2013-08-11 - Believers: All Part of the Same Body
3 John ~ Part 7
Paul teaches that each of us have different gifts within the body, so that it will function effectively for the Lord.
"Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body" (1 Corinthians 12:14-20).
It may be appropriate to expand this concept to the churches which make up the Christian community.
The Holy Spirit uses individual churches with their specific styles, to reach out to different members of the community. We are not in competition with each other. Each of us has specific roles that others can't fulfill. We are not called to appreciate everything that represents the style of other churches. But the Lord uses His children as He sees fit.
Diotrephes' crime wasn't that he was opposed to hospitality per se. But because he was self-centered, he interfered with others who were carrying out God's call. Too much energy has been spent in the Christian community, in chopping down the ministries of others, because of the way liturgy is handled, or the kind of music used, or the way people dress. We fight over translations of Scripture, (though some are so bad, that they should be rejected.) We fight over theories of eschatology, (though God will work out His program, regardless of how we think it should be carried out.)
We need to be praying for the ministries of all those who serve the truth of the gospel. We need to support these ministries, as God provides the opportunity. We should be willing to work with them, when it is consistent with what God has called us to be. And we should not allow dissension and hostility to ever have fertile ground to grow within our own body.
To be continued.
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