Why do we esteem parts and never take the full? Why do we own corners and never take the seat? Many of us are so richly dwelling on what is part – incomplete and forgetting the full. Lately I realise the importance of always remembering that I am not a singular Christian, but I am part of God’s household, saved and redeemed not individually but along with all the members who are being built up into God’s temple.
For this reason, I cease in attaching identity as regards man but no longer regard man in the flesh – as perhaps in terms of race, sex, rank etc. I have realised that when we say brother or sister, it is not fancy Christianese, and indeed should not be. The word brethren, family of God is not one of the fancy words used in Christianity, they are not dead words, they ought to have meaning because at one time they were practical and did have meaning.
See, in the pursuit of Christ, it must be noted that we are actually pursuing each other (as weird as that sounds). Whilst your decision to come to Christ was an individual decision, you were born into a family of God, not into a school of spies who know nothing about each other and just mind their own business. This is not Christ.
The pursuit of Christ necessitates that we indeed must pursue each other.
Looking at the Lord’s prayer for the disciples (and all those who would believe) in John 17, Christ makes a very important statement “ Joh 17:21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.”
Christ continues to reveal the fact that He and the Father are one, and He prays that this same mindset may be alive in the ones who have already believed and are going to believe.
Not only that, the famous John 3:16 points out that God loved the world. Many times we hear our brothers say that you can substitute “world” with your name the end being to ascribe some level of worth to yourself, such that if it were I, I might say – For God so loved Joel that He sent His only begotten son that whoever….. This helps many of us feel loved and appreciated by God. This is part of the story but not the complete one.
We are saved into God’s house which is made up of God’s family. It requires a pursuit of one another. Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;. In the same way, we are all members of the body of Christ ” Eph 5:30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”, “Rom 12:5 so we, the many, one body are in Christ, and members each one of one another. ” We are actually members of the Lord’s body.
Seeing then we are members of His body and therefore one another we must learn to uphold what is the greatest. While God does give each member a different ministry ” 1Co 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.”, he requires that we have the same regard for one another, in essence we must love one another as Christ has loved us and gave himself up for us collectively.
Below are some Biblical reminders on this very thing.
Therefore be ,
of the same mind one toward another, not minding the high things, but with the lowly going along; become not wise in your own conceit; (Rom 12:16), then fulfill my joy, that you may be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.(Php 2:2 ) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.( Php 2:3) Do not let each man look upon his own things, but each man also on the things of others.(Php 2:4)
There desire is therefore ,To no one owe anything, except to love one another; for he who is loving the other–law he hath fulfilled,( Romans 13:8), also, wherefore receive ye one another, according as also the Christ did receive us, to the glory of God.(Romans 15:7) That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same anxiety for one another,( 1Co 12:25).
To sum it all, in the words of Paul
1Co 13:8 The love doth never fail; and whether there be prophecies, they shall become useless; whether tongues, they shall cease; whether knowledge, it shall become useless; 1Co 13:9 for in part we know, and in part we prophecy; 1Co 13:10 and when that which is perfect may come, then that which is in part shall become useless.
In fact what I believe Paul is saying is simple, we know in part, we prophecy in part, we think we know but our knowledge is incomplete. What then is more complete than knowledge? It is love. If we, friends embark on proving each other wrong, talking ill, minding our own business and not being the Samaritans we are called to, we default and defraud one another on this thing- it is love. This is the thing that holds us together if all else should fail.
So when you love the member of Christ, as we have seen above, you are loving Christ which makes perfect sense when Jesus says, whatever you do to the least of these, you have done unto me.
So, like Paul said – 1Co 13:13 And now faith, hope, and love, these three things remain; but the greatest of these is love.