For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:13
Every process in life seeks to work out something, which is called the end product. The end product could also be referred to as the goal.
Just as it is in the natural, so it is with the gospel. And what, pray, is the end product of our calling as believers? Many would answer, “To be holy”. That is true, all right. But still that is not the real heart of God’s goal in calling us. You would be surprised to learn that the ultimate goal is… unity. God’s ultimate aim in calling us is to have a holy, spiritual, unified Body.
In all it does, the gospel of Jesus Christ aims at one ultimate goal, which is the unity of all believers in one Body, the Body of Jesus Christ. There is no greater goal with God than the unity in the Spirit of the individual members that comprise the Body of Christ.
In the same breathe, therefore, the greatest person in the Kingdom of God is the person who through the Spirit works towards the singular goal of UNITING himself/herself with the Body of Christ in the Spirit.
The singular work that the gospel has is to put to death the things that prevent us from becoming ONE, UNITED as a body.
Once we understand that, I believe we can now all see the incredible price that each one of us is called upon to pay individually in order to arrive at that goal. This is because we are all selfish by nature, and that selfishness simply has to go. Through the love of Christ that has been shed in our hearts, we are called upon to live for others.
In the natural, they say birds of a feather flock together. In other words, people with the same interests easily accommodate each other. But it is not so in the Spirit. In the Spirit, we ALL are to accommodate each other. The gospel does not put a difference between particular kinds of people.
There is no difference, therefore, between a white man and a black man, a rich man and a poor man, nor the cultured and the uncultured.
The white man has to die to his whiteness. The black man has to die to his blackness as well. I am not an expert in sociology, but as a black man, I know there are many inbuilt complexities that make me African. These attitudes also control my relationships with men of different color, especially the white man. I was raised up to believe that if I see a white man I am to snap to attention. And probably the white man was born with an inbuilt mechanism that allows him to only look down upon the African.
Unfortunately, these differences are inescapable in the world. But that is because the world does not have the ability to defeat that condition. But the gospel is the POWER of God. The gospel has the power to put to death my African-ness and for the white man to put aside his white-ness. In the process, the gospel ultimately brings a right relationship between me and my white brother. The right relationship is UNITY, where there is absolutely no difference between the two apparently different people.
Nor, with the gospel, is there a difference between the rich and the poor. Unfortunately, today we see everyone in church striving to become rich. The gospels that propagate this kind of lifestyle are simply promoting selfishness and these are the very attitudes that snuff out the power of the gospel in bringing unity to the Body of Christ.
These attitudes should die within the church. And praise God, there is power to bring down all our un-Godly attitudes. That power is the power of the cross.
What exactly do we mean by the power of the cross? It is the ability, through the Spirit, to deny ourselves and to take up our cross and follow Christ. The cross brings death to the flesh. That is the meaning of the power of the cross. The Apostle Paul writes:
“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18).
The cross… is the power of God. When we deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Christ, we prove the power of God. In every situation that arises, as we deny ourselves and take up our cross, we are transformed more and more into the image of Christ. The character of Christ is humility in love and as each one takes up this character in them we end up morphing into the desired end product that God is looking and working for – UNITY of the Body of Christ in the Spirit.