There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
I. The great central truth of Christian union is the central truth of Christianity itself, which is Christ crucified. Destroy the centre of any system, you have destroyed the system itself. Now, beloved, a great and essential doctrine is placed before you here. All believers are one in Christ Jesus. They have a vital union with Jesus. That includes, too, this great and precious truth — accepted and justified in Christ Jesus. Again, this being in Christ involves our preservation. The child of God is kept not by any power of his own.
II. The consequent unity of all believers in the Lord. The unity of the Church of Christ does not spring out of anything in that Church, but out of the oneness of that Church in Christ. Unity pervades all God's works and operations — unity, not uniformity. You will find a marvellous richness of diversity in all the works of God. There is unity and there is diversity. The family of God is essentially one, and yet constituted into different households. Now I would remind you, in the first place, beloved, that the unity of the Church of God grows out of the unity of all believers in Christ the one Head. All true believers hold Christ the one Head of the Church. Then, brethren, the essential unity of the Church consists in the indwelling of the self-same Spirit. Every believer is a temple of the Holy Ghost. All believers in Christ then are essentially one. And, brother, how much is there in the circumstances of a child of God to unfold the essential unity of the Church of God? We have the same trials, afflictions, temptations; we take, oftentimes, the same dreary, lonely, tiresome path. O, how much is there in God's providential dealings with us in our trials, our sorrows, our temptations, to knit the saints of God more closely to their Head!
III. And now, in conclusion, let me remind you that there grows out of this great and precious truth some solemn obligations and precious blessings. I will, in the briefest manner, refer to this point; and, first, with regard to obligations set forth in the Scriptures. If we are in Christ, and Christ is the centre of our union, then we are bound to recognize the unity of God's dear ones. We are to recognize it. We are to hail a brother in Christ as a brother wherever we find him. My beloved hearers, the world is a keen observer of the Church of God. The world cares not one iota how we differ on points of Church government, or of doctrine, but the world looks at the Church of God in its union. It expects to find oneness, brotherly love, sympathy, co-operation. Therefore, I earnestly implore you, first to recognize the unity of all God's dear saints with one another, and then to express and manifest a loving spirit. Brethren, shall I advert for a moment to the blessings that will accrue from your recognition and manifestation of this great and glorious truth, the essential unity of the Church? Let me remind you that your happiness will be promoted by it. And not only your happiness, but your holiness will be promoted by your recognition of brotherly love. I will only add that usefulness is another blessing that springs from the recognition and manifestation of union. Beloved, we are useful, not as we stand out in our individual isolated con. dition. We are useful for Christ in combination — combination of judgment, of heart, of purpose.
(Octavius Winslow, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.