“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we (Christians), who are many are one body in Christ and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5).
In his letters to the churches in Rome and Corinth, the Apostle Paul compared the body of Christ (the church) to our physical bodies. In I Corinthians 12:14, he wrote, “For the body is not one member but many.” Then he goes on to talk about the various parts of the human body, the foot, the hand, the ear, the eye, and the nose. He goes on to tell us that the human body, though made up of many different parts is all one body that needs all its parts functioning as one to be healthy. He says that it is the same way with the church.
When I look around me on any given Sunday morning, I see a very diverse crowd gathered for worship, old, young, tall, short, skinny, not so skinny, even differing skin tones that speak of many ethnic backgrounds. But Paul goes on to tell us that these individual members have been endowed with various gifts and talents, gifts, and talents that when used in concert, add strength and vitality to the whole of the body of Christ.
I invite you to take time to read I Corinthians 12, where Paul strives to make the point that every member is necessary, every gift is needed for the body to truly function as one. And because we are individually members of one body, we need to see our brothers and sisters, all of them, as needful in our personal maturation in Christ.
Now, read once again the verse that we began with, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we (Christians), who are many are one body in Christ and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:4-5).
Someone has said, “You can choose your friends but your stuck with your relatives.” That may be a bit crass when referencing the body of Christ, but the truth is, I did not choose you to be part of my church family and you did not choose me to be part of yours. Our heavenly Father made a sovereign choice as to who will be part of His family. And knowing just how families can be, He gave us 29 One Another admonitions in the New Testament, a tutorial, on the part that we individually play so that this wonderful spiritual family will thrive and in that thriving, reflect the beauty and glory of Christ to a watching world.