Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

Vol. 1, No. 8 Page 11 August 1999

Gospel Gazette, Bible Articles

There Is One Body

By Steve Miller

The Bible teaches “There is one body . . .” (Ephesians 4:4).  What is the one body?  “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (1:22-23).

Paul is teaching exactly what Jesus Christ taught.  Our Lord said he wold build his church (Matthew 16:18), which is the one body!  The Book of Ephesians teaches that there is ONE CHURCH (4:4).  It is built upon the one foundation, Jesus Christ (2:20).  Christ died for the church:  “. . . even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it” (5:25).  Jesus is savior of the body (5:23).  Jesus is head of the church:  “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him be the head over all things to the church” (1:22).  Jesus loves his body, the church:  “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church . . . For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (5:25, 29).

The church is under the authority of Christ:  “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ . . .” (5:24).  We are reconciled to God in the one body:  “And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (2:16).  We can be members of this body:  “For we are members of his body . . .” (5:30).  We are sanctified and cleansed.  “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” (5:26).  We are to have growth in the church (4:16).  We are to have unity in the body (4:1-6).  Members of the one body are to worship:  “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end” (3:21).  We have one mission; to make known “the manifold wisdom of God” (3:10).  When Paul spoke of the one body, he was simply stating, “This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (5:32).  The church of Christ is the church of the New Testament.

Singularity of the
Church of Christ

  • Jesus said, “I will build MY church” (Matthew 16:18).
  • “. . . tell it to THE church” (Matthew 18:17).
  • “Lord added to THE church” (Acts 2:47).
  • “likewise greet THE church” (Romans 16:5).
  • “baptized into ONE body” (1 Corinthians 12:13).
  • THE body of Christ . . . set some in THE church” (1 Corinthians 1:27-28).
  • “the head over all things to THE church” (Ephesians 1:22).
  • “reconcile both unto God in ONE body” (Ephesians 2:15-16).
  • “glory to God in THE church” (Ephesians 3:21).
  • “there is ONE body” (Ephesians 4:4).
  • “Christ is the head of THE body, and he is the savior of THE body” (Ephesians 5:23).
  • “persecuting THE church” (Philippians 3:6).
  • “and hath translated us into THE kingdom . . .” (Colossians 1:13).
  • “He is the head of THE body” (Colossians 1:18).
  • “that ye may be counted worthy of THE kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer” (2 Thessalonians 1:5).
  • THE house of God, which is THE church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15).

The Bible is the verbally (word for word), inspired (God-breathed), inerrant (without mistake), plenary (complete) Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17).  The Bible is to be our only authority in religious matters (Colossians 3:17).

The New Testament teaches us to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).  The Bible authorizes five acts of worship to be engaged in by the church of Christ.  Upon the first day of the week, we are to sing praises unto God (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), pray (Acts 2:42), give as we have prospered (1 Corinthians 16:1-2), teach (Acts 2:42; 20:7) and break bread (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-20).

The organization of the church, as found in the New Testament, consists of Christ as head (Colossians 1:18), elders overseeing the local congregation (Hebrews 13:17), deacons serving the physical needs of the church (1 Timothy 3:8-13), and evangelists and teachers who preach the Word of God publicly and privately.

To become a Christian and a member of the one body, one must obey the Gospel plan of salvation.  This makes one a Christian only and an heir to all the blessings found in Jesus Christ.  The Bible teaches us that we are saved by the grace of God (Ephesians 2:5, 8-10).  In order for man to get into the grace of God, he must do his part, which is through faith (Ephesians 2:8).  The Christians at Ephesus were not saved by grace alone:

  • They heard and believed the Gospel (Ephesians 1:13).
  • They repented (Acts 20:21).
  • They confessed Jesus Christ (Acts 19:18).
  • They were baptized into Christ (Acts 19:1-7).

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