I never thought I was going to write about the subject I will be writing about in this post, because I like being careful about this subject. I like being careful because I feel it’s always an intense atmosphere when the subject is flowing in the air. Until this post, I’ve always believed we should only talk about it within environments where proper feedback can be given and received, and a blog isn’t such an environment. But here I am, with all the peace and conviction in my spirit; I want to talk about it. I want to talk about the church as ONE.
Though we’re many…we’re ONE
I want you to go back to the featured image of this post and carefully pay detailed attention to the picture. Did you go back? If you didn’t, please do. If you did, you can continue reading. Now, I believe you noticed that the word, “ONE” is written on and across lines. These lines make tiny square boxes, and the alphabets O, N and E run on and across the different square boxes to form their complete shapes. If we take out one of those square boxes, we’ll distort the shape of at least one letter, and that will ruin the spelling of “ONE.” As Christians, we are like the tiny square boxes. Each one of us has a stroke or curve that the body of Christ needs to create “ONE.” We are all holding different parts that needs to come together to create, “ONE.”
It’s like the jigsaw puzzles children try to solve. To create the picture they are aiming at, they have to bring the different pieces that are scattered, together. No piece of a jigsaw puzzle is useless, I should know. I’ve spend so much time, with my little niece, putting jigsaw puzzles together. Even the part that seems to have an almost invisible stroke matters, because if you don’t find out where it’s supposed to go in, you’ll have a hard time trying to put the puzzle together. I believe one of the major lessons we learn from a jigsaw puzzles is: to get the bigger picture, you need to value the scattered tiny parts.
Every part of a jigsaw puzzle is always different and unique. At times, we get confused about some pieces, because they look so much alike, but if we observe them closely we’ll see their difference. It wouldn’t make sense to have two parts that are exactly the same, because it means one won’t fit into the big picture you’re trying to create. Hence the creator of the puzzle will carefully make sure that each part of the puzzle has its uniqueness and also has an important role to play in the big picture. It’s the same with the body of Christ; we are all different and unique and have important roles to play in the kingdom of God.
The Bible doesn’t use this jigsaw puzzle example; the Bible uses the human body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 says, “For just as a body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed one. For by (means of the personal agency of) one (Holy) Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one (Holy) Spirit. For the body does not consist of one limb or organ but of many.” (AMPC)
No part of our human body is exactly the same, even the parts that come in pairs. Our right hand can’t fit into where our left hand is supposed to be. What the left eye can see the right eye wouldn’t, if we block the vision of the left eye. Maybe you should try using your right leg to do what you normally do with your left, and see the difference for yourself. Every part is uniquely different, but they all work together for the good of the body.
You are important in the kingdom
I want you to understand that you are an important part in the kingdom of God. You are important because there’s no one else like you here on earth. No other person can fill in your place.
Now, someone might be reading this and might want to say, “But God doesn’t need anybody” or “But the Bible says if we don’t praise Him, He’ll raise stone to take our place.” Yes, technically, all of that is correct because God cannot allow His kingdom suffer if some persons won’t take their place. But here is a truth that you should never forget: GOD NEEDS YOU IN HIS KINGDOM. He needs you so much. So much so, He made Jesus take your place on the cross, so you’ll be reconciled back to Him and take your place in His kingdom.
There’s a unique touch only you can add to the kingdom here on earth. How do I know? It’s simple. No two persons are exactly the same on earth, not even identical twins. So, if we’re unique in our different ways, it means whatsoever we do, we do in our unique ways…even the things we do in God’s kingdom. 1 Corinthians 12:27 tells us, “Now you (collectively) are Christ’s body and (individually) you are members of it, each part severally and distinct—each with his own place and function.” (AMPC)
Others are important too
No matter how much you do for the kingdom of God, at your very best, you’re just a part. Other parts need to work too, to make the pushing of the kingdom’s frontiers very effective. So, if you truly want to see the kingdom of God very effective on earth, you have to truly desire to see other parts work effectively too. God needs others as much as He needs you.
“If the whole body were an eye, where [would be the sense of] hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where [would be the sense of] smell… And the eye is not able to say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you… So that there is no division or discord or lack of adaptation (of the parts of the body to each other), but the members all alike have a mutual interest in and care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the parts [share] the suffering; if one member is honoured, all the members [share in] the enjoyment of it.” 1 Corinthians 12: 17, 21, 25 & 26 (AMPC)
Your denomination can’t be the only denomination on earth, because every denomination has their vision and mission…from God. To put it in context, every denomination has their part in the big picture. Yours is just a part, so quit wishing other denominations will be like yours because they are not supposed to be. Our leaders can’t share God’s Word the same way because some are called to be Evangelists, others Teachers, some others Apostles Etc. These offices have their different ways of operation and manifestations.
1 Corinthians 12:5 says, “And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served]. And there are distinctive varieties of operation— of working to accomplish things—but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them in all.” (AMPC)
Also, since we’re already here, it is important for you to know that the reason to identify with a denomination should be because that denomination’s vision and mission can help your personal “God given purpose” flourish. That also explains why we need to truly love and value other parts as much as we love and value the part we belong to, because they exist to help others flourish in their own “God given purpose.”
What can we do? Here is how to go about it…
Celebrate our differences:
For me, one of the major signs of maturity is learning to celebrate the difference you have that others don’t, while celebrating the difference others have that you don’t. The only time we shouldn’t celebrate is when the difference is against what the Bible teaches. We shouldn’t just not celebrate it; we should, boldly, speak the truth…over every and anything that tries to come against the truth. If the difference is not misrepresenting God’s Word in any way, then we should celebrate it. There are some persons who will never accept the offering of Jesus if all that represents Jesus looks like the part you’ve identified yourself with…and those persons matter to Jesus too.
Pray for each other:
I see something in my generation that isn’t godly…and that’s the way my generation downplays the power of prayer. Prayer really changes a whole lot. Prayer will do a whole lot than a “heart-felt complain” on social media platforms. If prayer wasn’t effective, the Bible wouldn’t ask us to pray about our worries and forget about them…the Bible wouldn’t ask us to pray and pray without ceasing. Jesus, who was God in flesh clothing, wouldn’t have bothered praying a lot, like He did. Prayer is powerful.
Apply the principles of Galatians 5:22-23, and 1 Corinthians 13:
In Galatians the Bible tells us about a fruit called LOVE that contains nutrients like: Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Humility, Gentleness, and Self-control. In Corinthians we see further explanations of how this LOVE works. Now, when you say something or do something to or about other parts of the “ONE”, make sure your words and actions aren’t falling short of these principles of Love. If they’re falling short of these principles, then God will not have you say or do them.
My prayer for you and me:
I pray we get a deeper, wider and higher revelation of the church as ONE, and may that cause a radical transformation in our lives…a transformation that will make our walk with Jesus more effective.
I also pray we truly acknowledge and daily submit to Jesus as the head of the ONE. In Jesus’ name…Amen.
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