Believers are all one in Christ. In this world they are scattered abroad and divided by many external circumstances. Some live in one age, some in another; some in one country, some in another. Some speak one language, some another. Some live under one form of polity, some under another. Some prefer one form of religious worship, some another. But notwithstanding all these external differences, they are all one. They meet and embrace in Christ. In Him as a common center, all the rays from east to west, from north to south, are collected. God the Father loved them all with everlasting lovechose them all out of the mass of mankindgave them all to Christ as His portion, spouse, jewels, sheep, and bodyto be redeemed by His blood from all their iniquitiesto be clothed with the pure righteousness of His obedience, and so to be faultless, a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. The Holy Spirit calls, teaches, strengthens and sanctifies them all. The same Spirit dwells in each, reveals to each the same precious truths, leads each to wash in the same purifying fountain, to sit down under the same cross, to lean on the same arm, to profess the same faith, to glory in the same name, to feed on the same truths. They all are journeying along the same road to the same heavenly rest. They will all soon be brought together to share the same glory, and to sing the same song. In these and many similar particulars, they are all one in Christ. He is their common peace, who has utterly taken away all essential separation and difference.
Believers ought now to live in this unity. Doubtless there are differences of station which God has wisely ordained for the common good of the family of man. Some are called to rule, others to obeysome direct, others serve; and these lines of separation may not be rashly trampled down. The foot may not claim the place of the eye; nor the hand murmur, because it is not the head. There are also differences of gifts. Some have more enlarged outpourings of the Holy Spiritsome are endued with more acuteness of mental perception, or more soundness of discriminating judgmentand hence some are qualified to give a tone to opinion, while it becomes others to hear and to submit. But still one feeling of brotherly love ought to pervade the whole family. Few things are more emphatically enjoined than this unity and godly harmony. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment." "Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be like-minded one toward another, according to Christ Jesusthat you may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." "If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affections and mercies, fulfill you my joy, that you be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mindin lowliness of mind, let each esteem other better than themselves." Many other passages might be added, all enforcing the same duty. May the Lord then hasten the time, when envies and jealousies, and suspicions shall utterly be put away from us, with all surmisings and evil-speakings; and when all Christian hearts shall be knit together in love; and men shall take knowledge of us that we love one another with pure hearts fervently. "Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity."
This union would greatly strengthen the cause of Christ. Our blessed Lord, in His divine intercession, declares what gracious effects would follow. "That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in me, and I in You; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that You have sent me." The ungodly and sneering world are continually enquiring, Where are the children of God? We discern but little difference; worldliness and divisions seem as common among them as among the professed votaries of pleasure; we see no unity of spirit or of purpose. There is too much ground for this reproach, and much injury results to the cause of Christ. On the contrary, if all believers stood firm in one rank against error and ungodliness, they would be "terrible as an army with banners" against the hosts of Satan. The world could not gainsay their power. It would acknowledge the reality of the truth of their principles, and see that God was with them of a truth. Thus, "they who are of the contrary part, would be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of us," and the Word of the Lord would mightily grow, and have free course, and be glorified.
This union would greatly increase the joy of believers. In this world we cannot escape the enmity and reproach of evil men. The servant is not greater than his master. If they called Christ, Beelzebub, and crucified Him, we may not expect kind words or kind usage. Sad, then, indeed, is our outward case, if we have not the love of our brethren. But there is a comfort in their love which solaces in all trials. The Lord grant that this may more abound, and sweeten each bitter cup which He gives us to drink!
MEDITATIONS ON EPHESIANS
By Henry Law, 1884
Ephesians 2:1122. One in Christ