Book: Beliefs and Doctrines of the New Testament Church

The Spiritual Body of Christ

The Church of God is portrayed in the Bible as the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ. God the Father has appointed Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church in all things. The true Church of God is made up of all who have been called by God the Father, who have accepted His Son Jesus Christ as personal Savior, who have repented of their sins, who have been baptized by immersion, and who have received the Holy Spirit of God as a begettal from God the Father. These individuals are spiritual brethren and members of one Church—the spiritual Body of Jesus Christ—although they may be widely scattered throughout the world. It is by one and the same Spirit—the Holy Spirit of God the Father—that each one has been baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ. This spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ and God the Father is the basis of all true Christian fellowship. Jesus described Himself to His disciples as “the true vine” and the Father as “the husbandman.” All true Christians are branches of the true Vine and must remain attached to the Vine in order to grow spiritually

While there is only one spiritual Body of Christ, its members are scattered in numerous local fellowships and individual ministries around the world. Since all members of the Body of Christ have the Spirit of God, God does not limit Himself to work through any single organization. Every group or ministry that is part of the Body of Christ will manifest the fruit of God’s Holy Spirit, bear the name of God, and will be keeping His commandments as magnified by Jesus Christ. The primary function of the Church is to nurture the brethren of Jesus Christ with spiritual food from God’s Word so that they may grow up into the fullness of the stature of Jesus Christ. The Church also has a commission from God to preach repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ in all the world and to preach the good news of the coming kingdom and government of God in preparation for the return of Jesus Christ to rule on the earth.

Scriptural References

Eph. 1:22-23 John 21:15-17 Eph. 4:4-6, 11-16
Mat. 28:18-20 I Cor. 12:6-13 Acts 2:47
Mat. 24:14 Rom. 8:9, 28-29 John 15:1-8
Heb. 2:9-18 Rev. 1:12-20  

The Ministry of the New Testament Church of God

The New Testament Church of God has a ministry patterned after the instructions of Jesus Christ as recorded in the New Testament. Those who serve in this ministry do not exalt themselves over their brethren by exercising authority or rank but strive to serve their brethren in humility and love. The ordained elders of the New Testament Church of God understand that they have been called of God to spiritual service to fulfill the needs of their brethren. An elder may serve as a minister, teacher, pastor, evangelist, or in other needed capacities. The function that each elder fulfills varies according to the measure of the gift of Jesus Christ. The qualifications for elders are found in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. His love of the brethren and of God the Father and Jesus Christ is evidence that God has called a man to be an elder. An ordained elder must maintain an attitude of true conversion and dedication to God the Father and Jesus Christ. He must have a deep desire to serve the brethren of God and the ability to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The purpose of the ministry is to edify or build up the body of Christ. It is the responsibility of the ministry to teach and preserve the true doctrines of the Bible, to serve the spiritual needs of the brethren, and to provide leadership within the local congregations. Those who are ordained to evangelize also have a responsibility to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelievers, to teach all who will listen, and to baptize in all nations.

John 15:16 Mat. 20:20-28 Mat. 28:19-20
Tit. 1:5-9 I Tim. 3:1-7 I Pet. 5:1-10
John 21:15-17 Mat. 24:14 Eph. 4:11-13
John 13:14-16 Heb. 13:7, 17 Luke 22:24-26
Acts 13:3, 14:23 I Tim. 5:22 II Tim. 1:6-14
II Tim. 2:1-4, 14-26 II Tim. 3:14-4:4 Jer. 23:28