The Body of Christ
Romans 12:5 So we, [being] many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
1Corinthians 12:12For 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.
The body of Christ here on earth is called the Church. Just what is the body of Christ? Who are the members of it? How does one become a member?
According to the scriptures the church is composed of born again
Christians. All Christians
Galatians 3:26For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 1:18And 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.
When God looks at the body of Christ, He doesn't see all the different denominations with their name tags; God sees His children.
Ephesians4:3-6Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 [There is] one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are 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.
Why is there so many different denominations etc?
Notice that it was taking place even in the days of Apostle Paul.
1Corinthians 1:11-13For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them [which are of the house] of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
12 Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
13 Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
The main thing that divides the Body of Christ the church, is doctrine. We should have and hold to sound doctrine but to be frank, much of the doctrines that divide us don't really matter. We vary in our opinions concerning the gifts of the Spirit, the Apostles, baptism etc. but the greatest doctrine is to love one another. There are doctrines that we must all hold to and defend, especially the foundational doctrines of our Christian faith. See my study course Foundational Basics.
The important thing for us all to remember is that we are Christians and ONLY Christians compose the body of Christ. Some people have the idea that we must be in unity with all people of other religions etc. It is not possible, the only way to become a member of the body of Christ to to be born again and this takes place when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.
The church is to be separate
2Corinthians 6:14Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,
18And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
We can love people of other religions but we cannot offer to them the right hand of fellowship. How can we be in unity or harmony with (for an example- a Muslim)?
I can be in unity only with a born again Christian; regardless if he or she is a Baptist, Pentecostal, Methodist, Nazarene etc.
Because we love Jesus, He is our Savior and we are members one of another.
The church is espoused to Christ
2Corinthians 11:2For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ.
The church corporately, is the temple that the Holy Spirit inhabits here on earth.
1Corinthians 3:16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
1Corinthians 3:17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.
Only God can add to the church
Act 2:47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Jesus Christ is the Savior not the church nor you and I. We can only lead people to the Savior. We cannot save anyone by our programs or our works. That is why we have buildings full of people who don't know the Lord, we haven't lead them to the Lord, we have lead them to our denomination.
Galatians 1:6-8 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
7Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
8But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.