QUESTION: “Obituaries frequently tell that the deceased was a Christian of the _____ faith. Are there different faiths in Christ?”
ANSWER: No. After Jesus went back into Heaven, the Holy Spirit-inspired Apostles only taught one faith.
1) The One Faith
“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:1-6).
“The unity of the Spirit” requires there be no divisions of doctrine!
- There is only “one body” Jesus is over: “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).
- The “one Spirit” teaches sinners: “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free–and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
- The only “one baptism” Jesus authorized was, as Apostles preached it: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
The “one faith” must be this narrowly taught for anyone to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and called “Christian” (Acts 11:26).
2) Remain in the faith
In Derbe, Paul & Barnabas “preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God’” (Acts 14:21-22). No different church or faiths were left behind, for they were establishing disciples and churches to remain in “the faith.”
3) Departures from the Faith
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Such warning should put all Christians on notice to “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? –unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Christians must not accept any other “faith.”