Unity in the Body of Christ

 

Isn’t it amazing that God takes those of various personalities and upbringings and ethnic backgrounds and puts them all together within the Church, the body of Christ?  It would be not only boring if everyone in the body of Christ were like me, or like you, but it also would not show forth the miracle of the Gospel and give God glory as it does when we see that God can take all sorts of people and unite them together.

As we look at the various backgrounds of the twelve apostles, we know that from a human perspective this was a group that would surely be prone to conflict.  We know that Scripture records for us the times when there were disagreements and complaints as they sought the best status with Christ.  And yet the beauty of the Church is that God takes those from every tribe, tongue, language, and nation and unites them in the Good News of Jesus Christ.  I hope that regarding the message of the Gospel and where Scripture plainly speaks that we are united in the Word of God, but that does not mean that we see everything the same way or don’t have opinions on areas that God’s Word does not address plainly.

This Sunday evening, we will begin a study of Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth.  He begins the letter in chapter 1 by speaking of all the divisions in the church.  Some of the division focused on following men.  I follow Paul or I follow Apollos.  Other divisions were over economic status or even who had what spiritual gift.  As I read the book of 1 Corinthians I am encouraged. Here in the first century we see an honest depiction of a local church.  A church that is not perfect by any standard (we know there are no perfect churches).  But a church in which Paul seeks to encourage repentance from sin and unity in the faith.

Just like the first century, this is a message the church in every age needs to hear.  Let us not focus on those things that divide the body. Let us be open and honest and not look at the body of Christ with ‘rose colored’ glasses.  And let us seek to repent in the areas we know we may have sinned and where we may cause division.  I hope you are encouraged and challenged by Paul’s letter and may God use His Word to remind us all of His truth.

1 Corinthians 1:1-3, “Paul, called by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”