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THERE IS ONE BODY

Invitation by Vernon Dunning, 11-25-09
Vernon Dunning

The church is the body of Christ. Jesus said He would build His church. He did not say He would establish several thousand denominations. Jesus prayed that His followers might be one.

John 17:20-23 lets us know, “ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”

To accomplish this oneness, the distinction between Jew and Gentile had to be removed.

Jesus said to the Jews in John 10:16, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

Writing to Jews and Gentiles in Ephesians 2:14-16 Paul said, “For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby.” Paul tells us in Ephesians 1:9-12, “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.”

Christ’s prayer was answered. His followers are one.

Ephesians 4:4 reads, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” Paul writes in Romans 12:3-5, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 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.”

Our oneness is based on one baptism.

Galatians 3:26-28 reads, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 Paul continues, “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. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.”

On the first day of the week, Christians assemble to partake of the one bread, the bread of life. This oneness expresses itself in the Lord’s Supper.

1 Corinthians 10:16-17 lets us know, “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”

Paul tells us in Ephesians 4:1-6, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring 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; One Lord, one faith, one baptism,One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.”

Our oneness is based on the oneness of the Father and The Son.

1 Timothy 2:5 lets us know, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 23:8-10 tells us, “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.”

1 Corinthians 6:17 continues, “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”

Our oneness is based on the one faith.

Jude 3 reads, “ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Romans 10:17 tells us, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”

To be one, God’s word must dwell in us.

Paul writes in Colossians 3:15-17, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

When we worship God, we not only unite our voices, but also our hearts.

Romans 15:5-7 reads, “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.”

When, on the basis of God’s word, we maintain the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, we can be of one heart and soul.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 13:11, “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and pleace shall be with you.”

Paul continues in Philippians 2:1-4, “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

Paul further writes in Colossians 3:14-15, “And above all these things put on charity, 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.” -- END --

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