The I85 Church of Christ Greenville, South Carolina
The Plea for Unity ....
In John chapter 17 verses 20 and 21, Jesus Christ prayed for all believers that they might be united.
"Neither prays I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
The original church was united. The church of Christ pleads for the unity of all believers in the church.
In his first Epistle to the Corinthians chapter 1 verse 10, the apostle Paul wrote, "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."
Paul wrote this as a result of division in the church at Corinth, as indicated in verse 11 through verse 15.
"For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Now, this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius;
Lest any should say that I had baptized in mine own name."
The need is not for a new church but the original church with its unity. The need is for those in the denominational world to lay aside party names, creeds, and ties and be Christians only. Jesus' church can be restored if men will do Bible things in Bible ways and call Bible things by Bible names.
The early disciples were just Christians - Acts 11:26, neither Protestants nor Catholics. They were unheard of until centuries later. The restoration of the Biblical church will lead us once again to be just Christians.
Early Christians were not denominationalists. Paul was not a member of one denomination, Peter of another, and James and John members of another. Instead, they condemned division and the wearing of additional names as carnal or unscriptural. 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 ...
For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal and walk as men?
For a while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
Churches of Christ are pleading that all should be Christians only and members of the Lord's church. This is a plea for the restoration of Jesus' church in its unity and simplicity.