Have you ever considered how miraculous the composition of the Church is? It is made up of different people, often with different ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and preferences. And yet, the Church is unified under the banner of Christ. The Church really is unique when compared to other gatherings of people in our society. Unlike groups that are organized by a single interest or shared hobby, the Church is multifaceted. And, unlike other things that gather people into groups in our society, the message of the gospel reaches into every area of life.
For this reason, the writers of the New Testament often speak of the Church using the metaphor of the Body. Not unlike the human body, the Church is made up of various parts, but all the parts work together so that the whole functions properly. Not only is the Church gathered under the one message of the gospel, but it is also the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. As Paul writes to the Ephesians, “There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope at your calling” (Ephesians 4:4).
When I reflect on the local church that I am a member of, I am amazed at how God has brought each individual in to be a part of the collective work He is doing throughout our community. Our church is full of handymen, cooks, teachers, administrators, medical professionals, salespeople, engineers, stay-at-home moms, public servants—the list goes on and on. It is truly inspiring to see people use their God-given gifts, natural abilities, and learned skills to advance the mission of God through our congregation. Moreover, each person has been gifted by the Spirit to serve the Body as a whole. Many times, these spiritual giftings, natural abilities, and learned skills converge into areas of service that are necessary for the Body to flourish.
Take a moment to reflect on the people God has placed in your life and in your church. Have you thanked God for how they have served you in a time of need? Have you praised God for how all have worked together to allow the Church to meet the needs of the community and advance the gospel in the world?
The Body of Christ is truly a gift from God. When we enter into His salvation as individuals, we also have the benefit of becoming one with those who are in Christ. The grace of the gospel is received individually, but the implications of the gospel are lived out in community. Christianity does not preach “every man for himself”; instead, it’s every man together for Christ. We are one in Him, but we are not one in the same. We celebrate our unity in salvation, even though there is not uniformity in our gifting to serve. What a multifaceted experience of God’s wisdom and provision!
Written by Matt Capps