One Body in Christ

MEMORY VERSE: “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” —I Corinthians 12:27


THE word “Christ” translates a Greek word meaning “the anointed,” Christ of the New Testament is the Messiah of the Old Testament, and the Messiah is One whom God had promised to send, authorize, and empower to carry out his grand design for the redemption and recovery of the human race from sin and death. One of the original promises outlining God’s intention in respect to this was made to Abraham, when God said to him that through his “Seed” all families of the earth would be blessed.—Gen. 12:3

In Galatians 3:8, 16 the Apostle Paul refers to this promise and identifies Jesus as being the “Seed” which was to come. In verses 27-29 of the same chapter Paul expands the thought of the “seed” by explaining that as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ, and those who have thus put on Christ are also Abraham’s seed “and heirs according to the promise.”

This thought is also brought out in our lesson: “For as the body is one, and bath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; … for the body is not one member, but many.”

The baptism into this body of Christ is not by means of water. The word means burial, and it is a burial of the will of the believer into the will of God through Christ, this burial being brought about under the influence of the Holy Spirit operating through the Word of God. All who are thus buried with Christ, into his body, are a part of the Christ, or messianic company, for according to this great truth the Christ, or Messiah, is not one member, but many. This was a great mystery hidden throughout the ages, and revealed by the Spirit, beginning with Jesus, and at Pentecost. It is described by Paul as “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”—Col. 1:27

This great fact of the divine plan explains why God’s promised messianic blessings have not reached the world, the reason being that the “Seed” class must first be gathered out from the world, and be trained in righteousness in order to qualify for this ultimately exalted position in the divine plan. The blessing of all the families of the earth with peace, health, and life must wait until the Christ company is completed.

The thought of Christ being the Head and the church his body naturally emphasizes the importance and necessity for unity and cooperation among the dedicated people of God. The body illustration reminds us of the diversity which exists among the Lord’s people, yet stresses the fact that we all belong to the one body, and all help to make its functions possible. How beautifully Paul presents this unity: “If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?”—I Cor. 12:15-17

“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” This is an important lesson for each consecrated Christian. It is one of the many ways in which we learn to accept the will of God with respect to the service we render to him and one another.

Paul continues, “Those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: and those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.”

Again: “God hath tempered the body together having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked; that there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” Each member of the body of Christ should have a tender love for every other member, so that when one suffers, they all suffer; and when one member is honored, they all rejoice. This is the ideal Christian unity for which all true Christians should strive.


Is Jesus alone God’s promised Messiah?

How do his followers have his title, and what will be their future work?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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