I was reflecting this week on the importance of the body functioning in a proper fashion. Part of my reflection has to do with the problems I have been having with my own physical body. In the 12th chapter of Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians we read “On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body, which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our unseemly members come to have more abundant seemliness, whereas our seemly members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it” (v. 22-27 NASB). What Paul is talking about here is that the unseemly members- parts like the heart, kidneys, liver, etc.- that are out of view are really critical to the operation of the body as a whole. So in the body of Christ those members that do not receive outward recognition are critical to the operation of the whole body. They really are the heart of the operation.
Paul says that there should be no division in the body of Christ. Yet in Corinth there was all kinds of division. They were divided on spiritual gifts, leadership, the celebration of the love feast, the role of women and a number of other issues. Kind of sounds like the church today. To eliminate division we have to care for one another. We are a community of faith and we should not operate on the basis of competition and comparison but on the basis of loving concern for one another.
Notice again Paul’s word in v. 26 where he says “And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it”. I can illustrate from my own life this suffering aspect of the body. On Feb. 17th I had this medical procedure to break up a significant calcium deposit in my left kidney. The next few days were painful and difficult but I was feeling much better by the weekend. My wife and I had scheduled a little romantic getaway the following week (actually a gift from my oldest daughter) and we arrived at the resort that Tuesday evening. Shortly after arriving another kidney stone started the journey from kidney to my bladder. For the next 3 hours the only thing I could do was think about the intense pain I was experiencing. Not a great way to start a romantic retreat. Unfortunately in the follow up with my urologist this week, I found that I still have 3 stones floating around my kidney that weren’t dissolved by the procedure. Maybe that’s why it’s on mind as I am blogging this morning. Please pray for God’s touch on my life regarding this matter, I anticipate that a good deal of pain awaits me.
Division in the body of Christ is like a painful kidney stone that distracts us from doing the things God wants us to do. This is why Satan works so hard to get Christians fighting against one another. If we are so busy fighting one another we won’t have any energy left to fight the devil. The church is an organism. Being an organism denotes growth, feelings and function. Again Paul reminds us in v. 27 “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it”. We need each other in the body of Christ and each member needs to be doing its part. Our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made and so is the body of Christ. So let’s serve Him together with joy and gladness.
All for Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo