One Body

And so there is no division in the body, but all its different parts have the same concern for one another. If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it; if one part is praised, all the other parts share its happiness. All of you are Christ’s body, and each one is a part of it.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭12‬:‭25‬-‭27‬ ‭

It is hard not to see division when I look at the body of Christ. There are so many different denominations. There is division in our beliefs. At times the depth of our beliefs keep us from showing concern for those not in our direct fellowship. There is too much dissension.

We often fail to show concern for others, never mind suffering when our brothers and sisters in Christ suffer. Even within our own house of worship when one suffers we may not know, let alone in another denomination. The one thing that may bring us together is suffering caused by tragedy or terrorism by the hand of an outsider.

We don’t rejoice when those who are aligned differently in their belief find success. One need only take a quick scroll through social media to see the attacks against believers by other believers. We don’t share in the happiness we try to explain it away with semantics.

Despite our actions, we are all one body, Christ’s bride. We act like we are all separate so it is okay to argue and complain. However, just as man and woman are joined as one in marriage, we are joined together as one body when we become believers. When we attack other believers, we are tearing down the body. When we attack other believers publicly we are publicly tearing down Christ.

There is a place for correction, but it is not a public forum outside of church. The Bible tells us how to handle correction.

““If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back. But if he will not listen to you, take one or two other persons with you, so that ‘every accusation may be upheld by the testimony of two or more witnesses,’ as the scripture says. And if he will not listen to them, then tell the whole thing to the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭15‬-‭17‬

“If any of you have a dispute with another Christian, how dare you go before heathen judges instead of letting God’s people settle the matter? Don’t you know that God’s people will judge the world? Well, then, if you are to judge the world, aren’t you capable of judging small matters? Do you not know that we shall judge the angels? How much more, then, the things of this life! If such matters come up, are you going to take them to be settled by people who have no standing in the church? Shame on you! Surely there is at least one wise person in your fellowship who can settle a dispute between fellow Christians. Instead, one Christian goes to court against another and lets unbelievers judge the case! The very fact that you have legal disputes among yourselves shows that you have failed completely. Would it not be better for you to be wronged? Would it not be better for you to be robbed? Instead, you yourselves wrong one another and rob one another, even other believers!” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭6‬:‭1‬-‭8‬

“By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ I appeal to all of you, my friends, to agree in what you say, so that there will be no divisions among you. Be completely united, with only one thought and one purpose.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1‬:‭10‬ ‭

But keep away from foolish and ignorant arguments; you know that they end up in quarrels. As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth.
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭2‬:‭23‬-‭25‬ ‭

When we pause to remember that we are all part of one Body, not individual churches or denominations that are independent we can begin to focus on building others up. We can focus on what we do agree about and keep disagreements private or at minimum within the body. We need unity in the body. We have a job to do and we don’t need to be distracted by disagreements amongst each other, our focus is furthering the message of God’s kingdom on earth, baptizing believers, making disciples and taking the Word to all nations and peoples.

Lord, forgive us for walking in disunity. We repent recognizing that all of Your followers are part of One body, not independent functioning entities. You are our Head. You have called us to specific purposes and we desire to see Your Kingdom come, Your will done on earth. Remove the division. Help us to suffer together, to walk together, praise together and rejoice together. Let us recognize our part and do it while still supporting the others parts of Your body. In Jesus name. Amen.

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