Let’s talk about body building. No, not the pumping iron kind – but what it takes to build up the body of Christ which is a common biblical metaphor for the church.
In this beautifully descriptive passage, Paul is trying to teach the Corinthian church about the importance of the body sticking together. They were having a hard time staying unified just like we do sometimes.
He starts with some reminders for them that might be new information to us:
- There is only one Church. And that’s the truth no matter how many denominations or non-denominations we have to drive past to get to our church on Sunday morning. God sees one church made up of his disciples. We should all look to build as much unity as we can even as we hold the standard of Christianity high.
- We get baptized into the church. These bible studies and the times you spend with your bible study partner are getting you ready to be added to God’s church, Christ’s body, the kingdom. That happens at baptism. Just like couples do pre-marital counseling, the wedding ceremony is the actual moment they become married. Baptism is the moment that your faith and good confession connect you with the body of Christ for eternity. If you haven’t already, please discuss baptism with your bible study partner. Even if you’ve already been baptized, you’ll want to make sure your conversion lines up with last week’s bible study so you can be confident in your place in the body of Christ.
- Every part of the body is essential. Paul goes into great detail to drive this point home:
- We’re all different in our own way and that’s what makes the church great. Instead of looking down on those who are different, we honor them.
- Sometimes our fellow members become weak. That’s what the church is for! Not to look down on them but to help them in their time of need.
- “If one members suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” The body of Christ is set up to be the most amazing group of people on the planet! But this can only happen if we’re willing to invest in real relationships. So let’s see what the scriptures say about building relationships in the Kingdom of God.
Before you move on, take a moment to answer the questions that accompany this passage in your Field Guide and start dreaming about what part you may be in the body of Christ.