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One Body in Christ

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“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.” 1 Co 12:12-13 (ESV)

One of the most confusing, and often questioned, aspects of the Christian faith is “Why are there so many denominations?” There are many answers to this question, yet in asking this question we miss the truth which is available to us. Even though we are many, through Christ (‘the Chosen One’) we are made one.

In New Testament times, there were deep divisions between Jew and Greek, even deeper than those between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Jews were not even permitted to enter the house of Gentile (non-Jew), nor to even eat with one. Jews viewed the Greeks/Gentiles as ‘dogs.’

In the passage above, the apostle Paul makes it clear that unity is NOT from outward behavior, but from an inward, spiritual change, instigated and completed by Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. There is only One Christ (‘Chosen One’), and from him, in us, only one Spirit of God. All disciples are all baptized (immersed) into THE death, burial and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12). Only his death was sufficient sacrifice for all our sins and sinfulness. It is only HIS resurrection which is sufficient to verify His sacrifice, and to give us hope of eternal life with the Father.

The amazing thing is that we agree at all.

Human beings are divisive by nature, selfish, wanting everything our own way.

To be a Christian, a ‘little Christ,’ is to deny ourselves, to die to our own selfishness for the benefit of Jesus, His disciples, and others. In other words, our new purpose is to be/exist/live like Jesus did here on earth.

This is goal of each Christian; the goal of each church (little “c”); and the goal of THE Church (big “C”). Each little church may accomplish the will and purposes of Jesus a little differently, yet our goal as the Church at large is the same: Glorify God the Father, and His Son Jesus the Christ (‘Chosen One’).

There is only ONE Savior. To be in Jesus, to be HIS disciple/follower, we are automatically one in unity, because we are submitting our will to His will. We, as His disciples, “…though many, are one body.” In Jesus we are one.

Each church and denomination has significant, even important differences, yet the purpose and the goal is the same, glorify God by obeying His commands. Therefore, let us remember the words of Jesus:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39.

By Bill Emmerling

Pastor-Gallup Christian Church