” Now Peter had just made the great statement,
“You're the Christ the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to Peter, “On
that rock I'm going to build my church.”
Let's ask some questions about Matthew 16:18. Who built the
church? According to Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “I will build my church.”
Who built it? Jesus did. To whom did Jesus say the church would belong?
Jesus said, ‘I'll build John's church.’ No that's not what He said. “I'll build
my church.” Jesus built the church, and the church belongs to Him
according to Matthew 16:18. Did Jesus promise to build churches plural or
the church singular? “On this rock I will build my church.” Jesus did not say
upon these rocks I'll build my churches. Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will
build my church. I'll build my church.” Jesus built one church singular.
Now friend as we think about the church of the New Testament, let's
realize that Jesus is the head of that church. Do you remember Ephesians
1:22-23? “And He made Him to be head over all things to the church which
is His body the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” God made Christ to be
head over all things to the church. We ask the question-Is Jesus the head
over all things to the church today? According to that verse He absolutely
is. In verse 23, what is the church also called? “He made Him be head over
all things to the church,” listen now, “which is His body,” verse 23. The
church is also called the body. When we talk about the church and the
body, we're talking about according to the Scripture, one and the same
those are synonyms for the same organization that God himself built.
Now with that being true, I want you to flip over with me to Ephesians
4:4 and I want you to notice an important truth here. Look in Ephesians 4:4.
The Bible says “There is one body and one spirit just as you were called in
one hope of your calling one Lord one faith one baptism one God and
Father of all who is above all and through all and in you all.” Now is
according to that verse is there only one hope? Sure just one hope and that
hope's in Christianity. Is there only one Holy Spirit? One and only one Holy
Spirit. Is there only one body? How many bodies does Ephesians 4:4 say
there is? Now notice this. From Ephesians 1:23 we learned that the church
is the body. Okay- that's a synonym for one and the same. How many


bodies are there? Look at Ephesians 4:4 again. There's one body. If the
church is the body and if there's only one body, how many churches are
there? One church. That's all that God ever built in the New Testament.
Jesus only promised to build His church, and the Bible says there is but
one church.
Now this is so significant because God wants us to have unity. Do
you remember Jesus’ prayer to the Father in John 17:17? Jesus said to the
Father, “I pray that they all may be one as you Father are in me and I in
you that they all may be one in us that the world may believe that you sent
me.” Now is it the case from that verse that Jesus prayed that His followers
would be one? You bet it is! God built one church, and He wants all His
followers to be one.
Friend you don't have to look very far to see the answer to this. Does
it look like we're one? Today when you've got a different sect and a
different religious organization almost on every street corner, does it look
like we're one? Denominationalism has done a lot of damage to the church
that you read about in the New Testament. In fact did you know that
religious division is actually condemned? I want you to turn your Bible to 1
Corinthians chapter 1, and I want you to see what Paul says about division,
how that it is not a part of God's plan for the church. Notice 1 Corinthians
1:10. Paul says, “Now I plead with you brethren by the name of our Lord
Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing and that there be no
divisions among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same
mind and in the same judgment.” Now let's just ask a very basic question
here. Did Paul condemn religious, did the Holy Spirit, did God condemn
religious division here? “Let there be no division among you.” God
absolutely taught in the Scripture teaches in the Scripture that religious
division is condemned. Since that's the case, since religious division is
condemned and since Jesus prayed that all His followers would be one,
must we strive to be one and unite under the word of God and headship of
Christ? Colossians 1:18 the Bible says that in all things Jesus might have
the preeminence since He is the head of the church. If Jesus needs to have
preeminence and He is the head of the church today, should we go to any
other person than Jesus to learn about the organization, the worship, and
the name of His church? No, Jesus is the only person we must go to learn
about these things.


In the New Testament the church of the Lord Jesus Christ can be
identified clearly by its organization, worship, and name. How is the church
of the New Testament organized? Meaning, does it have a pope
somewhere in Rome Italy ruling over it? Does the New Testament church
have a one-man pastor system where one person is calling all the shots?
Does it have a board of deacons ruling and running everything? How is the
church you read about the Bible designed to be organized by God? Let's
realize that the organization of the church is important. In Matthew 15:13
the Bible says in Jesus speaking “Every plant which my heavenly Father
has not planted will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” He's not talking
about plants. For the very next verse Jesus said of the religious elite “Let
them alone. They're blind leaders of the blind. If the blind lead the blind
they'll both fall into the ditch.” Is it the case from that verse that if a religious
group is not built in accordance with the word of God, it will be rooted up
and thrown into the fire? Jesus absolutely said it would! It's essential that
the church be organized the way God wants it to be organized. The New
Testament is where we find that the church had elders a plurality of elders
working under the headship and authority of Jesus. Jesus has authority in
all matters of doctrine. We don't make decisions about matters of doctrine.
But in putting in place God's principles, in making sure that we heed and
feed and teach the word of God to the congregation, elders are put in
place. Working under elders as servants are deacons, and both of these
have specific qualifications in the New Testament.
Now friend we say this for this purpose as we close out this idea in
this lesson, we want you to realize in the Lord's church there is no clergy
laity system in the Bible-meaning that there's no ‘big me and little you.’
There's no one person who's holier than thou and dresses differently and
talks differently and is looked up to differently. All in the New Testament
church, all men are equal and stand on level ground at the foot of the
cross. We all have sinned. We all need the blood of Christ, and the
organization of the church gives glory to God and to Christ and not men
today. It's so significant that we organize the church the way God wants us
We hope that you'll continue to study the next series of lessons. The
next lesson we’ll think more about the organization, the worship, and the
name of the church. Maybe you're thinking to yourself ‘I want to be a part of
the New Testament church.’


We hope and pray that you'll call us at the information given, that you
will write to us or email us. We would love to sit down and study God's word
with you so that we can all one day live in heaven with God forever.


Study Questions for: “Evangelism Series: Lesson 2”

1. What will judge us in the last day according to John 12:48?

2. According to 2 Peter 1:3, how many things has God given us through

3. What will happen if people change or add to the word of God according
to Galatians 1:6-9?

4. In Leviticus 10, what happened to Nadab and Abihu when they changed
God’s command?

5. What does 2John verse 9 say about people who don’t follow God’s

6. According to Jesus in Matthew 7:21, who will be allowed to go to

7. According to Matthew 28:18, how much authority does Jesus have?

8. When did the new law of Christ go into place according to Hebrews 9:15-

9. Who built the church according to Matthew 16:18?

10. According to Matthew 16:18, who does the church belong to?