Christian Unity

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:15-16*

The Apostle Paul has just urged us to “live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:1b-3, NIV*)

I don’t have to look farther than myself to see how hard this is. And my local congregation, nice people and sincere in their faith, struggle with it too. After all, as one member who’s now with the Lord was fond of saying, “We’re so human.”

Maybe I’m thinking about this because our annual meeting is coming up and it always seems to bring out the worst in us. (There must be a better way!)

Whatever the reason, the “Body” references in the New Testament have been on my mind lately. Christians are to function as one body: different roles and strengths, but a common goal of living for God. Jesus is the Head, and He only says and does what He hears from the Father. (John 14:10)

I’ve been thinking about how attitudes, misunderstandings, personality traits and critical or defensive spirits hamper the body’s ability, and it reminds me of NJ Lindquist’s article, called “Is the Body of Christ Handicapped?

Father, You are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, because Your power is working in us. I believe that. Help us trust and cooperate with You as You build Your people into a pleasing body, fully functional in You. We can’t do this on our own, but You are more than able.

This week’s song is another one from Casting Crowns: “If We Are the Body

*New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

6 thoughts on “Christian Unity

  1. landsway

    Amen! We are supposed to operate in unity and love but so often we bring division and condemnation over such petty things. “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” I think this verse from Romans truly sums up most of us.

    Reply
    1. janetsketchley

      Life and peace… That’s enough to make me want to be spiritually minded! And God has so many more reasons to desire the renewal of our minds. It’s a long-term renovation, though.

      Reply
  2. gladwellmusau

    Thank you for this powerful reminder. And by the way, I have the casting crown album which has this song… very true but painful reality in the body of Christ portrayed in the words of this song.

    Blessings

    Gladwell

    Reply
  3. Margaret

    Janet,

    You said it right….. We have congregations with many sincere, well-meaning people, who just don’t quite see eye-to-eye on a number of situations the church needs to face….. One thing I’ve noticed is an inability to really listen….. Sometimes they are saying the same thing in different ways and the other person’s message did not resonate because their mind was so filled with their own thoughts that they did not listen to the whole statement of another.

    Sometimes, when listening to a past meeting being discussed, one notices that there are misinterpretations of what was actually said — probably due to not having really listened.

    We can be glad God always listens to us and knows our thoughts and intentions even before they take place…. We can pray for His help and blessing as we let His word guide us.

    Margaret

    Reply
    1. storygal

      I think you’ve said it well, Margaret. We don’t always hear the message the same way and we misunderstand other’s intentions.

      Thanks for your message today, Janet.

      Reply
  4. janetsketchley

    Thanks for your insights, everyone. We as the body have some serious shaping up to do. Funny, we were talking about this at Bible study this morning too. There’s so much in the Word about the body of Christ, and yet individuality or self-will are fracturing us.

    May the God who loves us, who wants us united, work in each of our hearts and spirits.

    Reply

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