The Beauty of the Body of Christ.

God places us in each of our specific contexts for an eternal purpose (1 Corinthians 12:18, Matthew 28:19-20).

Ephesians 4:4-5 lists seven "one"s which contribute to the unity and joy that is divinely put together in the body of Christ.

One Body

Each member of Christ's body has a unique story of origin, their salvation, and how God brought them to their area and local church.

"If one part of the body suffers, every part suffers. If one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. God called each of us to make a contribution to this body. Without it, the body malfunctions. The only one thing required is to be loyal to the head of the body, Jesus Christ, and through the head, to each other. Each of us can learn to glory in the fact that we matter little except in relationship to the body; and if each will acknowledge the work in every other member, then perhaps Christ's body will begin acting as Christ intended. We are connected by a thousand invisible threads. Our actions run as causes and return to us as results. We should be serving as Christ did, washing the disciples' feet, for the sake of the body. We experience human helplessness versus divine power in us. We are not like the body of Christ; we are the body of Christ. What is God like? He is no longer found in the holy of holies or as a carpenter in Nazareth; we are God's presence in the world. We are the body." – Paul Brand, In His Image

One Spirit

The Holy Spirit creates the bond of peace in the body. He places us in union with Christ and gives us spiritual life. Anti-Christ spirits are many and varied in our world (1 John 4:2-3). Just ask some people how they think they can gain favor with God or entrance to Heaven.

"All sins against the unity of the body are sins against the Holy Spirit." – Charles Hodge

Everything we do together is a sacred activity.

One Hope

Paul described the Christian's hope in Ephesians 1:11-14, 18-23. This hope is certain and productive. It is sure to change us (1 John 3:1-3). Hope increases our love and our character. Unlike circumstantial hope, it is sourced in and looks for a person: Jesus Christ. One day, we will be released from sin and its influence.

One Lord

The Greek word "kurios" or "lord" is used to translate the Hebrew "Yahweh." Jesus is called this over 500 times in the New Testament, emphasizing His divinity. The term speaks of possession and authority. Christ is the owner and sovereign of Creation and especially of the Church. We are His slaves (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Yet "within this slavery lies our liberty," says Charles Hodge.

"Absolute subjection to truth and holiness only it is to a person who is infinite in knowledge and infinite in excellence. Our subjection to the Lord is based not just on the fact that he is sovereign God but that he is Jesus, the God-man who purchased with his own blood our spiritual freedom from sin and our eternal life."

As the Head of the Church, our Lord Jesus gives us our purpose.

One Faith

This term refers both to the content of our faith and the inward transformation it effects. A person must be born again before being able to embrace doctrine.

One Baptism

We have already seen that the Spirit places us into the body of Christ. Water baptism occurs after we have been transformed at salvation. It is a public identification with what the body of Christ believes.

One God and Father

God is not distantly sovereign; He personally sustains us and all Creation. Jesus revealed a new and intimate relationship we could have with our Creator. Every soul that has been transformed by the Spirit was created and is sustained by a loving Heavenly Father.

"The church is the habitation of God through the Spirit; it is His temple in which He dwells, and which is pervaded in all of its parts by His presence. ... To be filled with God, to be pervaded by His presence and to be controlled by Him is to attain the summit of all created excellence, blessedness, and glory."

The church is God's glory on display. We represent Christ and are to show His character in our community.

Application Points

  • God places us in each of our specific contexts for an eternal purpose. Spend some time thinking about these questions: Why did God place you in Northeast Ohio? In proximity to your neighbors? At Grace Church of Mentor? Are you pursuing an eternal purpose in each of these places? How will you continue or start to do that?
  • Who is governing your life? Is Jesus your personal Lord?
  • Have you followed the Lord in water baptism since you've been born again? If you haven't, allow us to help you take that step of obedience. Talk to your discipler or a pastor.
  • Is your relationship with God intimate as with a Father?
  • Are you representing Christ and showing His character in your community?
  • Are you part of Christ's body? Have you been born again? Are you a member of your local church?

Tools for Further Study

Cross References to Explore
  • Romans 14:9 – Jesus as Lord.
  • Galatians 4:6, John 17:20-21 – God as Father, an intimate yet reverent relationship.