Summary: Care of the Body
Luther said, "Peace if possible, but truth at any rate." We cannot deny the principle, foundational, or fundamental doctrines of the church for the sake of unity. We are not even to wish Godspeed to those who do not hold the doctrine of Christ or we are partakers of their evil deeds. John plainly states that they have not God.
(2 John 9-11)
If they have not God, they are not of the Body and are therefore leeches and parasites. We must avoid them. We must be constantly on guard for they will invade the Body. White cells permeating the Body with truth will usually clean them out, but at times they overwhelm a local body or even a denomination and then we are to come out from among them and seek a local body or a denomination that is not dying. We are to let the dead bury the dead and move on.
This message of unity is for the true Body of Christ. We must stop the senseless fighting amongst ourselves. We must quit the childish name calling, and the prideful assertion that we are the only ones left. Let us learn from Elijah’s mistake. (I Kings 19:14,18) We must accept each part of the Body for what they are and rejoice in the fact that God can work with other sheep that are not of our fold.
26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
The forces of evil are united. The Body of Christ should even more so because as verse 26 states when one member suffers, we all suffer. If someone cuts your left arm the right one does not rejoice and say, "Yeah! You deserved that because you are not as strong as I am!" Your body is jumping up and down because of pain and not of joy.
When we beat on each other and shoot ourselves in the feet, we are hurting the whole body in ways that we do not know. We give victory to the devil. We lose souls to Hell and sheep to the world or to the infirmary. Our mission is hindered. Worse yet, we are slapping our head!
Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (KJV)
Christ is the Head of the Body! Who are we to tell Him how He should use His own Body? He knows what size muscles He wants and whether He wants to use the left hand for one purpose and the right for another or both in same manner. He is the Head. The Body is to response to the commands sent from the Head and not to tell the head what to do. He and He only, is to have the preeminence. Stop slapping your Head!
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. (KJV)
Praise Him that by His grace and sacrifice that you are part of the Body of Christ! However, you are members in particular or a member with a specific portion or task within the Body. If you are a hand, then seek to be hand of Christ and give all you can, lift up all those you can, hug all you can, teach all you can, lead all you can by your hand to Him. If you are an eye then be sure that you are in proper connection to the Head. Then what you see will be what He sees and then convey that to the Body so that it can rejoice, mourn, go, stop, or be warned of the conditions that lie around it. If you are a foot, then be strong and steadfast to support the Body as it goes about its Christ life. If you are the head of the local body than be very, very sure that you are submissive and in contact with the true Head of the body and do not seek to replace His preeminence in the church. You will lead the Body astray and place yourself in a position of requiring brain surgery to correct your ego.