One Church, One Body
Again, with the church unity thing, right? Well, as I have stated before, the unity of the body of Christ is one of the key themes of the New Testament. Paul said in Ephesians 1:22-23, “22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”
He said that God has put everything under Christ’s authority…EVERYTHING. If we look back in the last chapter of Matthew, what we refer to as The Great Commission, it says, “Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.’” Matthew 28:18. Jesus said it Himself, God gave Him ALL authority in heaven and earth! In fact, we read in Acts 4:12, “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” So, if someone tries to tell you that we are all on different roads to the same place…no we are not! God made salvation so simple that even a child could understand it. My five-year-old grandson recently accepted Jesus as his savior, it’s that simple. God didn’t give us many roads to salvation, He gave us one. In fact, Paul said in Galatians 2:21, “I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.” Don’t you see? If there was any other way, why would Jesus have gone through what He did? His death would have been in vain! Again, in Philippians 2:9-12 it says, “Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” God elevated Jesus to the place of HIGHEST HONOR! God gave Jesus a name that is above every name…JESUS…EMMANUEL…GOD WITH US! And, yes, I’m still on that old chorus kick. Another chorus I grew up singing in church said:
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
There’s just something about that name.
Master, Savior, Jesus
Like the fragrance after the rain
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Let all Heaven and earth proclaim.
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away,
But there’s something about that name.
There truly is something about that name!
The end of Ephesians 1:22 says, “and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.” So, why did God elevate Jesus above all things? For the benefit of the Church! And, why did God want to benefit the Church? Because “the Church is His body.”
All throughout the New Testament, we see the Church referred to as the Body of Christ. Paul goes into great detail in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 to explain to us how this means we must be united. We can’t all be mouths, we can’t all be eyes, we are all different parts of one body and must function as one unit. You see, if a body has parts that won’t cooperate with the rest of the body it is said to be diseased. If your hands won’t do what your brain tells them to do, or your feet won’t go where you want, there is something wrong.
But, here’s the thing. If you look closely at 1 Corinthians 12, you will see that those different parts aren’t different denominations or different belief systems. Those different parts are the different gifts of the Holy Spirit. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if we don’t set aside our petty denominational differences and come together as One Body, the Church will just continue in the downward spiral it is in. Do you wonder why the Church is looked down on and trivialized, even laughed at in the world today? It’s because there is a state of disease in the body. The head is telling the feet to go to someone to help, but the feet aren’t responding. The head is telling the hands to reach out and touch someone, but the hands are stuck in the pockets and aren’t doing anything. We must start being the body and listening to the head.
The beautiful thing is, as the body of Christ, we are “made full and complete by Christ.” Colossians 1:18 tells us, “Christ is also the head of the church, which is his body. He is the beginning, supreme over all who rise from the dead. So he is first in everything.” Okay, we are the body, but Christ is the head. Your body must do what your head tells it to do, again unless there is a state of disease. Christ is the head of the body, the Church, so we must go where He tells us to go and do what He tells us to do.
I love how Ephesians chapter 1 ends, it says that Christ “fills all things everywhere with himself.” Wow, isn’t that beautiful? Everything is filled with Christ. So, if you are In Christ, something we talked about several months ago, you are filled with Christ…with His light. But, we must make sure that we are truly in Christ, and not just in religion. Luke 11:34-36 says, 34 “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when it is unhealthy, your body is filled with darkness. 35 Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. 36 If you are filled with light, with no dark corners, then your whole life will be radiant, as though a floodlight were filling you with light.”
So, if you are in the true light, there will be no darkness. As it says in verse 35, “Make sure that the light you have is not actually darkness.” Many people who claim the name of Christ and think they are in the light are actually blinded by religion. They think they are following Christ, but they are actually living in darkness. Examine yourself using the Bible as your guide. Take scripture in context and set aside anything that men have taught you. Study the word and ask God to show you the truth. Be the Body!