UB David + I'll B Jonathan, Inc.

under a special agreement with


this lesson is written by The Mailbox Club International


presents "New Life in Christ" Course 3

 

 

UB David + I'll B Jonathan, Inc.

under a special agreement with

The Mailbox Club presents

New Life in Christ - Course 3

Lesson 17: One Body in Christ

Romans 12:5


Even before God created the first man, Adam, He knew that men would rebel against Him. But God had a great plan.

What did God plan? God planned to call out people from Adam's sinful race and to unite them into one spiritual body called "the Church." In this lesson we are going to learn some great truths concerning the Church.

The Church

It refers to PEOPLE, not a building

When you hear the word "church" you probably think of the building in which you worship God. You think of its steeple, its pulpit, its pews, and its choir loft. But this is only a building; it is not "the church" that God speaks of in His Word.

The word "church" as it is used in the New Testament means "an assembly of called-out ones." It refers to PEOPLE, not a building. It is speaking of believers—those whom God has redeemed.

The Church is the Body of Christ

God has not only called out from Adam's sinful race a people for His name, but He has united them into one spiritual body—the Body of Christ

But the Church is more than just a vast number of redeemed people. The Bible says that the Church is "the Body of Christ." God has not only called out from Adam's sinful race a people for His name, but He has united them into one spiritual body—the Body of Christ. Speaking of believers, the Bible says,

"…we being many, are one body in Christ…" Romans 12:5

"For we are members of His Body, of His flesh, and of His bones. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church." Ephesians 5:30,32

Christ is the Head of the Body

Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His Body

A body must have a head, and Christ is the Head of the Church, which is His Body. Speaking of Christ, the Bible says,

"(God) has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the Head over all things to the Church, which is His Body…" Ephesians 1:22-23

The Church was Not Revealed in the Old Testament

God's purpose to call a people out of Adam's sinful race and to unite them into one spiritual body was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets. But, in the Gospels, we find that the Lord Jesus prayed for His Church before it came into being.

In His prayer recorded in John 17, the Lord Jesus prayed not only for the disciples who were with Him at that time but also for all who would believe on Him in the future. He said,

"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me…" John 17:20

What did Jesus pray concerning His believers? He prayed that they might be one in Him:

"That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in us…" John 17:21

God's answer to this prayer of the Lord Jesus is "the Church." Why? Because all believers are made one in the Church, the Body of Christ.

The Birthday of the Church

When did the Church come into being? The Church came into being on the day of Pentecost. The Church had been in the mind of God from eternity, but it was formed on the day of Pentecost.

The word "pente" means "fifty," and the day of Pentecost came exactly 50 days after the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.

On the day of Pentecost, 120 disciples were assembled in an upper room in Jerusalem

Before He ascended back into Heaven, the Lord Jesus commanded His disciples to go into all the world and to preach the gospel to every creature. But He also told them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

On the day of Pentecost, 120 disciples were assembled in an upper room in Jerusalem waiting for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Suddenly, there was a sound from Heaven like a mighty rushing wind. It filled the house where they were sitting. Tongues of fire sat on each of the disciples. They were filled with the Holy Spirit.

Something else happened—the Church was formed!

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit united the 120 disciples into one spiritual body—the Body of Christ

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit united the 120 disciples into one spiritual body—the Body of Christ. Through the Holy Spirit, the disciples were united to each other and to the glorified Lord Jesus as their Head.

They had been believers before this time, but now they were the Church—the Body of Christ.

The Bible says,

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body…" 1 Corinthians 12:13a

On that same day, the gospel was preached to a great multitude and 3000 people were saved. The Holy Spirit placed these in the Body of Christ. After this, others were saved daily and added to the Body of Christ. The Bible says,

"And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women." Acts 5:14

Jews and Gentiles were made One in Christ

In the Church, Jews and Gentiles were made one

At first, the Church was composed entirely of Jewish believers. Later on, the gospel was preached to the Gentiles (those who were not of the Jewish race). Many of them believed and were added to the Body of Christ. In the Church, Jews and Gentiles were made one.

