Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:10)
Today’s big question: in what can we be united?
A lot of Baptists will be in heaven. So will a lot of Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, etc. Is it right for one denomination to say that it is the only true church? The answer is no.
In our previous devotional, we learned that there is only one way of salvation. This is through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone and not by works, so that no man can boast. So if a Baptist and a Presbyterian both have true saving faith in Jesus Christ, will they both be in heaven? Yes—a resounding yes.
Consider what the Apostle John wrote on this subject:
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6–7)
When Jesus Christ is the true light of our life, we have fellowship with others who have that same essential fellowship with Christ. Evidence of this saving faith is seen in our repentance, faith, and obedience to Him.
What would you do if you lived in a time when the state church was the only legal church? Often overlooked in studies of the Reformation, the Anabaptists faced tremendous persecution. Michael Sattler, along with several other Swiss Anabaptists, drafted the Schleitheim Confession in 1527. This document proclaimed some of their beliefs that were at odds with the state churches around them. Each of the signers essentially signed his own death warrant, and Sattler and his wife, Margaretha, were executed three months later.
The Schleitheim Confession of faith, along with other statements and creeds such as the Westminster Confession of 1643, were not intended to replace Scripture. Instead these documents were drawn up to point out biblical doctrine as an aid to the church. Whatever one may think of the various confessions of the Protestant Reformation, we can see the unanimous declaration that salvation is found in Christ alone, rather than membership in a particular denomination.
Jesus Christ is the owner, founder, and head of the Church, and He is the One who gave His life in payment for it. Sattler is one of countless martyrs who have given their lives for Jesus Christ. How much are you willing to give to the Savior who died for you?
Today’s big idea: It is Christ’s church—not ours.
What to pray: declare to Christ your gratitude for salvation, which is received through faith alone in Him alone.