The Bible helps mankind understand spiritual concepts through earthly terms. Jesus taught in parables, which are often described as an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. This is especially beneficial as God wants us to understand the wonderful church that He created and that was bought with the precious blood of His Son.
As Paul makes a plea for unity in Ephesians 4:1- 6, he begins a list of seven items by mentioning that there is one body. We each have a physical body, and while some may not work as well as others, we certainly understand the concept of many parts making up one body. Though our individual body parts are distinct one from another, they are made by God to function together as one unit, and they do not compete with each other (1 Corinthians 12:14-18).
The first thing we must understand is that the body is the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23). Entrance into this glorious body is through baptism (1 Corinthians 12:13). Similar to our physical bodies, there is one head, which is Christ (Ephesians 1:22). And even though the term “one” is used, the body of Christ is not made up of one person. Paul reminds us, “But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.” (1 Corinthians 12:20).
This does not mean that the use of the word “one” is insignificant. On the contrary: for there to be only one of something shows importance. There is only one winner of a contest. And as Peter would preach in Jerusalem, there is only one name by which man can be saved (Acts 4:12).
To be one also carries with it the idea of unity. Paul emphasizes this to those in Corinth when he tells them, “that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” (1 Corinthians 12:25). He goes on to say that we should be so unified that we suffer together and receive honor together (1 Corinthians 12:26).
The Wolfsburg, Germany Volkswagen plant is considered the largest car factory in the world. I cannot fathom all the small parts in a factory that large which are working together to produce one product. I am also amazed (and encouraged) when I think of the one church, the one body, worldwide that is working together towards one common goal: to share the good news of Jesus Christ. It is encouraging to think that we might not speak the same language or share the same customs, but we are part of the one body. I am thankful for God who designed it and Jesus Christ who purchased it with His blood.
— Joel Danley