What does “in one body ” mean in Colossians 3:15? Colossians 3:15 "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." (KJV) I have found that "in one body" according to Meyer's NT Commentary means this: ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι] not instead of εἰς ἓν σῶμα (Grotius, Flatt, and many others); nor yet: “as growing to be members of a single body” (Hofmann, gratuitously importing), but (comp. Ellicott and Bleek) as the result of ἐκλήθητε, announcing the relation of fellowship, into which the individuals are translated through their calling, and in which they now find themselves continuously. This abiding condition was the predominant conception; hence the pregnancy of the expression (Kühner, II. 1, p. 469); so that ye are in one body, namely, as its members. The element of unity, added with emphasis, and that quite in Pauline form (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 10:17; in opposition to Holtzmann), stands in appropriate reference to the entire requirement. To have become by the calling one body with those who share in that calling, and yet not to let the holy moral disposition, for the sake of which we are called, be the common ruling power of life—what a contradiction! In that case there would be wanting to the ἓν σῶμα the ἓν πνεῦμα accordant with the calling (Ephesians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 12:13). And according to the Expositor's Greek Testament it means this: ἐν ἑνὶ σώματι: “so that ye are in one body,” result rather than aim being expressed. Disunion in the body is incompatible with the peace of individual members.—καὶ εὐχάριστοι γίνεσθε: “and become thankful,” i.e., to God for calling you, or more probably for the peace in your hearts, which is the main thought. εὐχ. might mean “gracious” (a rare sense), but this would not be weighty enough to end these exhortations. But I still don't understand it, even though I looked up all the references that Meyers listed.
Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.
I would say that Paul was referring, as he did elsewhere in his epistles (including the passages cited in the question itself, such as Romans 12:4-5 or 1 Corinthians 12:12-13), to the whole number of believers (although they are many individuals with a variety of gifts or functions) cumulatively composing the one body of Christ, and working together in unity (with peace among themselves) toward a common purpose (the furtherance of God's kingdom).
This spiritual truth that all believers in Christ are “members of one body” is very important to the operation of the local church and its mission in the world. Following are some verses that help us practically understand this spiritual reality. Romans 12:3-5 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others”. Christians belong to each other as in a family, so we need to be humble toward each other. 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” Christians are one body because we are united by the Holy Spirit living in each one of us. 1 Corinthians 10:17 “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf.” Christians around the world are one universal church because we are all partakers of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27 “Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by[a] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honour to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” The Universal Christian church is one body comprised of people from all over the world because we are all given the Holy Spirit. The local Christian church operates just like the physical body of Jesus Christ on earth. We have the same mission that Jesus had - to share the gospel and deliver God’s love. Each Christian believer is an integral part of this local body. Ephesians 2: 14-18 “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Both Jews and Christians who believe in Jesus are members of one body. We both have access to the same Father by the one Spirit.
All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.
A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.