The church’s foundation is Christ, revealed and ministered through the apostles and prophets. Ephesians 2:20 speaks of the foundation of the apostles and prophets. This foundation is the very Christ whom they ministered to others. Paul said that Christ was the unique foundation which he had laid. No one can lay another foundation (1 Cor. 3:10-11). The Christ who is the foundation of the church is the unique Christ revealed and ministered by the early apostles, as recorded in the New Testament.
We must stay with this Christ. We should not take "another Christ." How grateful we are to the Lord that He has kept His holy Word on this earth, and that under His sovereignty it has been translated into so many languages! What a mercy! If there were no Bible on this earth, what a dark age this would be. Hallelujah, we have the Bible! This is surely the lamp shining in a dark place (2 Pet. 1:19). It has become the light of our pathway (Psa. 119:105), and we are walking in this light—the light of the Bible.
First Corinthians 3:11 says there is no other foundation that can be laid except the unique foundation, Christ. Before a foundation can be laid, however, a house must have a site on which it can be built. The lot is the ground on which the foundation is built. Then the house is built on top of the foundation. The structure is built upon the foundation, and the foundation is laid on the ground.
The Catholic Church claims their foundation is Christ. The Presbyterian and Methodist Churches also claim that their foundation is Christ. All the denominations make this same claim. Their foundation, however, is built upon different grounds. The Presbyterian Church is built upon Christ on the Presbyterian ground. The Baptist Church is built upon Christ but on the ground of immersion in their water. The Methodists have a Methodist ground upon which Christ as their foundation is built. The various denominations follow the same way. They build their denomination on Christ but on their particular ground.
We do not like to criticize, but we must speak the truth. I feel sorrowful that the Southern Baptist Church only recognizes those who are immersed in their water and by their pastors. If someone has been immersed elsewhere, they will not let him join them unless he accepts their immersion done by their pastor. This makes Baptist immersion the ground, and makes them a sect, a denomination. The Church of Christ has a similar practice, except that they believe in baptismal regeneration, that their water can regenerate those who are baptized in it.
Before I came to Dallas in 1966, I was invited by a brother in Los Angeles to his home for dinner. While we were eating, a brother asked if I believed in water baptism. I said, "I believe in water baptism and in Spirit baptism as well." He immediately began to argue that there was no such thing as water baptism in the Bible. I had been a Christian for forty years and had never heard any Christian say that in the New Testament there is no water baptism. When I referred him to John 3:5 about being born of water and the Spirit, he said the water there was the water in the mother’s womb! To him everyone must firstly be born of his mother, signified by the water, and then he must be born of the Spirit. I had never heard such an explanation. The concept was so off that I felt there was no need to talk.
(The Basic Revelation in the Holy Scriptures, Chapter 5, by Witness Lee)