For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (ESV)
One of the most common metaphors for the Church in the New Testament is the human body, because it mirrors key characteristics of the Church. Like a human body, the Church—that is, all Christians in the world—are unified into one corpus, and also like the human body, has members that look different and fulfill different functions. Additionally, just as a human body has a head which directs everything in the body, so the Church has Jesus Christ who is the head of the Church.
Accepting and appreciating different members of the body has always been an important characteristic of outpourings of the Holy Spirit in history. While perfect unity will not be realized until sin is completely vanquished, during times of great progress in the Church, there is usually a much greater regard by Christians for Christians who are different. In the current day, many Christians clump together based on similarities, which is not wrong in and of itself, but can lead to myopia. Those with high regard for careful biblical scholarship will gather in one denomination, those who value manifestations of the Holy Spirit in another, while those who value outreach to the poor will congregate in another. If this leads to judging other Christians then the only answer is repentance and reconciliation. God has a place for all Christians just as there is important functionality for all parts of the human body.
Another characteristic of true Christian unity is the affirmation of Jesus Christ as the head of the Church. Believe it or not, sometimes Christians come into agreement on various matters and celebrate it, but it’s out of sync with the head of the body, Jesus Christ. Unity in the Church is only unity if members are in harmony with the head of the Church, Jesus Christ. Sometimes this may mean that members of the body are out of sync with each other because some will align with the Lord while others may rebel against Him. This phenomenon is not uncommon historically when the Spirit of God is poured out in a move of God. Some respond to what God is doing, while others will hold back out of fear or even disobedience. Of course, still others may act out in ungodly ways, declaring that they’re just following the Lord. We need God’s help to know which way to go and what to do. Unity in the body cannot be achieved without the divine help of the living God.
Over the last three weeks a couple thousand Christians in the United States have prayed and fasted to ask the Lord to bring spiritual cultural revolution in Arts & Entertainment, Business, Education, Family, Government, Media, and The Church. All Christians have a connection to one or more of these sectors, and all Christians have a role to fulfill as salt and light to bring God praise. May the Lord give us all grace as we walk with Him, love Him and fulfill His great purposes.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Founder and CEO of Christian Union
Selected Resources to Explore for a Cultural Revolution in The Church
BOOK (400 pages): Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City by Tim Keller
Today many pastors are struggling to adapt to a post-Christian culture without abandoning orthodox theology. How do we communicate the concepts of grace and substitutionary atonement in our globalized culture and context? In this book, Keller offers challenging insights and provocative questions based on over twenty years of ministry in New York City.
AUDIO (1:27:58): The History of Revival
Dr. Garth Rosell spoke at the Christian Union Conference, 2014, about America’s historical legacy of spiritual awakenings. Dr. Garth M. Rosell is professor of Church History at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
BOOK (220 pages): The Wake-Up Call by John Mulinde
Many of us desire to break through the darkness - to see revival and an awakening of God in our nation - but we can't even break through the system that is holding us captive. This makes it vital for us to surrender ourselves fully to God, to be set apart for him, and to allow him to work in us so that we can rise up and be carriers of revival in our nations. This is the wake-up call that is going all across the earth in this day and time.