God's one true
Different from all
Every now and then a person may come to a point in their life where they
wonder: "With so many Churches around how do I know I'm in the right one?"
Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, they lack the necessary judgment
to answer their question.
In John 7:24 we find Jesus Christ teaching how to exercise judgment. His
instructions are to: "Judge NOT according to the appearance, but judge righteous
judgment." He warned against being fooled by appearance, saying that people are to
"judge righteous judgment." This means: practice comparing whatever may appear to
be of God with the Scriptures. A practice that is just as important today as it was
when He taught it nearly 2,000 years ago.
And one area of modern day Christianity where this practice is vital is concerning
the Church itself. Because, while many different churches appear to be of God, the
Bible teaches there can only be one true Church: "There is ONE body [church], and
ONE Spirit...ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God..." Eph. 4:4
So let's use the Bible in answering a key question concerning God's one true
church. And as we do, please take the time to ask yourself:
"Does my Church practice what the Bible says it's supposed to?" Question: Why is God's one true Church
different from all the rest?
In examining the many distinguishing characteristics of God's one true
church, two characteristics stand out above all others. One has to do with how
one becomes a Christian, the other with living the Christian life. We will start
with the latter one first.
In the Gospel of John we find the following encounter: "There was a man of the
Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by
night....Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except
a man be BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:1-3
Nicodemus, a very religious man didn't understand what was meant by "born
again." So Christ defined it as a spiritual birth: "That which is born of the flesh is
flesh; and that which is BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT. Marvel not that I said
unto thee, YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN." John 3:6-7
THE NEED FOR THIS "SPIRITUAL BIRTH" GOES BACK TO MAN'S FALLING AWAY FROM GOD.
God's image is manifested in three parts: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And the Bible says: "So
God created man in his own image, IN THE IMAGE OF GOD created he him; male and female
created he them." (Gen. 1:27) Man, therefore, is also manifested in three parts: Body, Soul, and
Spirit (1 Thess. 5:23). THE SOUL is "us", and provides our "self conscious". THE BODY, enables the
Soul to interact with the physical realm, making us "world- conscious". In like manner, THE SPIRIT
makes us conscious of the spiritual realm. But when Man rebelled (sinned) against God he became
spiritually dead, losing his "spiritual-awareness". The result since has been a continuous groping in
spiritual darkness, as Man tries to find his way back to God. That's why we find so many religions
around us. However, in spite of his religious endeavors, Man is always left with a spiritual emptiness
he can't fill. That's why Jesus said: "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, EXCEPT A MAN BE BORN
AGAIN, HE CANNOT SEE [perceive or know] the kingdom of God [the spiritual realm]." John 3:3
The Bible describes the born again Christian as a "NEW CREATURE" and says:
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATURE: old things are PASSED
AWAY; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW." 2 Cor. 5:17
This new creature, spiritually "plugged in" to God, can understand and personally
relate to God's Word. No longer inclined toward rebellion, he desires to follow God's
will, a tremendous contrast to the "old" spiritually dead creature that the Bible
refers to as the Natural man: "But the NATURAL MAN receiveth NOT the things of
the Spirit of God: for they are FOOLISHNESS unto him: NEITHER CAN HE KNOW
THEM, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Cor. 2:14
When a given Church tells its members to: "Just follow the teachings of Christ
and everything will be fine" without teaching them "ye must be born again", the
members find that the heartfelt desire and motivation to live "by the Book" does
not come naturally (It can't come naturally, since they are not a new creature). As
they unsuccessfully try, they become discouraged and find hypocrisy among other
"spiritually dead" members who also try and fail. But God's one true Church will
always teach its members a spiritual birth is required BEFORE they can live the
How one is born again is our next subject:
Most churches will try to tell a person how to get to Heaven. And while the exact
details on how to get there may vary from church to church, the details always have
one underlining thing in common: they involve earning one's way to Heaven. For
example, some teach you must keep the Ten Commandments. Others teach you must
be baptized, still others put great emphasis on good deeds, good behavior, church
membership and faithfulness. But God's one true church differs from the rest
because it teaches SALVATION CAN'T BE EARNED! "For BY GRACE are ye saved
through faith; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD: Not of
works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2:8-9 This free gift was bought for us by
Jesus Christ when He died and shed His blood on the cross.
WHY SHED BLOOD?
The Bible says ONLY death and shed blood can pay for sins: "For the WAGES OF SIN
IS DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).
"...without shedding of blood is NO remission" (Heb. 9:22). "the soul that sinneth, it
shall die" (Ezek. 18:4). Yet many Churches insist on teaching that good deeds, baptism,
good behavior, etc. will pay for sins, but if that's true, then WHY DID CHRIST HAVE TO DIE?
The Bible says: "...Christ DIED FOR OUR SINS..." I COR. 15:3
"I am CRUCIFIED with Christ...who loved me, and GAVE HIMSELF FOR ME." GAL. 2:20
"...the Lord hath LAID ON HIM [Jesus] THE INIQUITY [sin] OF US ALL." ISAIAH 53:6
"who his own self bare OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BODY on the tree [cross]." I PETER 2:24
"for Christ also hath once suffered for sins, THE JUST FOR THE UNJUST..." I PETER 3:18
"...Christ...HATH GIVEN HIMSELF FOR US...a sacrifice to God..." EPHESIANS 5:2
"So Christ was once OFFERED TO BEAR THE SINS OF MANY..." HEBREWS 9:28
So please ask yourself:
§ Has my church ever told me that I must be born again?
§ Am I being told to do the best I can without being told How?
§ Has my Church told me that as a New Creature I can personally know God?
§ What does my Church teach that I must do to get to Heaven?
Does it involve earning my way there?
§ Has my Church taught me I can't earn my way to Heaven and that's why
Christ died in my place?
§ What am I taught to trust in? Is it Christ as personal Saviour or is it in
My Church itself?
If you died today, are you 100% sure you
would go to Heaven? The Bible says you can!
"These things have I written...that ye may
know that ye have eternal life," I John 5:13.
A. You must realize where you stand with God.
1. Your sins separate you and God. "your iniquities
have separated between you and your God,"
2. That includes everyone. "For all have sinned,
and come short of the glory of God;" Rom. 3:23.
B. You must realize that Heaven can't be earned.
1. Not by doing enough good things. "Not by
works of righteousness which we have done,
but according to his mercy he saved us..."
2. Not by being baptized, joining a church, or
obeying the Ten Commandments. "For by
grace are ye saved through faith; and that
not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast."
C. You must be willing to change your direction.
"the wages of sin is death;" Romans 6:23.
1. Self righteousness will cause you to miss Heaven.
Rom. 10:2-3; Luke 13:2; Matt. 5:20; Rom. 3:28
2. Faith in yourself, your baptism, your church will
cause you to miss Heaven, John 1:12; John 3:3.
3. You must repent. "Repent ye therefore, and be
converted," Acts 3:19. "The Lord is...not
willing that any should perish, but that all
should come to repentance." II Pet. 3:9
* Repentance means to change your mind about sin.
D. You must receive Jesus Christ by faith as your
personal Saviour. "being justified by faith,"
Eternal life was paid for with the shed blood
of Christ. Accept it as a free gift. "For
whosoever shall call upon the name of the
Lord shall be saved." Romans 10:13
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[Christian Helps Ministry (USA)] [Christian Home Bible Course]