Key Verse: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
—Galatians 3:28, New American Standard Bible
THE KEY VERSE of our lesson presents the great truth that we are all one in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul further elaborates: “Even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” “Just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” (I Cor. 12:12; Rom. 12:4,5, NASB) These passages of Scripture encourage us to realize the blessed condition we enjoy—sharing a deep spiritual union with Christ and, consequently, oneness with other believers.
“Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal. 4:6, NASB) By faith, we enjoy a relationship as sons with our Heavenly Father. We rejoice in his acceptance of us—it is an act of great mercy. We are likewise accepted by Jesus, despite our many flaws and fleshly weaknesses. “The one who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified all have the same Father. That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.”—Heb. 2:11, International Standard Version
“If ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Gal. 3:29) The great promise of which we have become heirs is to have a share in the blessing of all the families of the earth. This is the “gospel” message that was preached to Abraham in ancient time. (vs. 8) The entire human family will be blessed in God’s kingdom. If faithful unto death, we will have the privilege of dispensing blessings to all mankind. This wonderful hope should thrill and encourage each of us to remain faithful and maintain our spiritual oneness in Christ.
Despite the scriptural declaration of our oneness, the spirit and practice of sectarianism exists among much of Christianity. This has been true since the days of the Early Church. Paul fought against it, saying, “I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, … For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, … that there are quarrels among you. … Each one of you is saying, ‘I am of Paul,’ and ‘I of Apollos,’ and ‘I of Cephas,’ and ‘I of Christ.’”—I Cor. 1:10-12, NASB
Paul’s admonition is powerful, yet throughout the Christian era there has always been division. Some divisions were peaceful, some deadly, but none were authorized by Scripture. What is the remedy for God’s true people? What action should be taken by those who have wholly given themselves to God and his service? What shall the child of God do?
Consecrated believers should follow the principles of God’s Word. Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, NASB) These words remind us that engaging in sectarianism and division is “worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.” (Jude19, NASB) The oneness of Christ’s disciples, however, is evidence of true Christianity. May we exercise fervent love toward one another—the essence of oneness in Christ.