By Mike Riley
Our Lord’s spiritual body (kingdom) is the church (Matthew 16:18-19; Colossians 1:18,24). “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).
Therefore, there is one church or “body” (Ephesians 4:4). This comes as a shock to many people, but it is true according to the inspired Scriptures. False teachers have long told us there are “many” churches from which we may “choose”. They have told us to pick one that best suits “our” tastes. The problem is, all the various denominations are products of men, not of God (cf. Matthew 21:25). This means they do not please God and will one day be destroyed by Him (Matthew 15:1-14).
What Does The Bible Teach Concerning The Lord’s Church?
Contrary to the doctrines of men, the Bible teaches that we must choose God’s will above our own (John 7:17; cf. Luke 22:42). That is, we are to choose the “church of God’s choice,” the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12; 1 Corinthians 12:27). It was purchased by His blood and therefore belongs to Him (Acts 20:28). This also means that it is valuable, precious and loved by the Lord (Ephesians 5:25-33). Christ has the “authority” to direct its affairs (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:21).
The church does not have the right to dictate to the Lord what it wants, nor does it have the right to offer anything it pleases to God (Ephesians 5:22-24). Rather, the body follows the directions of the head (Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18).
Where Is Salvation To Be Found?
Further, we must carefully consider and accept the fact that salvation cannot be found outside of that one body (Ephesians 5:23). The Spirit revealed, “and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity” (Ephesians 2:16). We can no more remove Christ or the cross, than we can remove the “one body” in God’s plan of reconciliation.
Just as surely as there is one Spirit, one Lord and one God the Father, there is one body (Ephesians 4:4-6). Reconciliation to God is found in that one body to which the Lord will add us when we are baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, 47; Acts 5:14; 1 Corinthians 12:13).