Concordia Theological Monthly

Article Title

The Body of Christ

Publication Date


Document Type



body of Christ, church, unity, Holy Spirit, St. paul, apology, christian, baptism

Submission Type

Bible Study; Lecture; Sermon Prep


The Apology of the Augsburg Confession warns against two distortions in the meaning of the church. The one is that the church be viewed as an outward organization in which believers and hypocrites are mingled. In the days of the Reformation this distortion implied that the church was a political organization to which men adhered through the carrying out of rites and obligations. In our own time it may take the form of stress on extending and financing the church's business to the point of devaluating its other concerns. The other distortion is that the church is regarded as a figment of the imagination, an abstraction without counterpart in fact. The Roman church thought this was what the Lutheran concept of the church tended to be; the enthusiast and spiritist reformers made it that in reality. Today this distortion becomes apparent in that view of "the invisible church" which assumes that Christian unity is basically perfect and there is no need of mutual nurture.


Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Scripture References in this Resource (separated by semi-colons)

Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18-27; 1 Corinthians 12:12-13; Colossians 2:9-13; Ephesians 4:17-18; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; 1 Corinthians 12:24-27; Ephesians 4:1-6; Colossians 3:10-15; Ephesians 2:14-18; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13;

Submission Cost


Submission Audience

Laity; Ministers; Scholars