Summary: Unity and diversity in the body of Christ.
Today is Remembrance Day. The day in Canada that we remember our fighting men and women who have died in service to this country so that we have the freedom to worship
Hebrews 13:3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
Today we also gather with churches across this planet in over 130 countries to remember those who have given their lives for the cause of Christ and still face persecution. Today, more than 200 million Christians around the world face brutal opposition and persecution because of their faith in Jesus. They face serious social pressure against converting to Christianity, rejection by family and friends, repression from authorities, violent attacks against themselves and their loved ones, and opposition and intimidation from other religious groups. We are called to suffer with them as they experience their sufferings, and to pray for them.
Together, our prayers help suffering believers to experience the faithfulness of God, to see their societies transformed by the gospel, and to know, along with His sufferings, the peace and victory of Jesus. Together with our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world we can see unity in diversity
In 1 Cor 12, Paul explains and illustrates the nature and importance of the unity of the church itself, and then again the importance of diversity as a key factor in that unity. The diversity of the church is a God–ordained means of bringing the fellowship to oneness, but unless each diverse member recognizes and accepts his part in the whole body, diversity will divide rather than unite, destroy rather than build up, bring discord rather than harmony, and result in self–serving rather than self–giving.
How well do you relate to other Christian communities around the globe? To be honest, I have never really suffered. I have not lost someone very close to me, never suffered any real physical pain, and live in one of the freest nations on Earth. It can be hard for all of us to relate to events in hostile and violent nations of social pressure, rejection, repression, attack, opposition and intimidation. When we do come to grips with these things however, and intercede on behalf of our persecuted brothers and sisters, we not only grow as Christians but we become instruments that God uses to change this world. We realize and function as we are created: We are one.
In 1 Cor. 12:12-27 we see the unity and diversity in the body of Christ.
WE HAVE 1) UNITY WITH OUR PERSECUTED BRETHREN
A) UNIFIED IN ONE BODY 1 Corinthians 12:12
1 Corinthians 12:12 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. (ESV)
Paul again (cf. 10:17) uses the human body to illustrate the unity and interrelationship of the members of Christ’s Body, the church. Through verse 27 of chapter 12 Paul uses the term body some 16 times, and he uses the metaphor many other places in his writings (Rom. 12:5; Eph. 1:23; 2:16; 4:4, 12, 16; Col. 1:18; etc.).