Most people understand that one does not mean two or more. However, in the field of religion many often become confused. When we consider the many ways man has devised to try to worship and serve his Creator, it is apparent that very little consideration has been given to the significant role the number one plays in God’s scheme of redemption.
In Genesis 3, we have the introduction of sin into this world. In Genesis 4, we have the introduction of worship in the form of animal sacrifice. There was only one way to please God in this earliest form of worship. Abel pleased God, but Cain did not, but what made the difference? Abel obeyed by faith, while Cain worshiped as he pleased (Hebrews 11:4). In essence, Cain thought his sacrifice would be just as pleasing to God as Abel’s, but he was terribly mistaken.
As wickedness among the people increased, God chose one man whose name was Noah (Genesis 6:8). According to the apostle Peter, Noah was a preacher of righteousness (2 Peter 2:5). While preaching to the people, Noah obeyed God by building an ark. There was only one ark—one place of safety. All outside of the ark perished in the universal flood (Genesis 7:21 -23).
In Exodus 20, we read of the 10 Commandments. God said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). There is only one true and living God, and he will be second to none other. In the Old Testament we see how God used the concept of one—one God, one Deliverer, one way of worshiping Him, one ark for safety from destruction, one law which was His, and only one way for His people to express their love for Him, by obeying His law.
The concept of one and its significance is also seen in the New Testament. In the New Testament we read of the greatest expression of God’s love. He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for the sin of the whole world (John 3:16; 1 John 2:1-2). There is only one Savior. He promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18-19). Christ built only one church (Acts 2), and this church is His body. The apostle Paul wrote, “And he is the head of the body, the church…” (Colossians 1:18). Christ is also the Savior of His body, the church (Ephesians 5:23). Some will say, “Well, the church doesn’t save us.” This is true, but the real question is, “Where are the saved?” There are only three possibilities: 1) they are in the church, 2) they are not in the church, or 3) some are in and some are not in the church. The Bible says they are in the one body which is His church (Ephesians 1:22-23). Christ has promised to save only His church (5:23).
Since the Lord adds the saved to His church (Acts 2:47), one might ask, “How, then, do I get into the church of Christ?” There is only one way, and that is through obedience to the gospel (Romans 1:16). On Pentecost (Acts 2), the people heard but one message. Those who gladly received the word, as preached by the apostles, were baptized for the remission of their sins (Acts 2:38, 41). Friend, it is still the same today. You must hear the gospel, believe in Christ as God’s Son, repent of your sins, and be baptized in the name of Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of your sins. This is the one way that is right, and cannot be wrong.
Dear reader, there is only one way we can worship God and please Him. Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). The New Testament furnishes us a pattern for today’s worship. The Lord’s church worshiped on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). The worship consisted of singing without the use of mechanical instruments of music (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16); praying (Acts 2:42); observing the Lord’s death by eating the Lord’s Supper (1 Corinthians 11:23-29); giving of one’s means (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:7); and hearing the preaching of God’s word (Acts 20:7). When we follow this pattern for our worship, we are pleasing to God. This is the one and only way the Lord has authorized us to worship Him. Friend, when and how do you worship God? Do you worship on Sunday, the first day of the week? Do you follow the divinely given pattern for worship, revealed in the New Testament?
Precious people, there is only one way we can be saved and that is by our obedience to the gospel (Mark 16:15-16). There is only one church to which Christ adds the saved, and that church is His. In the New Testament, congregations of His church were known as churches of Christ (Romans 16:16). Are you a member of the Lord’s church?
Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). Friend, we enter into Christ by being baptized into Him (Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:26-27). Why not enter into this one way and be saved today? If we can assist you in your obedience to the gospel, please contact us or the nearest true church of Christ and make your desire known. You’ll be glad you did! Think about it.
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The fourth article from Ted J. Clarke on the subject The Role of Women in the Lord's Church is now available online. Having previously discussed The Genesis Connection, he proceeds in this article to discuss First Corinthians 11:2-16 with regard to the Role of Women in the Lord's Church.
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