“There is one body and one Spirit; just as also you were called in one hope of your calling.” (Eph. 4:4)
This is a definitive statement that follows the plea from preserving the oneness. This verse and the next two are all about the oneness of God and his people. These ones are stated as a fact rather than as an ideal. These ones exist and that’s why the Ephesians were told to preserve them. Each of these ones is important to the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body. Interesting that Paul would say this since all of our experiences in the natural world have shown that to be the truth. We expect every head to have one body and we expect everybody to have one head. Anything else would be extremely abnormal to the point of being freakish.
Why then did Paul start the ones off with body? The answer I think lies in the previous verse, the one about preserving unity. The thing most likely to be divided is the body and that is the thing we must preserve at all cost. Paul emphatically states the unity of the body of Christ. There is ONE body.
The body of Christ is the church of Christ. All the saved are placed in the body. The body is the bride of Christ and brides are not to be separated from their husbands. The body of Christ cost him his blood and because of that, he loves it completely. How it must sadden him to see his body torn apart by the divisiveness of mankind.
This very thing led Paul to write to the Corthinian church with scolding words. They were dividing up into party lines, each naming the one they wanted to make their body from. Were any of those men crucified for you, Paul asked them. Why divide the body of Christ up into bodies led by men? Is Christ divided, the apostle asked.
Is it any different today when we choose a body other than Christ’s to be a part of? Is it ok to say, “I’m of Luther, I’m of Wesley, I’m of Knox and on and on? There is only one body and only one head and both are of Christ. He is the head of his own body which is His church.
When a person is baptized into Christ he is added by God to the body of Christ. It then becomes his responsibility to preserve that body as the body of Christ. This is a hard statement and may not find good ears but I want you to consider it. Men may create bodies of their own choosing but they will never be the body of Christ. Only He can create his own body. When we alter or split the church we do damage to the body of Christ. Faithful saints must preserve the unity.
Task for today: If I am baptized then I must recognize that God has added me to his son’s body and I must preserve it at all costs. If I am not baptized then I need to seek baptism that I might be a part of the one body.
God doesn’t like division, but I don’t think the solution is to start pointing out why everyone else’s church organization is wrong but ours. Let’s not think this way.