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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6


Does God Approve of Denominations?

(Part 1)



1.  Warned against following the teachings of men, Gal. 1:6-11.

  a.  We must speak words of God (1 Pet. 4:11); Abide in doctrine of Christ (2 Jno. 9-11); and test all things (1 Ths. 5:21-22; 1 Jno. 4:1, 6).

  b.  All things not of God will be uprooted, Matt. 15:13-14.

2.  Man's wisdom promotes denominationalism (“choose the church of your choice”), 1 Cor. 2:1-5.

3.  God's wisdom promotes unity in Christ based on His word, Jno. 17:20-21; 1 Cor. 1:10; Eph. 4:3.

4.  Denominationalism recognizes many bodies, many teachings and many paths to God. It attempts unity in spite of moral and doctrinal diversity. Such will never achieve unity, only more division, Amos 3:3; 1 Jno. 1:6-7; Matt. 7:21-23.



  A.  Denomination is a Sect that Results from Division.

    1.  To denominate: “The act of naming; a class or kind having a specific name; a religious sect” (Webster). To distinguish in name.

      a.  Denomination: A part, party, segment.

      b.  Denominationalism: The result; “division into denominations.” [i]

    2.  In denom. there is NOT UNITY in name, organization, doctrine or practice…or at times, even in spirit; Based on division.

  B.  The Nature of Denominationalism Shows it is not the NT Church:

    1.  Works of the flesh, Gal. 5:20.

    2.  There is oneness in Christ, not "many", Eph. 4:4-6.

    3.  Every denomination begins out of division and is perpetuated by its separation from other believers.

  C.  Attempted Justification from the Scriptures, Jno. 15:1-8.

    1.  Vine and branches equated with Christ divided into denom. But:

      a.  The Vine is Christ, not the Church. For denom. to be valid, the church is the vine, and its subdivisions (denom.) the branches.

      b.  If denom. is valid, then 15:2 authorizes removal of unfruitful denominations. Where are the "denomination pruners"?

      c.  Christ spoke to disciples, not to denominations, 15:3.

    2.  Disciple, not denominations (you, him, anyone, he, my, disciples), 15:4-8.



  A.  Promotes Division, 1 Cor. 1:10-13. (disagree, separate, divide)

    1.  Its use of “church” is not in NT. [Universal, (denom.), local]

    2.  Universal church is composed of Christians, not of “churches”.

  B.  Redefines the Church. [ii]

    1.  Ignores the singularity and uniqueness of the church, Matt. 16:18; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4.  (Many bodies teaching conflicting doctrines, antagonistic to Bible and each other.) 

    2.  It ignores the church’s relationship to Christ, Eph. 5:23-24. It is spiritual polygamy (adultery)!

  C.  Denies the Value of the Church. Acts 20:28 (blood); Eph. 1:22-23 (body of Christ); 2:16 (reconciled); 3:10-11 (eternal purpose); 5:23 (saved); 5:32 (bride).

  D.  Consents to the Choices of Men Above the Word and Will of God.

    1.  “Join the church of your choice” is its rallying cry.

    2.  Faithless thinking: Jer. 10:23; Prov. 16:25; Isa. 55:8.

        -Naaman was angry at God’s way, 2 Kgs. 5:11; Jeroboam’s religion perverted God's way of worship, 1 Kgs. 12:26-30.

    3.  The same: “Choose the (river/worship/church) of your choice”.

  E.  Is Built on Subjective Sincerity instead of God’s Absolute Truth.

    1.  Sincere hearts are not enough to please God, Acts 23:1; 26:9. If sincerity is enough, why did Saul have to change? Saved anyway. 

    2.  Must abide in truth to be saved, Jno. 8:31-32.

  F.  Ignores the Divine Standard of Unity, God's Word, Jno. 17:17, 20-21.  “All read from the same Bible...all are going to the same place.”  No, this is spiritual deception, Matt. 7:21-23.

  G.  Approves Making Laws where God has not Made Them,  Gal. 1:6-9; Col. 3:17.

    1.  Creeds of men vs. inspired word of God, 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

    2.  Ex.  Sprinkling vs. burial (Rom. 6:4; Col. 2:12)…Which is right? Does it matter? Yes!

  H.  Elevates the Human Will above the Lord’s Stated Will.

    1.  Man’s choices vs. God’s revealed will. Matt. 16:18

    2.  The Lord’s word is superior to any desire of man, Matt. 28:18.



1.  We embrace unity, not division. So, we refuse denominationalism for Christ and His truth about His church.

2.  Part 2 will look more closely at the church of Christ.


[i] “Denominations are associations of congregations, though sometimes it might be said that congregations are localized subdivisions of denominations, that have a common heritage.  Moreover, a true denomination does not claim to be the only legitimate expression of the church.” 

D G Tinder, Elwell Evangelical Dictionary,


[ii] “The one, (John 17:20-21; Eph. 4:3-6) true, holy (I Cor. 3:16-17) church (Matt. 16:17-18; I Cor. 1:2; Eph. 2:18-19; I Pet. 2:9-10) is very broad, and includes all those who acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.”


A Christ Walk Church Statement of Faith,





By: Joe R. Price

Posted: December 11, 2014