“SO WE, MANY, ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST, AND EVERY ONE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER.” Romans 12:5.
“BE KINDLY AFFECTIONED ONE TO ANOTHER WITH BROTHERLY LOVE” Romans 12:10.
“BE OF THE SAME MIND ONE TOWARD ANOTHER.” Romans 12:16. “LET US NOT THEREFORE JUDGE ONE ANOTHER ANY MORE.” Romans 14:13. “WHEREFORE RECEIVE YE ONE ANOTHER, AS CHRIST ALSO RECEIVED US TO THE GLORY OF GOD.” Romans 15:17.
By the pen of the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit wrote these words to the Galatians, “ye are all one in Christ Jesus”. Galatians 3:28. Every member of the human race is either “in Adam” or “in Christ”. Those who are “in Adam” are not one with those who are “in Christ”. But all who are “in Christ” are one; one in Him; ONE BODY IN CHRIST. All “in Christ” should endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit, ever bearing in mind that there is but one Christ and one Body. Ephesians 4:3 to 7.
Are the Roman Catholics one with the Protestants? In united spiritual activities and jointworship, emphatically no. But in God’s purpose and program for this age the saved Romanists and saved Protestants are all “in Christ”, and all who are “in Christ” are one; for God so states. Unsaved Catholics and unsaved Protestants, and all unsaved church- members, are “in Adam”; and are not members of God’s one and only true church, the Body of Christ, notwithstanding the fact they have joined a religious organization. Ephesians 1:19 to 22 and Ephesians 3:6. “If any man be in Christ there is a new creation.” II Corinthians 5:17.
God’s Book declares that members of His one true Church are those who are saved by grace, those who have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ; without religious ceremonies and without religious works. These saved ones have been recreated spiritually by God. Ephesians 2:8 to 10 and Ephesians 2:13. Are church-members saved, if they insist that their religious observances and activities have helped to save them? God says, “not by works of righteousness”. Who is saved and who is not saved? Who knows? God does. “The foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His”. II Timothy 2:19. God, by His infinite grace, has saved some church-members, in spite of their religion. But what an insult to God to offer Him religion to supplement His infinite grace and the finished work of redemption accomplished by the Lord Jesus Christ. Eternal redemption obtained for us by Him. Hebrews 9:12. What a religious man thinks will supplement God’s grace, in reality, frustrates that grace. Galatians 2:21, Romans 11:6.
But are Protestants one? Are Lutherans and Baptists one? They are not one in their religious practices. Very seldom do they unite for worship as one company of redeemed sinners. But saved Lutherans and saved Baptists are one in Christ; and they all belong to the same Body. They are members one of another. But if they should hold a joint-baptismal service, the Lutherans to sprinkle babies into the Church, and the Baptists to bury adults into the death of Christ, the admonition, “let us not therefore judge one another any more”, would be forgotten. The unity of the Spirit would not be kept; for that unity is on the basis of one baptism. Ephesians 4:5.
Are the Plymouth Brethren and the Pentecostalists one? The saved ones are one in Christ; but anything but one in doctrine and practice. They each claim that they are earnestly contending for the faith once-for-all delivered unto the saints. They both claim that they are carrying on the Scriptural program of the Body of Christ. They both claim that that Body began on the day of Pentecost, and that the Body of Ephesians is identical with the Body to which 3000 were added on the day of Pentecost and which continued all through the “Acts” period and is the Body to which saints now belong. The Pentecostalists claim that the Plymouth Brethren have arbitrarily rejected from God’s spiritual program, recorded in “Acts”, many very important ceremonies, gifts and ministries such as baptism unto repentance for the remission of sins, laying-on of hands, miracles, signs, sign-gifts, tongues, visions, etc., which positively belonged to the first Pentecostal Church. Which of these two companies of New Testament saints is right and who said so? Perhaps they will feed together like the cow and the bear of Isaiah 11:7; but it will be in the sweet bye and bye. They will never act as one church before the millennium. What a pity that the One Body of the One Lord cannot present to the world the unity of the one Spirit and the one faith!
Is it possible for the saved Nazarenes, saved Presbyterians, saved Dunkards, saved Mennonites, saved Quakers, saved Baptists, saved Healing-Christians, saved Second-Blessing Saints, saved Reformed, saved Lutherans, and saved Methodists to be of the same mind one toward another in a union meeting? Many of these have no more Christian fellowship than do the lost “in Adam” and the saved “in Christ”. And thereby God’s instructions are being disobeyed or ignored. The prayer of Christ remains unanswered. “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” John 17:21.
The only way that this mixed multitude can obey Romans 12:10, “be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love”, is to forsake the assembling of themselves together and to have no more dealings in a union-meeting than the Jews and the Samaritans had. Can they not gather in the Name of the Lord and forget their doctrinal differences by not referring to them? “What saith the Scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son; for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.” Galatians 4:30. How can God’s true messenger of Grace compromise with a loyal denominationalist who must be true to his religious church creed, which is part grace and part Judaism? How can there be agreement between believers who know they have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenlies in Christ, and believers who demand that members of their church seek after, and tarry for, a second blessing? How can there exist unity of the Spirit between believers who, with their cry, “back to Pentecost” and “the program of Jesus on earth,” strive to be religious Israelites and believers who advance with Christ’s revelation of the dispensation of the grace of God and the dispensation of the mystery, through Paul? Believers who know Pauline truth, who enjoy the riches of God’s grace and glory and appreciate their heavenly position and possessions in the risen and glorified Christ and have neither the desire nor Divine authority to be religious Israelites, cannot heartily participate in a mixed program of legalism, grace and the kingdom of heaven.
Until all believers are willing to acknowledge that there is one and only one nonsectarian Bible Church, The Body of Christ, and study and practice all Scripture in the light of the revelation of the risen Christ to the members of that Body, through Paul, discord and divisions will increase and multiply, and the denominational churches will move steadily toward religious Babylon instead of making any attempt to obey Ephesians 4:3, “Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit”, “One Lord, one faith, one Body, one baptism, etc.”
The beautiful doctrine of many believers “all one in Christ”, “One Body”, is real with God; but only a theory with Christians here on earth. Is Christ divided?
How true it is, that the Body truth of Romans, of Ephesians, Colossians, and II Timothy is the golden key to use in the understanding, interpretation and application of all Divine truth and is the curative for every unscriptural OR undispensational “ism”, all the fanaticism, being propagated in the name of Christianity, and is the death-blow to all sectarianism. Let’s do our utmost to obey Ephesians 4:3 to 13 and Ephesians 3:9 and II Timothy 2:2 and II Timothy 2:15.
For more articles by Pastor J. C. O'Hair, visit the J. C. O'Hair Online Library.