THE CHURCH: A UNIFIED BODY
Ephesians 4:1-6 (I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation with which you are called, 2. With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3. Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5. One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all) .
One greatest moment in the life of everyone/soul is to receive the miracle of redemption and becoming a part of God’s church. The essence of the Church is deeply expressed in the sacrifice made by Jesus on the cross which has brought salvation unto them that believe. One true identity of the church has always been unity and will forever be unity. The church of God is not a body of division though it is made of different people. The church herself is a unified body of Christ made of different people from different countries and backgrounds: people with different languages, different abilities, different gifts and talents as admonished by Paul the apostle in 1 Corinthians 12:12. Let’s have a brief look of who the church is. I am using Her for the church because the church represents the bride .
The Greek word for the church is ekklesia which means ‘‘ To call out’’ and can also be replaced with Assembly or Congregation. The church is the bride of God. The church is not particularly the building used for public Christian worship or the names of denominations and non-denominations we have around the world. The place where believers gather to worship God and fellowship with each other bears the name of the church, however, the true church exists beyond the building or place of worship. The church is the community of those who believe in Jesus Christ and are called by His name. Acts 2:28 speaks of it that ‘‘Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God which he bought with his own blood’’.
The blood of Jesus did not purchase buildings nor names of denominations and non-denominations. The sacrificial blood of the Lamb was used to purchase the souls of men which has made man the righteousness of God; the saints wherein is referred to as the church. In Colossians 1:18, the word of the Lord says that ( And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence). These verses clearly reveals that the church is the people of God who have been saved through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and have been incorporated into his body through baptism with the Holy Spirit. On this note if you are reading this and you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord and personal saviour or you need a re-dedication, kindly pause and receive him into your heart now, as He is knocking at the door of your heart and ready to redeem you now.
One essential Identity of the church is unification. The true identity of the church is unity and that is why the church is the Body of Christ and not the bodies of Christ. Before we discuss this interesting identity of the church, lets quickly engage ourselves in what unity is, on general grounds. It is interesting that everyone of us has at least, heard the word Unity and has had an
experience of it in a one way or the other at different scales.
Unity according to the Cambridge dictionary is defined as the state of been joined as a whole and in mathematics, It simply means one. Practically unity is expressed as togetherness. Unity is an essential commodity that is commonly expected to be expressed among groups of people achieving a common aim. We practically observe the act of unity at different levels such as the social (families and friends), (companies and organisations), spiritual (religions), and the other levels you can mention of. Unity exist across these levels because each of the levels has a common goal to achieve, therefore unification is a great tool that is needed in every aspect of our lives to achieving a purpose. Abraham Lincoln famously made a statement that ‘United we stand, Divided we fall’. Togetherness is a great step to achieving purpose and all societies preach it.
Reflecting on the church, the profound aspect of unity of the church is that it does not just exist in the church, but the Church herself is a representation of unity. Wherever you hear the church of the Lord you have heard unity and whenever you see the church, you have seen unity. Unity is not a separate entity from the church but it is the church herself. The church as a unified body transcends age, gender, race, geography, socioeconomic lines and literacy level. Note very well that this identity of unity comes through the Holy Spirit. It is very interesting to know that the church as a unified body starts from the individual believer.
You alone reading this article are a unified body of Christ. You alone are a church of God. You are a unified body in Spirit, soul and mind. As we are redeemed by the blood of Jesus through faith, we have received the Identity of the Holy Spirit from God (Ephesians 1:13). I pray that as you read this may the seal of the Living God (the Holy Ghost) be unleashed within you and bring
you to the place of self-unity, redemption and revival. The Holy Spirit now unifies your soul, your mind and your spirit to be made conformable to the will of God. The fruits of the flesh as found in Galatians 5:19 now begin to lose its dominion over you by subjecting its will under the will of the Holy Spirit. Through this unification, the individual believer is relieved of any confusion, doubt, fear and contradictions since there is now no self-division. A lot of people with all worth are still going through the tremor and pain of confusion and doubt because there have not been any self-unification through the Holy Spirit.
I declare in the name of Jesus that you, the believer, will be unified in the Holy Spirit and be totally freed from the state of confusion, doubt and fear as you are been made conformable to the will of God. May the peace and comfort of God that surpasses the understanding of the Flesh guide your mind and your spirit, and unify your thoughts with the thought of the Holy Spirit. You are a redeemed, the church of God, and a unified body of Christ set for God’s purpose. Arise and be set ablaze for good works in His Kingdom.
