Monday, October 23, 2017

Body of Believers

Our American culture is a complicated lot.  One the one hand, we are the “melting pot” of the world where people from all manner of backgrounds come to be assimilated into our way of life.  On the other hand, a lot of the discord in our country is based on race, social causes, religion, or other things that highlight our incompatibility with one another.  I believe God has designed a third way where both differences and commonalities are celebrated.  We’ll look at 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 as our guide.

1 Corinthians 12:20
As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

Things to think about:
·       One aspect of our group that I love the most is the diversity. Everything from personality to politics, from temperament to talents, from color to career, we all bring dimensions that the others lack and need.
·       Think about someone in the group who is different from you and what you appreciate about the difference they make.
·       What are one or two characteristics you believe God has endowed you with to do His work?
·       And yet despite the differences, the Spirit knits us together to be one in Christ. This is a miracle only God can perform.  All other earthly cultures I can think of exist to promote what is the same about a group of people. Christianity celebrates what is unique, with God providing the connective tissue to make it all work.
·       Why do you think God would have designed it this way?
·       What are ways we can model unity in the body of believers?
·       What are one or two things that get in the way?
·       Starting in verse 15, Paul addresses people who feel inferior about their position in life. In verse 21, he tackles the other side and warns those who feel superior to be enlightened and understand their need for others.
·       Which group do you more closely relate to? Does that change on different days or in different contexts?
·       In God’s upside down economy, He actually gives greater honor to those parts that lack it, leveling the playing field for all.
·       Verse 26 emphasizes that we are in this together. When one suffers, we all suffer.
§  Whose pain are you feeling today?
·       Verse 27 concludes by saying that your true identity is found in the body of Christ, confirming for all that we are each a part of it. No one is on the outside looking in, there is no exclusivity for any believer, nor is there any exclusion.
·       How can you help someone feel more valued today?

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow!

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