A part of the Spirit’s work is to build us and hold us together so that there may be a united testimony to the glory of God. God needs something more than a heap of stones, even if they are living stones, if He is to have a properly constructed dwelling. Christ needs more than many members, even though they are living members, since a body can only function if its members are coordinated and integrated in vital relationship. Now although there are many members, there is only one anointing; we either share His anointing or we do not know its power. The anointing upon Christ is the same anointing as that which we receive, and in us as well as in Him its one purpose is to express God’s glory.
It is the anointing Spirit who makes the Church to be the house of God, and the house is one because Christ is one. We must never be caught in the mistake of imagining that those who hold the truth of the one body are more in the reality of it than those who do not. We must beware of the schisms which come because of the things which we know and others do not, for light alone can easily cause divisions.
“Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13). That was a challenge made to the church whose members were so ready to boast of their knowledge and be so partisan in their attitude to various spiritual teachers. These were the very people whom the apostle described as being a temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:16), and also warned very solemnly against destroying that temple. How is the temple destroyed? It is by trying to divide Christ, by making parties and groups among the Lord’s people, often by wrongly imagining that they are superior to other Christians because of the teaching they have received or the teacher whom they follow. This is an offense to the Holy Spirit, and a sure way of thwarting God’s desire to show forth His glory.
So it is that practical love towards any of His members opens the way for His Spirit’s working and, conversely, carelessness, indifference or antagonism towards other members of Christ is a sure way of quenching the Holy Spirit. It may be that this is the explanation of there being so much less glory among God’s people than there ought to be. The moment we grieve the Spirit, we begin to dim the glory.