Jesus prayed for the unity of all believers: “That they all may be one that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21).

Much of the lack of unity among believers is due to multiple authority-figures to whom people look for direction in faith and practice. The Bible teaches that authority for the believer rests in Jesus Christ and His word. Prior to His ascent to heaven He commissioned His disciples with the assurance that “All authority is given unto me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). He is “the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18). In this gospel He told His disciples to preach by His authority (Mark 16:15-16; Galatians 1:11-12). The apostles were led by the Holy Spirit into “all truth” (John 16:13). This was “the faith which was once (literally, ‘once for all’) delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). That faith is accurately preserved for us in the Bible, the Scriptures. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16:17).

This being so, we need no earthly head, no additional testaments of Jesus Christ, no church councils to establish church doctrines, nor latter-day revelations.

-Ron Bartanen lives in Sullivan, IL and preaches for the Arthur Church of Christ