WHO ARE WE? I know who I am. You know who you are. But who are we? Well, we are The Church, the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, His workmanship, “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” The Bible is rich with metaphors that help us understand who we are collectively.
The Church. A lot of people get caught up in playing the “who’s in and who’s out” game when they think of ‘the Church,’ and that really is an important question to answer, but sometimes we get so caught up in it that we forget about all the other stuff that gets communicated whenever the Bible talks about the Church. Stuff like unity and purpose and authority.
Unity is a huge theme in the New Testament. Not unity like, “hey, let’s all be robots for Jesus, doing and saying the same things.” No, it’s more like, “We’re all different people with different passions and gifts and talents. And we all have different jobs to do, different roles to play in life, but we’re in this thing together, people!” Too often we forget that. We’ve all heard of churches fighting tooth and nail over the style of music or the color of the carpet. Some have even split over such insignificant pimples. Ridiculous!
And then there’s purpose. The Bible is fairly clear on this one. We—all of us together—have a purpose. Several, actually. We exist, as a group, to accomplish certain things… We were created to worship God. We were created to nurture other Christians. We were created to share Christ with the world in both word and deed. And although any one person can perform those tasks, they were not meant to be done alone. God is all about relationships; His relationship with us, our relationship with each other and our relationship with the world in which we live. We were made to fulfill our purpose together.
Finally, there’s authority. Jesus is Lord. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Jesus is Lord. The Church belongs to Him. He created it, owns it, sustains it, provides for it, protects it and takes pride in it. What that means for us is that it is our job to follow. Period. Oh, you can try to argue with Him about it, but in the end, it’s like telling the sun not to rise. He leads, we follow. That’s our job. It’s who we are.
READ: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 1: 22-23, 2:8-10, 4:11-13 and 5:22-24.
THINK: What does unity among believers mean to you? How is God calling you specifically to help fulfill His purposes for the Church? Practically speaking, why is unity so important for the Body of Christ? Is there anyone you personally need to reconcile with to bring more unity to the Body of Christ?
PRAY: Thank God for the Christians He has used to help lead you toward Himself. Ask Him to show you opportunities this week to return that favor to other believers. Confess any sin you might have for bringing disunity into the Church through.
ACT: Make a plan this week to visit a church of another denomination, perhaps with a friend. Make an effort to understand how their belief differs from your own. What common ground do you share? (Use the Bible!)