5. One must understand the Lord, Jesus the Christ, has one church (body). This is plainly stated in Ephesians 4:4, “There is one body.” This does not mean there are two, three or 300. There is one. The one body is the church, the one church is the body. The “body” and the “church” are used interchangeably in Ephesians 1:22-23 and Colossians 1:18 þ “and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body….” “And he is the head of the body, the church….”
Jesus promised to build his church in Matthew 16:18. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” He never promised to build “churches” (plural). He never promised there would be many churches so men could pick and choose what they wanted. The Lord did not provide people with a smorgasbord religion where you go through the phone book or drive down the road and choose what you want. After the first century A.D., hundreds of religious groups and denominations have been started and maintained by men. However, none of them were started by Christ. The Lord’s church began on Pentecost when the apostles preached the gospel for the first time (Acts 2:1-42). On that first day, about 3,000 people repented of their sins, were immersed in water (baptized) and then added by the Lord to his church (Acts 2:41). The Lord’s church that began that day is the same church that exists now. It is called the “church of Christ” (Romans 16:16) and the “church of God” (1 Corinthians 1:2). Men and women everywhere are either members of the Lord’s church or they are not þ they are either saved or lost. To be added by the Lord to his church, one must obey the will of Christ. When those in Acts 2 asked what to do to be saved, they were told to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins…” (v.38). Verse 41 says about 3,000 did that and were added by the Lord to his church. Those in the Lord’s church will be saved while those not in the Lord’s church will be lost. Jesus is the savior of the body (Ephesians 5:23). He will not save those outside his body. Friend, are you in the body of Christ?