KEEPING THE ONENESS OF THE BODY
Keeping the Oneness of the Spirit
To keep the oneness of the Body is actually to keep the oneness of the Spirit because the Spirit is the reality and the essence of the Body. Paul says in Ephesians 4:3 that we should keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace. Christ has abolished on the cross all the differences due to ordinances. In so doing, He has made peace for His Body. This peace should bind all believers together, thus becoming the uniting bond. There should never be any kind of fighting within the church. We need to keep the oneness by remaining in the uniting bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:2 says that we need to keep the oneness with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing one another in love. Lowliness is to remain in a low estate, and meekness is not to fight for oneself. We should have these two virtues in dealing with ourselves. Longsuffering is to endure mistreatment. We should have this virtue in dealing with others. By these virtues we bear one another. You have to bear me, and I have to bear you. This is what it means to walk worthily of the Lord’s calling (Eph. 4:1b).
Division Annulling the Body and the Recovery
Any division annuls the Body. If the Body is annulled, the oneness is killed. Then the recovery is gone. What is the Lord’s recovery? The Lord’s recovery is the recovery of the oneness of the Body of Christ.
MAINTAINING A GOOD ORDER IN THE BODY
In addition to keeping the oneness of the Body, we need to maintain a good order in the Body. The church is the highest entity in the universe with the top standard. Thus, we need to have a beautiful, pleasant order among us. If there is a problem among us, we have to take care of it in a biblical way. When a problem arose concerning circumcision, Paul and the brothers with him took care of it in the proper way. Acts 15 speaks of their going to see the brothers in Jerusalem. They came together in a proper way to give testimonies and to seek the Lord’s leading. Eventually, the decision was made through Peter by James. Through Peter’s testimony and by James’s word, a conclusion was reached. They said that this conclusion seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to them (v. 28). This shows that the conclusion reached was by them and by the Spirit. This is the right way to solve a problem in the churches. We need to come together properly, pray, study the Word, and make a decision. By taking care of Christ and by taking care of His Body, we will avoid division, keep the oneness, and maintain a good order in the Body. I feel I must say this because another turmoil may suddenly rise up among us. We should not repeat anything of the past. Let us come together with an open spirit to pray together, get into the Word, and check our situation with the Word in fellowship. Then we can get a divine answer. This is the right way.
(Elders' Training, Book 11: The Eldership and the God-Ordained Way (3), Chapter 13, by Witness Lee)