Nana Yaw Aidoo
To the church of Christ at Colosse Paul wrote: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful” (Col. 3:15). We call attention to three things in this great text.
First, the fact that the recipients of this epistle are said to have been called. The idea of a calling implies that the Colossians prior to their becoming saints (Col. 1:2) were in a place that at the time of the writing of this epistle, they no longer were. According to Colossians 1:13, that place from which they were called was “…the power of darkness…” It is written that “…the whole world lies under the sway of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 NJKV) and the only way by which one can be delivered from the power of “…the god of this age…” is if such a one were called.
To be called is to be saved and the means by which men are called is the gospel. Paul wrote:
But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 2:13-14).
And in another place he wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). Thus, unless a person obeys the gospel from the heart (Rom. 6:17; Heb. 5:9), which culminates in baptism unto the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Rom. 6:3-6; 1 Pet. 3:21), he cannot be called.
Second, the fact that Paul in telling the Colossians that they had been called, told them that they were called in the body. Not only were the Colossians called but they were called into a location. Salvation has always had a location. In the ante-diluvian age, it was located in the ark, which God commissioned Noah to build. Today it is located in the body. Hence, when God called or saved the Colossians, He placed them in the locus of salvation, which is the body.
Third, the fact that the body into which the Colossians were called is one. The Colossians were called in one body. There is a singular body that God in His wisdom places those whom He calls or saves. What is this body? Paul wrote: “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” (Col. 1:24). Clearly, the body is the church. Therefore, if God calls or saves men in one body, and if the body is the church, then it follows that God is saving people on one church. There is simply no escape from this conclusion.
Amidst the multitude of religious bodies we ask the question, “which church?” Folks, it is the same one that Jesus Christ built. In response to Peter’s great confession, our Lord said: “And I say 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” (Matt. 16:18). Since God cannot lie (Tit. 1:2), this church was built on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Jesus Christ. And just as Paul told the Colossians that they were called or saved in one body, the inspired historian recorded that: “…the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47 NJKV). Because this church belongs to Christ, Paul called congregations of this one church, “…the churches of Christ…” (Rom. 16:16).
There is only one church in which all who are saved are located. It is the Lord’s church, the church of Christ. We quickly note that since the body or church is as one as God the Father is one (Eph. 4:4-6), then denominational churches do not in any way form a part of the Lord’s church, the church of Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 1:10-13; 3:3-11). One church cannot be good as another anymore that one god is as good as another.
Have you been called in the one body of the saved? If not, why not (Acts 22:16)?