Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Unity in Diversity
1 Corinthians 12:14-20
Angel Teji
Chicago MTC, IL
18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.

 
Different parts of the body have different functions, and when they come together, they make the body function as a whole. If one part is amputated, the whole body suffers it’s loss. In 1 Corinthians 12:14-20, Apostle Paul writes this letter to the Church in Corinth which was established by the end of his second missionary journey. The purpose of this letter was to bring them back to Christ as they were indulging in pagan practices. He uses the analogy of the body as it is a fitting description of the church and quite a contrast to their behaviour. The church is the visible manifestation of Christ in the world. The church is the body of Christ, it is one entity, yet is made up of different people with different gifts. Just as each organ in the body serves a specific purpose, so the people who make up the church serve in different functions within the Church. God gives gifts to believers to fulfill different functions. God gives various abilities and talents to people, some as priests and some as laity to execute the ministries of the church. Yet with all this diversity, church is one being, the body of Christ.

 
The reason for this unity in diversity is seen in verse 13  “For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit”. Regardless of our genetics, cultural or economic background, we become part of this one body in Jesus Christ because the Spirit baptizes every believer into the body and dwells in them. We should not let anyone tell us, nor should we judge anyone by saying they are not baptized or do not have the Holy Spirit in them just because they lack the ability to speak in tongues.

 

Everyone in the church is needed for it to function properly and to fulfill its God given purposes. No one in the Church should refrain from getting involved in the Church activities because they think they do not have particular gifts, ability, or ministry compared to others. Just as God knows where to place every organ in our body, He knows where a person fits best, despite what they might think of themselves whether highly or lowly.  God equips every person to fulfill His purpose. Paul’s argument throughout this section is simple: the gifts, ministries and abilities we have are given to us by God and we must use them to help one another in humility. Every member of the body is important and no member should be arrogant or misuse his or her God given ability.

PRAYER

Dear God, help us to use our gifts for the good of others and the glorification of Your name. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
Although we do not serve the same purpose just like the different parts of the body, we have unity through Christ.