...the churches of Christ salute you! Rom 16:16

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by George Bentch

The Bible begins with these four words, "In the beginning, God..." With these words we are introduced to the one true and living God. There is no hint of plurality here. We are not left to wonder. There is one Almighty, Everlasting Creator. He created many stars and planets, but only one earth. Man was made to have dominion over that earth. He was the one creature made in the image of God.

As Moses walked on mount Horeb, he saw a bush that burned with fire, yet was not consumed. From the midst of that fire came the voice of the great I Am. Again, there was no hint of plurality. It was one God sending one man to deliver one nation from slavery.

After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God spoke to them. In Exodus 20:3 he said, "I am the Lord thy God which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me." As the voice of God thundered down from the flaming mountain it was an experience to cause fear. So terrible was the sight that Moses said, "I exceedingly fear and quake" (Heb. 12:21). God's intent was "...that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not" (Exo. 20:20). They were shown, beyond all doubt, that there is one God. They were promised great rewards for obeying and worshipping that one God.

One Man On a Mission

The Lord told Moses, "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him" (Deut. 18:18). This was the promise of one specific person. There would be many prophets, but only one would be like unto Moses. Christ was one man sent on a mission of deliverance. When Jesus came there was none like him. At Jordan God proclaimed, "Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" (Luke 3:22). Then, on the mountain where Jesus was transfigured, God said: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him" (Matt.17:5).

When officers were sent to arrest him, they returned with these words, "Never man spake like this man" (John 7:46). He was, as John wrote, "the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14). It was truth he came to bring to the world. He said in John 8:32, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." As far as the salvation of man is concerned, there is but one truth. In the presentation of that truth Jesus said, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mark 16:18). He only promised to build one church. He was one man sent to save one group of people—those who will obey the truth.

One Comforter

As Christ prepared to leave this world he told his followers he would send another comforter. Only one was promised. Jesus described him as the "Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive" (John 14:17). He further assured them that, "He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you" (John 14:26). There was no new revelation promised—Jesus Christ was the last. Of the Spirit he said, "He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you" (John 16:14).

So it was that what the apostles preached or wrote was Christ's Word or God's Word. In John 7:16 Jesus said, "...My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me" (John 7:16). As Paul described the beginning of his preaching he wrote, "...I conferred not with flesh and blood" (Gal. 1:16). His preaching and writing was by inspiration of the Spirit of truth. In Galatians 1:11-12 he wrote, "I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." To the Corinthians he wrote, "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:4-5). The wisdom of men often stands opposed to the one truth delivered by the one Holy Spirit.

As Paul continued his writing of truth in 1 Corinthians 11:23-24 he said, "I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread. And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me." He offered only one body as a sacrifice. Although torn and beaten, his body remained intact. John 19:36 says, "...A bone of him shall not be broken."

Then Paul wrote, "After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood..." (1 Cor. 11:25). Here we see one loaf and one cup used to institute a memorial. There was only one body offered. There was only one blood shed for man's sins. There is only one New Testament. It was necessary that Christ die in order for the Testament to be effective. Hebrews 9:17 tells us "...a testament is of force after men are dead..." So, without the death of the testator the testament is of no effect. One cup represents one New Testament, ratified by one blood. The only blood pure enough to take away sin.

In 1 Corinthians 10:16 Paul wrote, "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?..." Communion means a mutual sharing. Do we realize how vital it is that we share in that one blood? Hebrews 9:22 says, "...without shedding of blood is no remission." In the sharing of that one cup we are drawn closer to God. In fact, without what that one cup represents we could in no way approach God. Sin would stand in the way.

Paul continues, "...the bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" Again, there is the mutual sharing of one loaf. The Living New Testament gives this reading: "When we break off pieces of bread from the loaf to eat there together, this shows that we are sharing together in the benefits of his body." In Luke 22:19 Jesus said, "...This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me." He gave his body to be beaten, torn and bruised, but it was never separated into parts. Thus, the loaf we partake of remains intact except for each person breaking off their portion.

The communion is a solemn memorial. It was instituted by our Lord, and given us by the pen of inspiration. It keeps in our memory the death, burial and resurrection of our Savior. Paul wrote, "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come" (1 Cor. 11:26). The singular terms used here show the one divine pattern. Is it important for all to follow one pattern? If not, why were we not given by divine Inspiration more than one? Remember, the Israelites lost their promised land by departing from the divine pattern of worship. How much can we depart from the one truth before the same thing happens to us? Hebrews 4:1 warns, "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."

If we believe in one Almighty God, why don't we fear to disobey Him? Divine wrath has always been aroused against those who add to or take from the law of God. That which is deemed expedient by men is not always pleasing to God. In 1 Peter 1:17 the apostle writes, "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." To call on the Father infers the knowledge of one Great God. With that knowledge should come fear to offend Him. We have one God, who sent His one Son to be a ransom for many. There is one Holy Spirit given as a guide to one truth. Through the inspired Word we are given one hope of eternal reward.

You have one life to live, one gospel to obey, one death to die, and one judgment to face. There is only one person who can keep you from enjoying eternal bliss. That one person is YOU!! —PO Box 628, Blum, TX 76627



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