ONE ANOTHER (Part 4: Working Together)

The world and the generations inevitably change, for better or for worse, change will come with each passing year. However, most change happens gradually on the world stage, but for the year 2020, change has hit the world hard and fast. Too much change and people become uncomfortable and scared, mad even. In times such as these, the people really need to be able to rely on their fellow human being, to relieve the stress and fear that quick change brings. World leaders plead with communities and cities to work together to protect each other and remain productive when the world needs it most. Unfortunately, many have fought working together to the point of self-destruction. Fear and discomfort can cause people to retreat to their home bubbles and not want to help others, ignoring the problem, even refusing to believe the problem exists. Healing and overcoming struggle can only begin when people work together for the greatest good.

While many reading the article might consider the aforementioned words in context to the Corona virus, but there exists an even greater threat that requires the world to work together. The danger of sin. A blinding and debilitating virus that continues to take the world by storm. Christian leaders in the church plead with the world to see reason and truth to protect themselves and those around them when the world needs it most. Sadly, many have fought opening their hearts to the truth to the point of their own destruction. Fear and discomfort in hearing a message that requires change, a fast and drastic change, scares people. Such fear causes sinners to retreat into their previous beliefs, not wanting to help themselves or others, ignoring the problem, even refusing to believe the problem exists. Salvation comes only to those who work to open their ears, eyes, and hearts to the message of God and to all those who seek to work together for the greatest good!

The Son of Man established the foundation of truth and grace on loving service. Jesus taught His disciples that “…The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him” (John 13:16). The Lord spoke these words in response to His having washed the disciples’ feet the night that Judas betrayed Him, but the implication permeates the entirety of Jesus’s teachings. Christ came not only to seek and to save the lost, but also to set an example of servitude, which the apostles followed endlessly after the ascension. The apostles worked together in order to send out a message to the world, even if the world would not hear the message, the apostles still remained strongly knit together in spite of their overwhelming fear (1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 1:8).

God never expected Christians to work alone. The apostle Paul wrote, “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Rom. 12:4-5). While first-century Christians possessed a great zeal to spread the gospel, they needed to understand that one person was never meant to do it all. God designed the church to function as a body of believers (1 Cor. 12:12). God never expected the finger to do the work of the heart, and eyes to do the work of all the body because one member would be exhausted while the others would be useless and barren, producing no fruit. God intended the church to function together. Only in working together can Christianity reach its greatest potential (Eph. 4:16).

Paul asks the church at Corinth, “And if they were all one member, where were the body” (1 Cor. 12:19)? Paul implies in the question that the saved in Christ are not meant to work alone in the world, but the saints are added to the church to function within a unified body (Acts 2:47). God places the saved in the church and provides to the members opportunities to grow and produce fruit, which Paul explains in the context of his question, “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him” (1 Cor. 12:18). God grants each member unique and fruit-producing gifts and talents, which the Father expects that Christians will use to the benefit of the whole (1 Cor. 12:14-16).

Furthermore, Paul explains that each member has need of the other, and Paul uses the physical human body as his illustration. “And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary” (1 Cor. 12:21-22). Every part of the body is necessary, and other members are not to neglect certain parts just because they may seem more uncomely than others. No one member can say to another that I have no need of you, or no need for the whole. Peter writes to the church to exhort them in understanding that they are all meant to be a spiritual household built up in the glory and strength of the Lord, and Christians’ work together should reflect the design of the church. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).

The church was meant to function in love one toward another (1 John 4:11-12). Christ’s teachings exhort the church to work in unity (1 Cor. 1:10). The apostle Paul explains what defines unity in the church (Eph. 4:4-6). Christians have a responsibility to work together, not separated in divisions or clichés, but in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (1 Peter 1:22).  

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