Profoundly, unification of the church does not end with the individual but all members of the church, making the member as one body. This is an extension of self-unification body in Christ where the saints of God are kept together as one bride awaiting the coming of Christ as they are used as vessels of service unto God. Note again, very well, that the unification of the church
transcends age, gender, race, geography, and socioeconomic lines and is revealed only through the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at this scenario in Genesis 11.
In Genesis 11, we are made to understand that the whole earth was of one language and one speech and that they were unified in one language. The unity that existed between them was found in the element of one language and that could allow them to do anything they imagine to do. The entity of unity through one language overlooked any form of constraints that could impede them from putting their imaginations into actions as they build the tower of babel: God said that everything they shall purpose their mind to do will be achieved because they were united in one language. They could only be made ineffective and not productive in their imaginations and actions when their language was confounded.
The tower of babel was not built as perceived by them because they became divided in their language. What, then, is the profound insight in this chapter? Let’s look at it. What is really revealed here is that earthly common language is not enough to sustain the church as a unified body. It has a limit and once the limit is exceeded then there is division. This confirms that the church as a unified body goes beyond just geography, tribalism, colour, age, sex, language, and any other earthly entity. As a church, the revelation of the identity called unity is through the Holy Spirit and nothing else.
In fact, no material thing is enough to sustain the unity of the church. Why? Because the body of Christ is made of different people with different languages, different background, different gift and talents, different literacy level, different levels of riches and many others. The unity of the church is only sustained by the Holy Spirit where through Him the church is unified as a bride no matter our differences or background. Church, if there is anything to be very conscious of now, it is the Holy Spirit. Let’s give room for the operation of the Holy Spirit because that is the only one common unbreaking and unlimited force the church shares together. Denominations are fighting denominations, gifts are fighting gifts and talents are fighting talents. There is now the element of superiority complex and inferiority complex in the house of God where saints claim to be better than others.
Saints in the kingdom of God have now gone back to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 1:12 (I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas and I of Christ) but remember that Paul continue to ask ‘Is Christ divided? Paul plants, Apollos waters but Christ brings the increase. Saints of God have now pushed the Holy Spirit away from His place in the church and differences among the church are now clearly shown, which is gradually leading to division. We only like to talk a lot than giving reverence to the Spirit of God in His place among the church. The love of Christ we need among the church, the humility to be shown among the body of Christ, the apt to learn and adapt to individual differences among saints to keep us more unified as one body, all comes from the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Know that by strength shall no man prevail although efforts are required to yield to the Holy Spirit. Remember the church is a unified body of Christ. (Romans 12:4-9) “For as the body is one and has many members and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is the church. For all the members of the body though
have many functions, have one common goal: to help each other and grow the body. For by one spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether Jews or gentiles, we have been all made to drink one spirit.” Church the spirit of God is all that matters now. We all may have different Gifts and talent but we are one church.
The priority of the church now should be that, the Holy Spirit is giving His place in the church for a unified body where God can use the Church mightily in diverse forms to populate his kingdom as His coming is near. A house divided by itself shall not stand. Each member of the church must be valued and in unity the church will overcome. Let’s all be motivated in the Spirit that although we have different gift, they all join to serve in the kingdom of God. Let’s be fervent in spirit, rejoice in hope, patient in tribulation, continue in constant prayer and giving hospitality.
Let’s be clear in our motives, let’s not be bias in our services as a unified body, let love be without dissimulation, abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good, lets forgive one another, let’s be genuine in our doings, no more superiority complex, enough of fame gains with our gifting(s), enough of trusting our flesh, no more envy among the church, enough of taking
glories for ourselves because it’s not about how we are been hailed though honour must be given to whom honour is due: For it is the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability both to will and to do.
To God all glory is due. Let’s help each other as much as we can and help to cover the weakness of one another. Now is where the church has to rise in unity to win together with Christ. The coming of Christ is near and note that He is coming for a unified body in spirit (Bride) with the seal of the Holy Ghost and not a divided church. Let’s give way to God’s spirit to have His way through us.
May God be our helper to stay united as one body forgiving each other and our own selves. God loves you much more than you think and He is coming for you.
If you are reading this and you have not given your life to Christ or you are confused with yourself on what to do with your life, now is the best time to receive the Lord’s miracle of redemption: Kindly say this prayer in your spirit and in your heart and by faith, you are redeemed;
“Dear God, I surrender myself to you. I am alive because of your mercies and grace and the better plans you have for me. I ask you to embrace me in your arms, take over my life and use me as a vessel honourable to you. Take away any besetting sin in my life, let your spirit take over and make me whole again. In Jesus mighty name, AMEN “
An article written by James Nana Ofori and Eunice Elorm to admonish the church on Her Identity ‘UNIFICATION’