As a minister of Christ, I look at the church (not the single body I serve, but at the church universal), and I often wonder why the Body of Christ is divided, when Christ Himself is not (1 Corinthians 13). What divides us? Why (in some places) is there a black church, or a white church, or a church dependent on Skin Color? Why do we allow man-made doctrine (or doctrine apart from the Bible Alone) to keep us from being brothers and sisters in Christ? Why does the Bible teach Unity, but the Church does not reflect it? I think the simple answer (this is my opinion that I've discovered in reading through the Scriptures): We don't use Jesus as our identity. We identify as Workers, Husbands/Wives, From a Nation, From a Denomination, From an ethnic group, from this or that, or the other. We let our finite (let's face it, some day they're going to end) attributes define us, rather than finding our identity in the eternal person of Jesus Christ. In the beginning we were made in His image, He died to restore that image, and we still allow ourselves to identify with whatever we're doing or are at the moment. If we identify in Christ alone, we will seek to be members of His body, using our gifts and talents to His glory, and seeking to draw others as lost as we once were into Him as well. Plain and simple, and I stand upon God's word in this.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Jeremiah 1:5 ESV
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Galatians 2:20 ESV
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Ephesians 2:10 ESV
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
1 John 3:1-3 ESV
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
John 15:15 ESV
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Colossians 3:1-4 ESV
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
John 15:5 ESV
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Luke 9:23-27 ESV
And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. But I tell you truly, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God.”
Romans 8:14-15 ESV
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
John 1:12 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Isaiah 43:1 ESV
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
Psalm 139:14 ESV
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.