How did we get here?
There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One of the definitions of the word faith is “a system of religious belief.” If we substitute that definition into Ephesians 4:5, we would get “One Lord, one system of religious belief, one baptism.” According to an estimate by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity (CSGC) at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, there are approximately 45,000 Christian denominations in the world as of 2019. A denomination is “an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations). What happened to one body and one faith?” And how did we get from one body/faith to 45,000 bodies/faiths?
To start, we will show that Jesus is the one Lord and the head of the one body. Then, we will show that the Apostles (who spent over 3 years with Jesus) taught only one faith. Finally, we will see the warnings that the Bible gives us about the proliferation of different bodies/faiths and that the end result is the broad way to destruction. We must look to the Bible for answers because:
Since Jesus taught “as one that had authority” (Matthew 7:29, Mark 1:22) let’s look to Him and those that walked with Him (the Apostles) for answers. Jesus states in Luke 24:44, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.” He is referring to the books of the Old Testament and the prophecies contained in them about Him. Of these many prophesies, Jesus quotes Psalm 118:22 in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10 and Luke 20:17:
Of all the times Jesus spoke about faith, one instance stands out in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10, because of the reaction Jesus had to the faith of a Roman centurion (military officer):
We find that Jesus (the One Lord himself) warned us of this happening in Matthew Chapter 7.
As the Apostles were working to follow the commandment that Jesus gave them (described in the last few verses of Matthew, Mark and Luke), the one faith was already under attack. Paul warned the church members at Ephesus in Acts 20: