Christian Living

One Body

We Are One through Jesus Christ

For those of us who follow Jesus, there is one body. This points to the universal church through Jesus Christ. Sadly, few people act as one. Instead, they divide the body of Christ into factions, sects, and denominations.

It was important to Jesus that we would be one (John 17:20). It’s important to Paul too. He covers this in four of his letters to the churches, teaching them the importance of being one body in Jesus.


Paul covers this in detail in his first letter to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 12:12-30). Just as a physical body as many parts, so does our one body in Jesus, but it’s a spiritual one, coming from one Holy Spirit.

Our body has feet, hands, ears, eyes, and so forth. Each is part of one body, but each has a different role to play. An eye cannot hear, and an ear cannot see. So, too, in Jesus’s church.

We each have a different job to do. If we try to serve outside of where we’re equipped to function, we will be ineffective and frustrated, diminishing the church in the process.

We should serve Jesus according to how he gifted us to operate, and no more—and certainly no less.

Paul concludes his instructions with examples of some spiritual gifts.


Paul gives a similar teaching, though not as in depth, to the church in Rome (Romans 12:3-8). It may be that he doesn’t need to cover this topic as thoroughly because the church in Rome is more mature and has fewer issues than the struggling church in Corinth.

Even so, Paul reminds them that just as we have a physical body with many parts, so too we are one body in Christ, with each part serving the other parts, according to how we are gifted. Again, he lists some spiritual gifts as examples to consider.


To the Colossians, Paul states they, too, are members of one body (Colossians 3:15-17). He doesn’t explain this statement like he did with the Corinthians or the Romans, but he does expand upon it.

He says because we are one body, we are called to peace. Our spiritual body should live at peace with one another, that is, the parts of the body. He also tells them to be thankful. And tells them how to act as a spiritual body.


In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul writes that they are one body. Here he specifically addresses Gentile followers and Jewish followers. They are one through Jesus (Ephesians 3:6). They should not separate themselves by race, or their past, or any other way.

Paul touches on this concept of one body two more times in this letter (Ephesians 2:14-17 and Ephesians 4:3-6).

One Body in Jesus

All the references in Scripture about being one body appear in the New Testament. That’s because we are one body in Christ.

Jesus had to first come to earth and sacrifice himself on our behalf before we could be one with each other and one with him, the Father, and Holy Spirit.

Just as the Corinthians, Romans, Colossians, and Ephesians, were one body in Jesus, so too are all his followers today. Or at least we should be.

May we begin to act as though we are one body. Our unity is what God desires. It also stands as our witness to the world who needs Jesus.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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