Although I like other kinds of soft drinks, I consider myself to be a Dr. Pepper enthusiast. First manufactured in Waco, Texas in 1885, Dr. Pepper is distributed to at least 30 states throughout the US as well as dozens of other countries. What makes it so good? The 23 delicious flavors that it claims to have.
Not surprisingly, off-brands like Pibb Xtra, Dr. Thunder, and others have attempted to replicate Dr. Pepper’s unique taste over the years, but its manufacturers keep a tight lid on the proper ratio of ingredients. In other words, it’s truly one-of-a-kind.
The same can be said about the church we read about in the New Testament. Although there are many imitations, there is only one body or church of Christ (Ephesians 4:4). Consider the following:
A. Jesus promised to build His church (Matthew 16:18)
B. He is the Savior of the church, having purchased it with His own blood (Ephesians 5:23; Acts 20:28).
C. Those who obeyed the gospel were added to the church and became members of the body (1 Corinthians 12:13; Acts 2:47).
Does that church exist today? Absolutely! But any church that claims to be “of Christ”, must acknowledge and submit to Christ as its head. Accordingly, it must also adopt the same beliefs and practices as based on the teaching of the apostles and the examples outlined in the New Testament.
My friends, there is only ONE Dr. Pepper. You can keep your Pibb Xtra or Dr. Thunder because those are imposters. They aren’t the real thing. Similarly, denominations are divisions (not copies) of the true church. They aren’t legitimate. We would do well to remember the words of Jesus in John 5:5 – “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”