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One Is Not The Loneliest Number

One Is Not The Loneliest Number


    The band Three Dog Night recorded this Harry Nilsson song entitled “One” in 1967 and it was released in 1968.   You may remember this song better by some of its well-known lyrics.   They are: One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.  Two can be as bad as one.  It’s the loneliest number since the number one.   This is the first verse.   Nilsson wrote this song after calling someone and getting a busy signal.

     Of course, this song was written about the sentiment of being alone.  As this is being contemplated, let us be reminded that the Bible informs that “one” is not always singular, nor does in indicate being alone.   The meaning is determined by the way in which the phrase is used.  For instance, when used to show unity “one” can mean a multiplicity of beings.   1John 5:7 is an excellent Bible example of this.  For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one This shows that each in the Godhead are in full agreement in all things.    As they are three, yet are one, they are not alone.

    Christian laborers also are to be one.  In 1Corinthians 3:6-9 we see where the Spirit had Paul write about the unity that is to exist among the laborers in the kingdom.   I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.   All Christians are to be doing God’s Work with whatever ability they have.   Some are able to plant, while others come afterward and water.   Both are to be “one” in the labor that brings lost souls to Christ. This is also explained in 1Corinthians 12:12-14 where we read that while we are individuals as members, those who are “in Christ” are one body.   We can see in this sense “one” is not a lonely number.  For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many.  This is then explained in vss 15 -19 as we read that while each of us have various parts; all these parts make up one body.  This concluded in vs 20 with: “But now are they many members, yet but one body.”  

     Contrary to a popular religious belief, man-made churches are not a part of that one body.  In John 15:5-6 Jesus speak of the vine and branches.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.  Many in the denominational world teach that the branches are the multiplicity of churches that has sprung up over the past 2,000 years.    The branches are the members of the “one body” just as the various parts of our bodies make up our one body.    

    There are a number of passages that show how it can be determined if one is of that “one body”.   In Acts 4:32 during the early days of the church, we see how these that were of the one body could be identified.  And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.   When we read they were of one heart, we understand this to mean they believed the same thing.  This shows the “oneness” of the group.   Not a lonely situation at all.     This is further supported by Romans 15:5-6 where we read that we are to be of “one mind”.  This means thinking (believing and following) the same things.   Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.   If we are a part of that “one body” we will not be lonely either but will glorify God with the other members of the one body.    

      We have already pointed out how one becomes a part of that one body. In 1Corinthians 12:13 (above) we see one is to “be baptized” into Christ.  In Galatians 3:26-28 this is confirmed as well as the fact that one becomes a child of God (part of God’s family) when baptized into Christ, and become a part of that one body, which is the church.   That is the only way to become a part of that “one body”.   For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ28 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.   Those who are a part of the body are not alone, nor are we lonely.  

     In the end, only those who are a part of that one body and are faithful to the Lord and His Word will hear those most welcoming words: Well done, thou good and faithful servant.   What is keeping you from obeying the gospel and becoming a part of that “one body”?    Not doing so will cause you to be eternally separated from God.   Now, that’s lonely!

                           Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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