Being One Body

This post will be some new thoughts that I have been tossing around. Please note that this is me processing out loud so I don't know how it will come out:)

I have always thought that having so many different denominations in the body of Christ was a sign that we were divided in Christ and it was showing that we were not really united in Christ. The past few months I'm starting to view things differently and even as recently as this morning I'm thinking I'm having an "ah,ha" moment.

I Corinthians 12:3
Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking
by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed,"
and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.

Do we really believe this is true? The Bible says that only the Holy Spirit allows people to say Jesus is Lord. Now there are many denominations and there are many different theological standpoints represented within these denominations (before I continue let me say the standard the Bible asks us to judge on is whether or not Jesus is LORD). I myself have often found myself and my faith "threatened" by different theological standpoints because from where I am standing it doesn't look like how I look. I would like everyone to view things they way I do!
4There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6There are different kinds of working,
but the same God works all of them in all men.

So if there are different kinds of gifts and services don't you think they will work out in a different manner than how I work things out?

7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for the common good. 8To one there is given
through the Spirit the message of wisdom,
to another the message of knowledge
by means of the same Spirit,
9to another faith by the same Spirit,
to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,
10to another miraculous powers,
to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits,
to another speaking in different kinds of tongue
and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit,
and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

These verses say that the Spirit is the One who gives these gifts and He determines who gets which ones. These different gifts are given for the common good. I'm currently listening to Ravi Zacharias. I love listening to Ravi because he is an apologist. He talks very intellectually and he is able to argue with the philosophical community! He is very gifted and his gift is needed. But would Ravi be able to minister to a drug addict on State Street? Probably not. Does that mean his gift is not as valuable as the person who can minister to the drug addict? No, both people are needed and both people need to work in the areas they were gifted by the Holy Spirit. We are not supposed to be comparing ourselves to one another. Our eyes are supposed to be fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith!

Now the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15If 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. 16And 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.
17If 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? 18But in fact God has arranged
the parts in the body, every one of them,
just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part,
where would the body be?
20As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!"
And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!"
22On the contrary, those parts of the body
that seem to be weaker are indispensable.

We've all heard these verses before but let us actually live them out in our everyday lives. An eye looks and acts completely different then a foot! If we all tried to look and act alike in our faith then the church would be rendered ineffective. The Bible says, "But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be." Let us trust God and trust that He truly has people in the right denominations and places. Let us stop trying to convert "Christians" to our thread of theology so that they "look" like us but instead let us work together and focus outside the body on the people who need to hear the gospel!

Do denominations have ruts and misconceptions of God? Yes. Are we allowed to speak the truth in love to one another? Yes. But let us not crush one another and say they are ineffective for the gospel because the way they manifest and act out their faith does not end up looking like you. Do you think your faith right now today is perfect? That every theological place you landed is 100% accurate? I would highly doubt it. Is God still using you though? Are you still walking in freedom? If yes, then don't worry about the "rut" you see your brother stuck in. If God, wants to pull him out of the rut, He will and He may even allow you to help in the process. But He also may allow your brother to help you out of a rut you are in! We usually offer ourselves more grace than we allow are brothers and sisters in Christ!

Paul was able to write about this topic because he didn't always get it.
Acts 15:36-38
36Some time later Paul said to Barnabas,
"Let us go back and visit the brothers
in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord
and see how they are doing." 37Barnabas wanted to take John,
also called Mark, with them, 38but Paul did not think it wise
to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had
not continued with them in the work. 39They had such a sharp disagreement
that they parted company.

Paul and Barnabas split and not on good terms. Who was right? Maybe they both were, maybe it was time for them to split so the gospel could be spread most effectively. Unfortunately, at that time they weren't able to see that. Did that prevent the gospel from going forward? No. Was God satisfied to allow their relationships to stay in that place? No, in His good time, somehow, somewhere God revealed to Paul the error in the way they split. And guess what Mark became very valuable to Paul:

II Timothy 4:12
Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is very helpful to me for the ministry.

Mark not only became valuable to Paul but he also became valuable to us too because he wrote the book of Mark! He maybe even was on Paul's mind when he wrote I Corinthians 12.
Maybe you all already got this, but as I've said before, I can be a little slow sometimes. Let us not be threatened by our brothers and sisters in Christ who are in different denominations, or are displaying different gifts than us. Rather let's learn how to operate together so we can be effective in Christ!
As I said earlier, I'm really excited about the Freedom in Christ conference because it is bringing the body of Christ together. There will be at least 35 different churches represented. There will be many different theological backgrounds, different worship styles, different prayer styles, etc. My hope and prayer is that people will allow their brothers and sisters in Christ to be free to worship the Lord in the way they do, that we can have respect for one another right where they are at and that we can encourage one another to keep stepping out in faith and being used by the Lord in the ways they are gifted by Him.

That's all,


  1. I believe Satan wants us to get wrapped up in what we think other Christians are doing "wrong" so we stay ineffective in our walk with God.

  2. Delighted to meet you! Just found your site via CSAHM. I just started this blogging adventure a few months ago, but continue to be amazed at the joy, encouragement, and faith that I find.

    Keep writing, the world is reading.

    Hugs from this missionary mommy,
    Sarah Dawn


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