‘The one body’ in the book of Ephesians
Published 10:56 am Friday, January 13, 2023
Paul said, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:4-6 KJV).
In the text, Paul mentions the fact that there is only one body. The Word of God lists numerous verses that relate to that one body. In the following I want to bring to your attention and discuss some of those sacred texts.
We should ask what is that one body that Paul has in mind. As we consider Paul’s statement, he identifies the “one body” as the Lord’s church. If this is accurate, and it is, mankind is in a precarious position. The position is dangerous because we learn in Ephesians 1:22-23 that the Father gave Jesus “to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” In this we can easily see the idea that the body consists of many churches with different doctrines and practices did not originate with the Lord. The peril we face as mankind is that he is responsible for “denominationalism.” Christ only built one church (Matthew 16:18), and that one church is His body. Furthermore, Christ considered His body, the church, to be so special that He purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28). One thing we must realize is the importance of that one body spoke of in the Bible; we should see its importance and its special nature because mankind is reconciled to God in the church (Ephesians 2:14-16).
Next, the Bible distinguishes Christ as the head of the “one body.” In Ephesians 1:22-23, Paul said, “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 fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Paul in reference to Jesus also said, “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence” Colossians 1:18. Since Jesus is the head of His body, and the body is the church, the body or the church is to submit to His will according to Ephesians 5:24. Herein lies the importance of all that Paul wrote, the Lord’s body must submit to His will by only saying and doing those things He has authorized in His Word (Colossians 3:16-17).
Also of great importance is the fact that the Word of God, the Bible, identifies the members of the “one body” that Paul said so much about. Over and over again, the New Testament teaches that Christians are members of the Lord’s body (Ephesians 5:30; Romans 12:4-5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14, 27). More specifically, the “one body” is composed of those who have been baptized into it (1 Corinthians 12:13). Now I want to remind us of a previous article in which we showed that there is only “one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5). It is that baptism that puts us into Christ and thus His body or the Church. Therefore any baptism designed to put a person into a church that we do not read about in the Bible is not the baptism commanded by Christ.
Have you been baptized into the body of Christ? If not, you can be added to the Church of the New Testament through obedience to the commands of the New Testament. Do you love the Lord? Are you willing to submit to His commands. If you believe that Jesus is the living Son of God and are willing to repent of any sins in your life, confess His dear name, and are willing to submit to baptism, God will add you to the Church he established (Acts 2:47). If you need help or would like to study further the one Church call (423) 518-1919.
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton)