UNITY IN CHRIST 

Having seen that God is presently preparing a special group of people, the Church, to rule with His Son Jesus throughout eternity, let us now consider what the Church should be like. 
 

THE PRAYER

In John Chapter 17 Jesus prayed 4 times that "we would be one even as He and the Father were one". This was His earnest desire for His disciples. 

Note: When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead he said, "I thank you Father that you always hear me" (John 11:41). Therefore when Jesus prayed for unity within the Body His Father granted it. 
 

THE REALITY

Unity within the Body has one basis, "we are one even as Jesus and His Father are one" (John 17:11). 
 

UNITY IN THE GOD HEAD

The unity within the God head is manifest in their "inseparability". Jesus said that "if you have seen me you have seen my Father" (John 14:9). If we known the Spirit we known both the Lord and His Father. They are inseparable. 

Within the God head what happens to one happens to all. If one is glorified all are glorified. They have all things in common (John 17:10). There is no difference. 
 

UNITY WITHIN THE BODY

This "inseparability" is in the Body also. There is no longer male or female, slave or free, old or young, "but we are one in Christ" (Galatians 3:28). We are inseparably joined to one another. 
We have all things in common.  What happens to one member of the body happens to all. If one member of the body is disgraced the whole Body is disgraced. If one member of the Body suffers the whole Body suffers. If one member of the Body is honoured the whole Body is honoured (1 Corinthians 12:26). 
 

THE RESULTS

The results of unity are: 
 

  • We are "inseparably" joined to Christ. Everything that is His is ours and everything that is ours is His. We have all things in common with Him. This means:

    • We have become the children of God. As it is written "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. And if children then heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ." (Romans 8:16-17). And yet again "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the children of God" (1 John 3:1).
    • We have His life within us. "Because He lives we live also" (John 14:19). In fact we have become a source of life because He is a source of life. As it is written "Out of our bowls shall come rivers of living water" (John 7:38).
    • We have bear the righteousness of Jesus. "There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
    • We are holy unto the Lord. "You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5).
    • We have been anointed along with Jesus. "The anointing you have received from Him abides in you" (1 John 2:27).
    • We have the "mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:9-12). Because Jesus is "in us" He makes His will known to us. We are not ignorant of the things of God for "we have an anointing which teaches us all things" (1 John 2:27).
    • We are not lacking in any spiritual gift (1 Corinthians 1:7). Because we are the Body of Christ, His bones and His flesh (Ephesians 5:30), every thing He could do His Body can do (John 14:12).
    • We are part of the Christ. "We are in Him and He is in us" (John 17:11). It is through "the sons of God" that God will restore creation. We have the enormous privilege of working with Jesus as we restore all things to perfection in the Ages to come.
    • Jesus bears our weaknesses and suffering for us. It is interesting to note that when Jesus appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus He said "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting" (Acts 9:5). As far as the scriptures are concerned, we have no evidence that Paul ever met Jesus in the flesh, but we know that Paul   persecuted the Church. Here Jesus is identifying Himself to be joined to the Church. He did not say, "I am Jesus and you are persecuting My Church", He said "I am Jesus whom you are persecuting". The torment which was falling on the members of His Body was also falling on Himself. As it is written "If one part of the Body suffers, all members suffer with it. If one member is honored all members are honored with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26).
    • Now we see Jesus seated at the right hand of God. We therefore, who are His Body are seated with Him in the heavenly places. We have access to the Father through Him.
    • By faith we know that because God has raised Jesus up and placed Him above all creation that we, who are parts of His Body shall be raised up and shall reign with Him also (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; Romans 8:17).

  • We are "inseparably" joined to each other. Everything that is mine is yours and everything that is yours is mine (Acts 4:32). What you do affects me and what I do affects you (1 Corinthians 12:26). We are no longer independent from each other. We have become a part of a Body, a unified whole, which is far superior to the sum of all the parts separately. If only we could see the truth of this. We all have a part to play and no one is "dispensable" (1 Corinthians 12:14-16). We desperately need one another. No part of the Body can function independently from the rest. If we cut off our hand the hand will die, but the Body too will suffer much pain and handicap. It is the same with the Body of Christ. If one part is cut off, or cuts itself off from the rest, it will die and the Body will suffer.
  • Love: Love is the "result" of unity, not the "cause" of unity. Either we come to terms with our unity and learn to love one another as Christ loves us (John 13:34-35). Or we tear ourselves apart as we try to separate ourselves from the Body. We can not avoid our unity.
  • Fellowship: Fellowship is a "result" of unity also. The Greek word for fellowship is "Koinonia" which literally translates as "to have in common". We already have all things in common, therefore we have "fellowship". To "have in common" is very different to "sharing". To "share" means that I have it one moment and you have it next. To "have in common" means we all have it always. This is exemplified by the Holy Spirit himself. We do not perceive a time when we do not have the Spirit "personally", yet we know He is with all other Christians "always". This is the difference between "having in common" and "sharing".
  • Holiness is also a result of our unity with Christ. To be joined to Christ means that we take Christ into every situation with us (1 Corinthians 6:15-17). Would Christ go with us into a brothel ? Would He go with us into a sinful situation ? No. The Spirit convicts us of sin and warns us when we stray from the truth (John 16:8-11). We can ignore this prompting or we can heed it. Holiness comes when we heed the warnings.
  • Evangelism: Evangelism is a result of us being inseparably joined to Christ.  It is God's will that His "manifold wisdom be made known through the Church" (Ephesians 3:10). This could only be so if we were "indistinguishable" from Christ Himself, because Jesus is the "manifold wisdom of God".  True evangelism is "revealing the Lord" not "talking about" Him. "If you have seen us you have seen the Lord who sent us" (John 14:5), "for we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones" (Ephesians 5:30).
It is for this reason that we are "born again" into the "Divine Nature". It is for this reason that we have been "anointed" by the Holy Spirit. It is for this reason that we are in the "Body of Christ". So that "God may reveal His Son in us" (Galatians 1:16). 

When the Body is functioning properly as a unified whole, with Jesus as the true Head and each part contributing its portion, we see something which is even greater than Jesus alone in the world. We see the world wide Body of Christ expressing the fullness of the God Head "Bodily", because in Him was the fullness of the God Head (Collossians 2:9), and He is in us and we are in Him (John 15:1-4). So the word of Jesus is fulfilled perfectly "He who believes in Me the works that I do he shall do also and greater works than these, because I go to the Father "(John 14:12). 
 

THE PROBLEM

The problem within the Body is not lack of unity (we are already joined inseparably to each other through the Spirit) but "independence" (each member trying to be separated from the other) (1 Corinthians 1:12-13). 
 

SUMMARY

In Christ we are inseparably joined to Him and to each other. There is no such thing as a Christian "singular" we are the Body of Christ "plural". When we come to grips with this great principle we will be set free to move in areas we have never known possible before. 


Created: 23 - Jan - 1997.
Last modified: 18 - Sept - 1998.
Copyright © 1998, Graham Brodie.

Maintainer: Graham Brodie, Email