31 March 2012

The Only Sensible Response – Unity

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”
Romans 12:4-5 (NKJV)

As Paul begins to develop the sensible response to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ, he has at the front of his mind the overall purpose of God. God’s overall purpose is the saving of all of mankind and the sharing with them of eternal life with Him and His Son in the communion of the Holy Spirit.

What is uppermost in the apostle’s mind is the oneness in the Godhead that we are to share. He seeks to encourage that oneness within the church and in each member.

Here he draws on the analogy of the human body. Each of us is composed of different members—arms, legs, ears, eyes etc. That is what makes up a body. But these members do not have the same function, they do not perform the same task; and the body is seriously diminished by the absence of any of its members. There is an interdependence within the body, each member playing a vital role that other members depend on.

This is true of the church. Each member is vitally important to the optimum running of the body, the church, or any other organisation. It is clear that anything that upsets this interdependence is detrimental to the health of the body, and therefore to the one who causes this upset.

God is looking to us to live as brothers and sisters in one family, so we should behave toward one another as we would toward our own kith and kin—after all, the Spirit is thicker than blood!

We should ask, “Do I have a heart for my brothers and sisters, are they truly of great value to me, and do I reflect that value in my dealings with them? Do I see them as part of the body of Christ that he loved so much he gave himself completely that they should not perish but share eternity with Him?”

This is what Paul means when he borrows the analogy of the body to show how we ought to be one in Christ.

Father in heaven, how wonderful it is to be brought into the body of Christ, to be a part of the Church that is to picture the love that your Son has for all of humanity. Help me to reflect that love, found in the unity of the church, to all I meet this day and always.

Study by David Stirk

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