Unity of the Body

Dear Brethren,

On the night before He died, Jesus Christ prayed to the Father for our unity. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me."  (John 17:20-21)

Passover emphasizes the unity of the body of Christ - the people of God's Church.  The brethren should share a unity with one another, and help each other into the Kingdom of God.  Passover is so important for us that Jesus said to Peter during the footwashing, "If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me."  (John 13:8)  Notice the aspect of unity and fellowship of church brethren in this verse.  "The bread which we break, is it not the communion [unity and fellowship] of the body of Christ?"  (1Corinthians 10:16)   

Somehow, even in our scattered condition, true Christians must be on the same page –spiritually speaking.  We must be of a mind wherein we recognize one another as brethren – without reserve.

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation [our Christianity] wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling."  (Ephesians 4:1-4)

When Jesus looks down from His throne in heaven, He sees only one body of believers who share a unity of the Spirit.  We must understand that the Church of God is not physical – but a spiritual entity.  The “Church of God” is the body of true believers that God the Father has called to be a unified part of the “Body of Christ.”  "I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment."   (1Corinthians 1:10)

“As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  (Romans 8:14)  A Christian then, is one who has been given God’s Holy Spirit at baptism, after having been granted repentance and faith by God.  A true Christian is one in whom God (in Spirit) lives.  Jesus said, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we [the Father and Jesus] will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”  (John 14:23)  At that point, a person becomes a part of the unity of the Body of Christ, placing them in the Church of God.  “Now you are the Body of Christ, and members in particular.”  (1Corinthians 12:27)

Jesus is the head of His Church – and converted Christians are individual parts of His body - the Church of God.  “God the Father... has put all things under His [Jesus’] feet, and made Him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His body, the fulness of Him that fills all in all.” [There is no room for dis-unity].  (Ephesians 1:17,22-23)  Jesus Christ has only one body – thus, He has only one Church.  We see this again and again in the Scriptures.  The “Body of Christ” is the Church of God.  “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.”  (Colossians 1:24):

We have been given the inestimable blessing of being a part of God’s true Church.  The Scriptures are clear – Christ’s body [the brethren] must relate to one another in unity as an integral whole. “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”  (Romans 12:4-5)  Each member of the Body of Christ has a responsibility to live according to the rules of the Kingdom of God – now – at this time.  We are to put into practice the way of life that Jesus taught.  As individual members of His Body, we are to live as He lived.  "There should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another."  (1Corinthians 12:25)

"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"  (2Corinthians 13:5) 

It is interesting to think about how the brethren spiritually depend on each other - the individual members of the "Body of Christ."  Everyone is needed because of the personal spiritual gifts which fulfill different functions of the Body.  One of the main lessons of Christianity is this: As members of the Body of Christ, we all need each other, just as our physical bodies need all its parts to work in unison properly.  "The manifestation of the Spirit is given to everyone for the profit of all [the brethren]."  (1Corinthians 12:7)
"For 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. By one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body."  (1Corinthians 12:12-13)  Let's renew a zeal and enthusiasm for the Truth that is contagious to others in the Body.  Let's regain our "first love."  The result is that our faith is reaffirmed, and the entire Body of Christ is edified.  "For the perfecting of the saints..., for the edifying of the Body of Christ."  (Ephesians 4:12) 
"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves."  (Philippians 2:3)  "...Christ is all, and in all.  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.  And above all these things put on [Godly love], which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."  (Colossians 3:11-15)   

"Finally, brethren... be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you." (2Corinthians 13:11)


Sermon:  "Unity of the Body"