Nothing More, Nothing Less

Confusion usually begins with unwarranted assumptions. When asked or invited to study the Bible, many think the purpose is to proselyte. Often it is treated as a veiled attempt to steal some soul from one religious organization and to enlist them in another. If that is the motive of denominations, let it be said, emphatically, that the Lord’s church operates on a completely different premise.

A good example of this conviction involved an invitation by the Apostle Paul to a certain King Agrippa. Having some familiarity with this new movement erroneously identified as a sect of the Jewish religion, he was taken aback by Paul’s question: “Do you believe the prophets?” (Acts 26:27). Paul’s penetrating query about the Old Testament prophets’ predictions of the Messiah Paul preached was revealing. You see, the question implied the fact that what Paul was asking the king to be a part of was something that had been prophesied long many years prior to its establishment and had now been established, having been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. The commitment was not to some Johnny-come-lately religious sect but a Kingdom predicted since dirt… literally (cf. Genesis 3:15).

His question prompted a rather snarky response, a weak attempt to dodge Paul’s question, as though it was incredulous that in so short a time or with so little argument, Paul would convert Agrippa to Christianity. But, herein lies the point of this article: Paul was not trying to recruit Agrippa to yet another brand of some faddish faith. There was no doubt in Agrippa’s mind what Paul’s intentions were: he was trying to convince the king to be a Christian; nothing more, nothing less.

That point is not missed by Christians today. The preaching and/or teaching of the Gospel does not make one a hyphenated-Christian of a particular party. A child of God does not desire to convince anyone to pick an earthly religious team or identify with some human-originated group or wear the nametag of some contemporary clique. To the contrary, there is only one goal in mind: to convert a you to Christ; nothing more, nothing less.

Exactly as Paul wished for Agrippa, we wish for all to become Christians only and only Christians. In obedience to the Gospel call to repent and be baptized into Christ for the remission of sins, it is God Who then adds the saved to the church (Acts 2:46) founded by Christ (Matthew 16:18); nothing more, nothing less.

Jeff Sweeten