Jesus, the Son of God, said, "I will build My church..." (Mt. 16:13-19). This church, which He built and which you read about in the New Testament, was never designed to be a sect. It was not planned to be a part of Judaism, nor of Islam, nor of Catholicism, nor a part of anything else.
Jesus said, "Behold, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5). He did not come into this world to "Put a new patch on an old garment" (Mk. 2:21), but to be the Mediator of the New Testament which is based on a better sacrifice and better promises than those of the Old Testament: "He is the Mediator of a better covenant, which hath been enacted upon better promises" (Heb. 8:6). Jesus died on the cross of Calvary to establish the New Testament (Heb. 9:15,16), and thereby paid the purchase price for His church: "Which He purchased with His own blood" (Acts 20:28). The Jews thought of the church as just another sect, but Paul showed that the church is not a sect: "After the Way which they call a sect, so serve I the God of our fathers" (Acts 24:14).
There are many today who consider that same church to be a sect or "denomination." But Jesus never built a sect, a denomination, nor has He ever authorized one to be built. There is not a name nor description of any sect, or denomination in the New Testament. Jesus prayed for the unity of all believers, (Jno. 17:20,21), and all of these believers are to be in one body, one church (Eph. 1:22,23; 2:14-16; Col. 1:18,24). The Holy Spirit-guided apostle Paul commanded, "Let there be no division among you" (1 Cor. 1:10).
That church of the New Testament was not a sect then, and it is not a sect now. The allegation in the first century that it was a sect did not make it one, and the same allegation today does not make it one.
By Bill Cavender in Centerview
Tidings, Vol. 20, No. 44, Nov. 27, 2005.
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