For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:12–13
The unity of the body is not merely a doctrinal tenet, it is a blessed and precious reality. Through the baptism of the Holy Spirit all believers are united to the risen Lord, the church’s Head in Heaven, and to one another. This is an indissoluble relationship, and because of it, “the members should have the same care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:25), rejoicing when a member is honored, feeling for one who suffers, and standing loyally by those who have to endure persecution. This is what it means to hold the truth of the one body. Some acknowledge it as an article of faith but show little or no concern for their fellow-members and the trying experiences many of them are called to pass through.
Oh, how we thirst the chains to burst
That weight our spirits downward;
And there to flow, in love’s full glow,
With hearts like Thine surrounded!
No more to view Thy chosen few
In selfish strife divided,
But drink in peace the living grace
That gave them hearts united!
Lord, haste that day of cloudless ray,
That prospect bright, unfailing;
Where God shall shine in light divine,
In glory never fading.
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 278.