1 Corinthians 12 is a treasure trove of spiritual wisdom concerning the many-membered Body of Christ and the diversity of gifts among us. We are made up of many members into one Body, with Christ as our Head. It is God who has set the members in the Body, as it has pleased Him, (v.18). God knew what He was doing. God’s final purpose for the Body of Christ, His Church, is clearly defined in 1 Corinthians chapters 12 and 13, yet is rarely seen. What is the cause of the lack of unity in the Body of Christ?
Paul expounds on this problem in chapter 12. There are certain parts of the natural body that we term “uncomely members,” (verses 23-25), but also in the Body of Christ we may judge certain members to be uncomely. The truth is that we are going nowhere without them. Disunity produces dysfunction. We cannot say to any member of Christ’s Body, “I have no need of you.”
1 Corinthians 12:22-26
22 “Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble are necessary.
23 And those members of the body which WE THINK to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
24 For our comely parts have no need: but God has tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:
25 That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care one for another.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.”
The schisms and disunity in the Body of Christ are caused by our judgements of who we term uncomely members. The truth is that it is only the grace of God that clothes us with His comeliness ” for while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
In the natural body, God locked up pro-creation to the “uncomely member”, and if the female does not accept it, there will be no creation.
In His divine plan and purpose, God had a plan that there should be no schism in the Body, and the formula is contained in the passage of scripture above. Verse 23 states that the members which we deem to be uncomely, are an opportunity for us to cover them in humility and love, which instead of separating ourselves from them, will produce a unity in the Body of Christ with no judgement leading to dysfunction. The Body of Christ comes to another measure of the stature of fullness in Christ as it moves in love towards honouring the uncomely member, spiritual creation takes place and God’s kingdom is extended.
Judgement in the Body of Christ wreaks havoc. How does God view our judgements of each other, as we consider ourselves better than some? Romans 2 clearly states God’s view:
1 “Therefore thou art inexcusable, o man, whoever thou art that judges, for wherein you judge another, you condemn your self, for thou that judges does the same things.”
God declares us INEXCUSABLE when we judge our fellow men. As we put others down, we inadvertently elevate ourselves and become a prideful stench in God’s nostrils. The above verse clearly states the consequences of judging others by the law of sowing and reaping. As we judge others, we condemn ourselves – dig our own grave! If I am not doing what I see another man doing, it is only due to the grace of God in my life. If I do not believe that, I will prove it! It is only God that causes me to differ from another:
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4: 6 – 7
“…..that you might learn……that not one of you be puffed up for one against another.
For who makes you to differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you received it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?”
Keep humble. Pride cannot hide in humility. The light of humility dispels all the darkness, the two cannot abide together.
The light dawns as we recognise God’s formula for avoiding schisms. We have God ordained opportunities to die to self and choose to love who we deem to be uncomely members. As we move towards them, God sheds His love abroad in our hearts for them. His love looks for no reward from them, but delights to love unconditionally and God’s kingdom is extended in our hearts, and to them! We fulfill the word and plan of God as we bestow more honour on the uncomely member, (1Cor. 12:23) and the Body of Christ begins to function according to God’s plan. God intended the Body of Christ to be a living demonstration to one another and the world, of His love and beauty. Let’s get with the plan!
It does not matter if someone has put me in their trash can and closed the lid, my responsibility in my walk with the Lord is to be sure I have not put anyone in mine…..even subconsciously. It is a good exercise to lift the lid occasionally and inspect the contents!…..hopefully it is empty.
Jesus declared, John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. As I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.”
Love covers….and produces no schisms.
Romans 13:8 “Owe no man anything except the continuing debt to love one another.”
Love works no ill to his neighbour and fulfills the law, (Romans 13:10).
11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh….”
Some of the “works of darkness,” (verse 12) are the ways we have related to, and judged, one another. Let us “put off” these ungodly works of darkness and get with God’s plan to LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
THE MOVE IS ON! Let us do our part in fulfilling God’s divine plan for a glorious Church, without spot, blemish or wrinkle. Unconditional love covers, forgives and creates…..all for God’s glory!