People have so much trouble with the acknowledgment they are a part of, or, others are a part of a denomination and therefore, they are a part of man-made religion and not of God. You hear the argument, “God never made or has a denomination”, or, “You cannot find ‘denomination’ in the Bible, therefore it is not of God. So many are caught up in a word, semantics, they miss the true meaning which this word means, and I can tell you right now, I am proud to be a member of a denomination, rather, “the” denomination of God.
The word denomination is defined as: “a recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church.” Synonyms would be: “religious body, sect, cult, movement, body, branch, persuasion, order, school; church.” With these synonyms, no wonder people wish to disassociate themselves from having any connection. But there is more, much more. Look at the root of the word: “nominate”, which is defined:
“to choose (someone) for a job, position, office, etc.” Now, do not get hung-up with semantics because we normally associate the word with politics, but the basis of the word itself is to have been “chosen”. Does this sound familiar?
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:9-10 (KJV)
So is there anything inherently wrong or improper being a “denomination”? If you believe you are “chosen”, this makes you a denomination. Wasn’t Israel chosen out of all the other nations of the world? When Peter wrote this, this was long after Christ had been here and gone, and it seems to me Peter was making the designation and made it a distinction to be considered “nominated” (denominated) to be considered “chosen”—still, after Israel’s fall, into a body of believers set apart and aside as Christ’s chosen for these times until the end of time on this planet. Now, for certain, the problem now becomes, “What denomination is correct since there ARE so many man-made ones? Of course, God does not leave us hanging:
“The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily My Sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: everyone that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He rested, and was refreshed.” Exodus 31:12-17.
“Do not these words point us out as God’s denominated people? and do they not declare to us that so long as time shall last, we are to cherish the sacred, denominational distinction placed upon us? The children of Israel were to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations “for a perpetual covenant.” The Sabbath has lost none of its meaning. It is still the sign between God and His people, and it will be so forever.” –Testimonies to the Church, Volume 9, page 18
I’m so thankful God has “nominated” (chosen) me and I have accepted His nomination to become (de)nominated into a group of other nominated (chosen) ones who have accepted the call to serve Him in spirit and in truth.
What about you?
June 13, 2016