We’re continuing our look at the way Paul describes spiritual ministry in his first letter to the Corinthian church.
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.
1 Corinthians 12:12
At this point, Paul continues a theme that was started in this letter. I’m talking about the body of Christ.
This subject started in chapter 6 where they were told that their body was a temple to the Holy Spirit. Then, in chapter 10, we’re told that when we break bread together in the Lord’s Supper it’s a participation in the Lord’s body.
The Apostle is now giving more insight into this truth. He begins at a place we can all understand – the natural. A human body is one entity.
However, you can also view the body as a collection of individual parts. Even though these many parts all have different functions, they form one whole organism.
All the members of the body together form a unit. A unit is the foundation for unity. All the individual parts of the body work together to carry out the will of the mind.
But in all of this, the most important thing to grasp is Paul’s final statement. So it is with Christ.
He did not say, “So it is with the church.” It’s vital for us to see that He’s talking about God and not us. It’s not our body that the Lord becomes a part of. We participate with Him. We must become a part of His body.
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 12:13
I believe that this is a key Scripture in understanding unity in the church. Yet, there are many who never give it much notice.
Part of the problem is in the translation. The phrase, baptized by, is actually baptized in according to the original Greek text. So this verse tells us that when we’re baptized in the Spirit, we’re also baptized into the body of Christ.
Throughout Scripture, we’re told that unity is a function of the spirit. When you think about it, there’s no body-life without unity.
I look at how my own body operates in the natural. If each member of my body was autonomous, I’d be in trouble. I couldn’t live normally if each part acted independently regardless of what my brain wanted to be done.
In many cases that’s what the church is like. We don’t spend the time needed to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. Then we go off and do what we feel like doing for God. And we call that the body of Christ.
Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Unity requires effort. It requires me to hear and obey God’s Spirit within me. Only when we all synchronize ourselves to the will of the Spirit are we truly acting as the body of Christ.
Question: What’s the difference between unity and agreement?
© 2019 Nick Zaccardi