Bible Topics In The Christian Library

INTRODUCTION: There is much question in the religious world today concerning the basis for unity among those who seek to follow Christ. Some place man-made dogmas as the basis of unity. Some simply say that love is the only basis of unity without any agreement on essential doctrines. What is the bible answer?

Paul gives seven "Ones of unity" in Ephesians chapter four. When properly interpreted these give the basis for unity for believers in Jesus Christ.

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 - one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

Let's look at the first one on unity that Paul gives us, the one body.



A. This is a different declaration that what many today would say.
1. Some will tell you that there are many bodies in existence 
today that are pleasing to God. 
2. Their attitude is "one church is as good as another"
B. This is not what the New Testament teaches us.
1. Romans 12:4-5 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 - so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.
2. I Corinthians 12:12-14
3. While these passages teach that the body may have individual 
members (Christians), they stress that there is only one body.
A. The New Testament teaches that the body is the CHURCH.
1. Ephesians 1:22 - And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 - which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

2. Colossians 1:18 - And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

3. Colossians 1:24 - I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

B. Therefore it is correct to say that there is one church.
1. This is true because if there is only one body (Ephesians 4:4), and it is the church (Ephesians 1:22,23), then there must be only one church.

2. This is supported by the fact that when the New Testament talks about the church in the worldwide sense it always talks 

about it in the singular.
a. Matthew 16:18-"...upon this rock I will build my church.."
b. Acts 2:47-"...And the Lord added to the church daily such as were being saved."
c. Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,

d. 1 Timothy 3:15 - the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

A. God wants all who believe in His Son to be united in one body.
1. 1 Corinthians 1:10 - Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

2. John 17:20, 21 - "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 - that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."

3. God does not want anyone to be part of some counterfeit; that only offers an easing of the conscience without true forgiveness through Christ's blood.
B. Salvation is found only in Christ, His body.
1. Ephesians 1:7-"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
2. Romans 3:24 - being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

3. 2 Timothy 2:10 - Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

4. If redemption is through Christ's blood, forgiveness of sins, redemption, and salvation is in the body of Christ, the church, then one must be in the church that Jesus built in order to be in a right relationship with God.
C. We are baptized into that one body, the church.
1. Romans 6:3, 4 - Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 - Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

2. 1 Corinthians 12:13 - For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body; whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

3. Galatians 3:27
4. Therefore, if one must be in the one body in order to be saved, and one enters that one body through baptism, one must be baptized in order to be saved.
D. We cannot be joined to another body and be pleasing to God.
1. 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
2. 2 John 9-11
CONCLUSION: What may we conclude from these facts?

1. There is only one church, the one body of Christ.

2. A person must be a member of that one body in order to be saved.

3. If he is outside of that body he is in a lost state.

4. He must be baptized into Christ in order to become a member of 

that one body.

Are you a member of that one body that we read of in the new testament? Have you been baptized into Christ based on your faith, repentance, and confession of faith in the risen lord?

Copyright 1999 by Grady Scott may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes at no cost to others.

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