God has designed the Body of Christ with such diversity to accomplish every need and Godly desire of the individual members. The gifts that He has equipped the individual members with are designed to help fulfill the calling of each person to relate co-operately as a many membered body in the purpose of His will.
Before continuing, let us take a few moments to read Romans 12:1-16. It is evident from this passage of scripture that we need to have our minds transformed from worldly thinking to Godly thinking to prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. As we read through these verses, we are exhorted not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, but to think soberly according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.
V 6. Having then gifts differing according to the grace given to us, let us operate in those gifts according to the proportion of faith. We do differ one from another, and God never intended us to be cloned and to be the same. He made us individuals and equipped us with different giftings and then gave us the gift of faith in measure, that we could fulfill His pattern and design, with our Lord Jesus as the Head, and we the many membered body of His choice. But then in v:16, the word tells us to be of one mind one to another.
Surely the only way this can work is if we have the mind of Christ (Phil 2:5).
1 Corinthians 1:10 ‘Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same jugement.’
Philippians 2:2 ‘Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.’
Philippians 3:16 ‘Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.’
Obviously, we are talking about the unity of the faith here. But how can it work when there are so many schisms and divisions over the different callings and giftings in the Body of Christ? Well I must understand that the differences were designed of God.
1 Corinthians 4:7 ‘For who maketh thee to differ from another? And what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as thou hadst not received it?’
Well again, before continuing let me ask you to take a few moments to read Romans 14. I see, by God’s grace in this chapter, a revelation for the unity of the Body.
The strength of a chain is in its weakest link. In the revelation of the Body, we must recognise that we have all been given a measure or proportion of faith to operate in the gift and calling God has equipped us for. But the outward expressions of what we do and say, must come from that inward belief or God-given measure of faith. Our outward expressions may differ, but we all operate, or should operate, from the same faith. v:4 ‘Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be held up: for God is able to make him stand.’ v:5 ‘One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.’ v:10 ‘Why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ.’ v:12 & 13 ‘Every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.’
Finally v:23 asks this question: ‘Hast thou faith? Have it to thyself before God.’
If I consider a member to be weak in the faith, I must recognise and receive him – not his doubtful disputations, but encourage him/her to express the measure of faith God has given them and recognise the gift God has equipped them with. Even if I think they are the weakest link, I can’t fulfill my own potential without their contribution, whilst making sure I am not thinking too highly of myself. We need every member to manifest the God-given strength and power in the chain.
Jesus prayed in John 17:21 that ‘they all may be one: as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou has sent me.’
Oneness with my Father demands that I walk in the proportion or measure of faith He has given me, thereby outwardly expressing ‘faith by works’. (James 2:20-26)
In so doing, the greater, being one with the Father, fulfills the lesser, the unity of the faith with my brothers and sisters. By this, the Body of Christ functions as a testimony to the world. ‘By this shall all men know that you are my desciples, if you have love one to another’. (John 13:35)
May we take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Christmas, anticipating an increase in the measure of His presence in all our lives, enabling us to bring glory to His great name.