Does the Bible teach there is one church or does it teach that you may join the church of your choice? The answer to this question is answered by the word of God and our faith in that word. In Rom 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” In John 20:30-31 “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing ye might have life through his name.” Faith comes by the word of God and the scriptures are written so that we will have the word of God, so it is to the word of God we go for our answer.
In the following scriptures notice that Jesus and the apostles teach the oneness of Gods people. In John 10:16 “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” How many folds? Only one. In John 11:52 “And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” Jesus would gather both Jew and Gentile into one group. In John 17:20-21 “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” Jesus prays that all should be one and not difference. How sad when religious men of the world thank God for so many different sects so man can have his choice in the matter. There is no choice, we must be one and believe the same thing.
In Rom 12:4-5 “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” How many bodies are there? These scriptures teach there is One. In 1 Cor 10:17 “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” How many bodies are there? There is one. In I Cor 12:12 “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” How many bodies are there? In this scripture it states three times that there is one. In I Cor 12:13 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body—“. Here again we are taught one body. In I Cor 12:20 “But now are they many members, yet but one body.” How many bodies? Just one. In Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” In Eph 1:10 “That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth: even in him:” In Eph 2:15-16 “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in the ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; and that he might reconcile unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.”
How many bodies? Just one. This would have been the time to have had more than one body if God had wanted more than one. He could have had a body of Jews and a body of Gentiles. Again in Col 3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Again we are called into one body and not different bodies. In Eph 4:4 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” This plainly states there is “one body” as plainly stated in the context that there is one God, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one hope and one Spirit.
We have found thus far that there is one body. The question now is what is that one body? Let us go to the word of God. In Col 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church:” In Col 1:24 “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church. In Eph 1:22-23 “And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church. Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” In these three scriptures we are taught that the body is the church. The body and the church are one and the same. In all the scriptures we have given it states there is one body or that we are all one.
Since that is true, then if there is one body there is one church and not a multiplicity of churches or denominations. It is the same as if l ask you “Do you see the boy the lad?” The boy and the lad are the same person, but there is just one. Now of the many different religious bodies in the world today which one is the true one body. Turn in 1 Cor 12:27 “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in Particular.” Since the scriptures teach that the body is the Church then we are the “Church of Christ” and members in particular. On the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:47 the Lord added unto the apostles about three thousand souls. Then in Acts 2:47 we read, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people.
And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. Since that time the Lord has added to the same church those that are saved. We have no choice in the matter because we have to obey the same thing the people in Acts 2:38 obeyed and then the Lord adds us to that same one church. Friend, there are many today following Matt 15:9 “but in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of me.” It is up to you whether you accept the doctrine of Christ that there is one church or whether you accept the doctrine of men that one church is good as another, so join the church of your choice. We plead with you to accept the doctrine of Christ.
Published in the August 1, 1987 issue of the OPA.