Get it Together!
By Phillip Greene
“The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. “ – 1 Corinthians 12:12
The body has many parts. What a comparison Paul makes to show us how we are to work together in harmony as those created in the image of the Almighty God. We have often applied this within the Church, looking at the differences that make up the whole, and talking about how that is supposed to work together.
Paul reminds us that the head cannot tell the foot it doesn’t belong. He reminds us that an eye cannot say to a hand, “I don’t need you.” And, we have taken this and applied it within our churches to say, “We are all different, but our mission is the same.” So where have we gone wrong?
We have lost sight of this teaching, both inside and outside of our churches. We are one body with many parts, but, it is not us who puts the body together – which is a good thing; seeing as most of us would like to make everyone else like us because then we would have the same opinions (Remember Paul’s warning: An eye cannot say to a hand, “I don’t need you.”). God is the one who puts the body together:
“So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:24b-27
Not only did God put it together…He did it with extra honor and care for those who may not seem as significant. Wait, what? God gave extra care to those who were deemed to be lacking. What that says is that if your brother or sister is feeling like things are against them, down and out, “lacking” as the verse calls it, God gave a little extra care and honor to. Why? Because He was evening the odds, God intends for all to be on a level playing field.
If one part suffers, all parts suffer. If one honored, all are honored. The success of one is the success of the whole! Think of it this way. The Appendix is considered useless in many respects, also the Gall Bladder in some ways, both of them can be lived without, but they are part of the body. If either of them suffers, becomes sick, infected, inflamed, etc., the WHOLE BODY suffers. When they go bad, the body becomes ill and does not function well.
We can and do apply this in the church, but what about society? We are all a part of the whole. If one part suffers, we all feel that pain. Based on this scripture alone, we have the responsibility to stand with that part who is hurting, comforting them, because if they are suffering, so is the body as a whole. Jesus reached out to the marginal of society and showed them extra care because they were part of the body and that honor and care leveled the playing field.
Yes, we are individuals.
Yes, individuals make up the community.
Yes, we are all created in the image of the Almighty.
And yes, we are to love one another as we have been loved. Because, at one time or another, we were a part of that group that was lacking; we didn’t have it all together and we still don’t many times. And at those times, God reaches out and does a little bit extra to even the odds and bring us back up to where the rest of the whole is. Again, why would God spend a little more time and care to honor those who are lacking?
“This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. (v. 25)”
It brings us together. We should strive to be like Christ, it is what the name Christian means – to be Christ-like. We should take the time to reach out to those who are hurting, no matter what their opinions are. Our example may be the opening the Holy Spirit needs to compel them to the Gospel message they so desperately need. “Love one another as I have loved you.” – John 15:12
Whatever your opinion on politics, social agendas, religion, etc. you should be loving others as you have been loved. We are called to love, not present our opinion and push others away because they do not agree with us.
It is best put this way:
“All of you together are part of Christ’s Body, and each of you is a part of it.” – 1 Corinthians 12:27
I challenge you, today; embrace not only the part you play but embrace others in their role, as we all make up the whole of the Body of Christ.
Do not let these times cause division and dissension among the Body. We are ALL a part of it. Let’s stop focusing on what divides us and focus on the larger picture of what brings us together. So what if you’re a Republican or Democrat, we are all American! So what if you are Baptist or Presbyterian, we are all Christians! Do not let our differences be the downfall of the Body of Christ.
Phillip Greene has been Pastor at Newland Christian Church since 2016. He has been Station Manager at Glory1130 in Newland since 2012 and is active in the local community as a Coach and Public Address Announcer for Avery Athletics. You can access Newland’s sermons online at www.newlandchristianchurch.com/sermons or an archive of his articles at phillipgreene.wordpress.com.
You can read more good Christian News from Phillip HERE.