This was a marvellous thing. Why? Because of the hatred and prejudice that existed between Jews and Gentiles. The Jews considered the Gentiles to be unclean and would not even eat with them. The Gentiles likewise despised the Jews. Each considered themselves better than the other.

This hatred and prejudice between the Jews and the Gentiles was a manifestation of "the flesh"—that sinful nature which everyone, both Jews and Gentiles, received from Adam.

How did God deal with this prejudice between Jews and Gentiles? He dealt with it by the cross! All believers—both Jews and Gentiles—were crucified with Christ. Of the Jewish and Gentile believers, God made "one new man"—Jesus Christ the Head and all believers forming His spiritual Body. The Bible says,

"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one…so as to create in Himself ONE NEW MAN from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God IN ONE BODY…" Ephesians 2:14-16

"Where there is neither Greek nor Jew…but Christ is all and in all." Colossians 3:11

All Believers are Members of the Body of Christ

God has made all believers one Body in Christ. This is the very opposite of what we are by nature. The life we all received from Adam is a life that is selfish and self-centered. This is why we have such a hard time getting along with other people. The Apostle Paul told us what we were like before God saved us:

"For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another." Titus 3:3

Through my resurrection with Christ I have become, not only a new creature in Christ, but a member of the Body of Christ.

What happened when God saved us? He put us in Christ on the cross. We were crucified with Him. In Christ I died to that old life of selfishness and independence. Through my resurrection with Christ I have become, not only a new creature in Christ, but a member of the Body of Christ.

7 mighty bonds of unity

The Bible tells us that there are seven mighty bonds which unite all true believers—those who have been born again of the Spirit of God:

"There is one Body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." Ephesians 4:4—6

seven mighty bonds which unite all true believers

Let us consider each of these.

1

There is ONE BODY

Every person who has received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is a member of the Body of Christ. Christ has only one Body, and all believers are members of His one Body.

Regardless of the color of a person's skin, regardless of his race or nationality, regardless of his social standing, regardless of whether he is rich or poor, if he is a child of God, he is a member of the Body of Christ and one with those of us who have been born again. The Bible says,

"For as we have many members in one body…So we, being many, are one Body in Christ, and every one members one of another." Romans 12:4-5

2

There is ONE SPIRIT

Every believer has the Holy Spirit dwelling in him. Because the Holy Spirit is one Spirit, He makes us one with all other believers. The Bible says,

"…he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." 1 Corinthians 6:17

3

There is ONE HOPE

Every believer has the same hope—the hope of being with the Lord forever in glory. This hope is certain because Christ is living in us by His Spirit. The Bible says,

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then you also will appear with Him in glory." Colossians 3:4

4

There is ONE LORD

There is only one Lord—the Lord Jesus Christ. All who serve Him are serving the same Lord and are one in Him.

5

There is ONE FAITH

True believers may differ on many matters of Scripture interpretation but there is one faith which they all have in common—the faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died for their sins and rose again from the grave. This is the faith through which every child of God is saved. The Bible says,

"For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26

6

There is ONE BAPTISM

Every believer has been baptized into the Body of Christ. This is not the work of man, but the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit by which all who believe on the Saviour are made members of His Body. The Bible says,

"For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one Body…" 1 Corinthians 12:13a

7

There is ONE GOD And FATHER

There is only one God—the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. All who have been born again are members of His family and have the same Heavenly Father.

The Church is God's Glory

The Church is God's Glory

Out of the sinful, self-centered race of Adam God has brought forth the Church, the Body of Christ. Through the Church, God is making known His great wisdom and power.

FOUR Great Truths

We have discovered four great truths about the Church in this lesson:

1. The Church is the Body of Christ.

2. Christ is the Head of the Body.

3. All believers are members of the Body of Christ.

4. The Body of Christ is one.

Have we seen God's great plan? Have we realized that we are not only individual believers but also members of the Body of Christ? Have we seen that all true believers are members of the same Body of Christ?

"…we, being many, are ONE BODY IN CHRIST…" Romans 12:5


The Church is the Body of Christ, and all members of that One Body.

my prayer

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