The first century vision is breathtaking, given our divisions today.
"After his death and resurrection a fellowship of followers of Jesus came into being which was called The Church. Beliefs about it arose almost immediately and it took a variety of visible forms.
The ideal of the Church appears again and again in the early Christian documents which compose the New Testament and which reflect the convictions of leaders in the primitive Christian fellowship. To these leaders the church was to be inclusive and one. They shared the purpose of Jesus which was transmitted through The Gospel according to John that all believers in him should be as united as were he and the Father. More than once, carrying out this same conception, Paul spoke of the Church as the body of Christ. Obviously, as he saw it, it was to be one, knit together, each member contributing to the whole. The Epistle to the Ephesians declares that Christ is the head of the Church and dreams of the Church as ultimately being without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. The Christian fellowship, so the New Testament held, was to be a new Israel, a chosen people, but it was to be drawn from all mankind. In Christ both Jews and Gentiles were to be members of "the household of God," growing into "an holy temple." Not only was the Church to embrace both Jews and Gentiles, but in it there was also to be no distinction on the basis of race, national, cultural status, servitude, freedom or sex. It was to be gathered from every nation, and from all tribes, peoples, and tongues." (A history of Christianity, vol. 1, beginnings to A.D. 1500, rev. ed., 1975 by Kenneth Scott LaTourette