What is the Church?

By

Shelby G. Floyd

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Contrary to the popular notion that one may join the church of his choice, the Bible teaches that there is just one church. In fact, Jesus Christ never promised to build but one church. In the area of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16: 18). Jesus did not say, “I will build my churches,” but he said, “I will build my church,” singular. Jesus built but one church, and he called it “my church.”

The One Church in Ephesians

In the book of Ephesians, the one church which Jesus promised to build is mentioned several times as an established reality. In the first chapter, Paul affirmed the supreme authority of Christ as the head of the church, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way” (Ephesians 1: 22-23). This one church is spoken of as the body of Christ. The word body is in the singular.

Christ is the Head of the One Body—the Church

Christ is the one head, and the church is his one body which together forms a unit. This is a figurative reference to the human organism which has one head and one body. The idea of modern denominationalism is foreign to the teaching of the New Testament. In New Testament times there were many congregations, but they all formed one body or one church.

The Jew and Gentile Are Reconciled unto God in One Body

In Ephesians chapter two, Paul speaks of the alienation of the Jew and the Gentile being reconciled together in one body by the cross of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2: 16). The gospel is a gospel of peace to both the Jew and the Gentile, for it is through Christ that both have access unto the Father by the one Spirit into the one body. Continue reading “What is the Church?”