I want to encourage you today in appreciating the privilege of being adopted in as members of God’s family. Through personal faith in Jesus as Lord, you are placed by God into “the body of Christ and individually members of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
Just as the human body has been masterfully designed; so also, the body of Christ is an ingenious work of God. Here, there are no clones, no robots, and no stereotypes. “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function…” (Romans 12:4). In God’s grace, you are His unique handiwork adopted into Christ’s body and gifted with unique spiritual abilities ready for service. Paul continues to say that collectively “we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). In Christ, believers are integrated into Christ and to each other equally, thus forming the Church in all its variableness, yet bonded together.
Paul explained to the Corinthians that the “body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free – and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13 NIV). The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in designing each of you into your place within this spectacular multicultural spiritual body of believers.
So, membership in such a diverse yet functional grouping of Christians should grow appreciation to the point where you only want to encourage, build up and protect these valued people. It’s as Paul reminded Timothy, this is “how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 NIV). God’s truth is not only the foundation of your relationship with God, but also of your relationships with other believers in your Church. Unitedly the Church stands upon and speaks the truth of God for His glory and each other’s blessing.
While this sounds wonderful, we all know what can happen when someone fails to live a Spirit filled life. When a hard hearted attitude takes control, the whole body feels the pain of their agitation. It only takes one self-centred heart to spoil any relationship. “Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another” (Ephesians 4:25). Realising who the Holy Spirit has made you, and how he has placed you in Christ’s body, heightens your sense of worth and the value of others. Compassionate truthfulness, soft honesty, and affectionate integrity give evidence to this reality.
In the Church, quality relationships matter. Jesus said that it is through relationships with each other that “all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). Notice Jesus did not say that the world only would recognise your love as evidence of being His disciples. No, “all people” shall recognise love as being of Christ. This includes your fellow brother and sister in the Lord. One of Christ’s strongest testimonies to every person in your life is the way in which you express love on Christ’s behalf with your fellow Christian.
What a privilege we have as believer’s to live Christ by living His selfless love toward one another. This universally powerful testimony is unmistakably the evidence of Jesus Christ at work. This is what it means to live as members of Christ’s body.