God is “one” and He wants the Body of Christ to be “one” too! We are to be united in Christ. How is this possible when so many people (with issues) are impossible? If we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength first, God gives us grace to love people. It takes power to love. We all have good qualities, but some annoying ones too!
Mark 12:29-33, New King James Version– 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
We cannot be “united” in Christ if we do not obey His commandments, which all define how to love other people. Our love for God is demonstrated by our obedience to God. Jesus said the people who obey me are the people who love me.
John 14:23-24, Living Bible – 23 Jesus replied, “Because I will only reveal myself to those who love me and obey me. The Father will love them too, and we will come to them and live with them. 24 Anyone who doesn’t obey me doesn’t love me. And remember, I am not making up this answer to your question! It is the answer given by the Father who sent me.
Still confused about the Law of Love?
Understand how love fulfills God’s commandments in this animated walk-through…
The primary way we become united in Christ is to love one another as God commands.
1 John 4:19-21, GOD’S WORD Translation – 19 We love because God loved us first. 20 Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates another believer is a liar. People who don’t love other believers, whom they have seen, can’t love God, whom they have not seen. 21 Christ has given us this commandment: The person who loves God must also love other believers.
We cannot participate in “Communion” with God and hurt members of the “Body” of Christ at the same time. When taking communion, the Body of Christ represents his physical body, which was broken and offered as a sacrifice for our sins (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). However, the Body of Christ also represents his spiritual body, which includes every “born again” believer (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
The Bible warns us to think about the Body of Christ and what it means before taking communion. In other words, if we have sinned against God or another believer we should repent. Plus, we must forgive those who have sinned against us. The act of taking communion affirms our right-standing with God through Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 11:27-30, Living Bible – 27 So if anyone eats this bread and drinks from this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, he is guilty of sin against the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 That is why a man should examine himself carefully before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. 29 For if he eats the bread and drinks from the cup unworthily, not thinking about the body of Christ and what it means, he is eating and drinking God’s judgment upon himself; for he is trifling with the death of Christ. 30 That is why many of you are weak and sick, and some have even died. 31 But if you carefully examine yourselves before eating you will not need to be judged and punished.
Stay in Union
Communion doesn’t end with the ceremony of “eating the bread and drinking from the cup”. We must practice being united in Christ. When we are united we do not gossip, fault-find, criticize or intentionally hurt another member of the Body of Christ. Think of it this way: Would you slap your own face? Would you stomp on your own toe? Of course not! Pain in one part of the body, affects the whole body.
Ephesians 4:2-5, GOD’S WORD TRANSLATION – “Be humble and gentle in every way. Be patient with each other and lovingly accept each other. Through the peace that ties you together, do your best to maintain the unity that the Spirit gives. There is one body and one Spirit. In the same way you were called to share one hope. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”
Being united in Christ means loving other believers too. We are well able to do this because we have the Spirit of Jesus Christ living inside us. (For more understanding, Read Part 1: Be “One” with Christ–There is power in unity with the Holy Trinity.)