Perhaps no statement has been made more often by religious people than that “one church is as good as another.” However, this is not true, for the Bible teaches that there is but one church. It is recorded, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” (Eph. 4:4.) This passage clearly states that “there is one body.” In our day there are hundreds of conflicting religious bodies. It goes without saying that one body cannot mean hundreds of bodies.
But what does the Bible mean by “one body”? In Ephesians 1:22 and 23, we read, “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.” Note “. . . the church, which is his body.” So, the church is “the body.” and there is only “one” body.
Not only does Paul tell us that the church is the one body and that the body is the church (Col. 1:18), he further declares “But now are they many members, yet but one body” (I Cor. 12:20.) Since there is one body, then there is but one church of the New Testament. Furthermore, when Jesus promised to build the church he said, “… upon this rock I will build my church.” (Matt. 16:18.) He promised to build only one — His church, and not churches! We know the Lord built only one because that is all He promised to build. Then if He built but one, somebody else must have built all the others. Who will say that a church some man built is as good as the one that the Lord built? That is what a person would be forced to say if he contends that one church is as good as another.
In Colossians 1:18 it is declared: “And he is the head of the body, the church.” Note it does not say: “He is the head of the bodies, the churches.” There are the same number of churches as there are bodies, and the same number of bodies as there are heads. How many heads? He is the head! That means just one head, doesn’t it? So there is one head, one body, one church. And, since Jesus is the head of only one, somebody else must be the head of all others.
Do you believe that a church of which some man is the head is as good as the church of which Jesus is the head?
Further, we read that, “Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it.” (Eph. 5:25.) The words “the church” mean but one. The pronoun “it” can refer to but one. So Christ loved one church; he died for one church; he built one church. Hence, he is the owner of but one church — the church we read about in the New Testament.