One Spirit, One Body
‘We were all baptised by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.’ (1 Corinthians 12:13)
For all of us, there are occasions in our life that are engraved on our memories, events we will never forget. One such event for the disciples would undoubtedly have been Pentecost. Of course, they had seen many Pentecosts, for it was one of the great festivals for which they were required to go up to Jerusalem. But that Pentecost had been so different! For just as Jesus had promised, the Holy Spirit had fallen on them.
One of the first things that happened as they were baptised in the Spirit was that a tremendous unity was released among them. And this Spirit–given unity had a powerful effect that cut across their natural human selfishness. We read that ‘all the believers were one in heart and mind. No–one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had’ (Acts 4:32). And as a result of this, ‘with great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was on them all’ (Acts 4:33).
Paul was convinced that this Spirit baptism was what took such diverse people – men and women, Jew and Gentile, slave and free – and put them into Christ’s body. At last, all the great barriers of the ancient world were broken down as the Spirit baptized them into unity in the body of Christ. How sad it is, then, when we allow the Spirit’s work among us today to do the very opposite at times.
Becoming one body with God’s people is not some vague wish, but the promise of Scripture. Let us do all within our power today to live as members of that body, not despising our Spirit-given unity, but doing all we can to strengthen it. Let us speak well today of all God’s people!
‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.’ (Ephesians 4:3-6)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont