Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Friendship is a Strength

Team Chemistry: Part 3

Jesus gave his followers a mission: to make disciples of all nations.  If we are going to accomplish this mission then we need to be united with each other.  Individual  Christians and Churches lack the abilities and resources to complete the Great Commission.  This job requires all of us combining our talents to get the job done.

1 Corinthians was written to a church family that was divided.  Some of the people chose Paul as their leader, some Peter, others a Christian teacher named Apollos, and a fourth group (trying to rise above it all) said they just followed Jesus.  One of the reason Paul’s wrote to the Corinthians is because of he wanted to remind them that they needed to be united.  In this letter Paul used the body as an analogy for the Church.
The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit. 
 Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, "I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand," that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "I am not part of the body because I am not an eye," would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything? 
 But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, "I don't need you." The head can't say to the feet, "I don't need you." 
 In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 
All of you together are Christ's body, and each of you is a part of it (1 Corinthians 12:12-27, NLT).  

In this passage the apostle Paul gives us three reasons why we should strive for unity in the Church.

The first reason is that We Need To We Rely Each Other.  (verses 17-20)

On a cold December morning in 1996 children lined up in front of a New York City middle school and loaded sacks of pennies onto an armored truck.  The four and half tons of pennies, worth $16,000, would be used to buy clothes for the homeless shelter and food for a soup kitchen. “Some people think that one penny is just one cent,” said a 14-year-old, “but if you put them all together, you can help a lot of people.”
The Kingdom of God is made up of pennies, a bunch of cents.  Most of the apostles and early disciples of Jesus weren’t worth very much.  They were lower class and not very well educated.  Yet they were able to impact the Roman Empire within a generation of Jesus’ resurrection.

I would bet that the world doesn’t put a big value on us either.  We not famous, rich, or have much influence.  But if we unite ourselves with other Christians we can have an impact in our community, nation, and world.

Remember we can’t go it alone.  That is one of the great lessons from God’s creation of Eve.  It is not good for man to be alone, not only because he lacked companionship, but because he could not accomplish the task God had given by himself.  Not only was Eve the perfect companion, partner and co-worker for Adam, but she also insured that humankind wouldn’t be alone again.  Adam and Eve's relationship made it possible for there to always be other people who could walk this journey of life with us.

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