Scripture: Romans 12:5, ‘so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.’
Observations: In this passage Paul is describing the Church, which he calls ‘the body.’ Paul explains this idea of the church being the body of Christ further in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. If you are ‘in Christ’ then the many different individuals, or members, ‘form one body,’ the Church. Paul’s point is that each individual person, or member of the church belongs to all the others. In the Greek the word ‘belong’ isn’t there, rather it literally reads, ‘one of one another members.’ The idea is that in the church one person belongs, or is a part of all the others. Over the next few weeks I want to explore this idea that we belong to one another. In the Greek the phrase ‘one another’ is the word allēlōn, which occurs nearly 100 times in the New Testament. Mostly it’s used in a very natural sense i.e. they were talking to one another (Mk 8:16; 12:7; 14:4 etc). But often it’s used in a very particular sense – how we should treat one another in the church. Paul uses this word a lot, but it is also found on the lips of Jesus, and in Hebrews, James, Peter and John. I hope to look at approximately 20 uses of this word to describe what it means to be a part of the Church. I want to look at what it means that we belong to one another.
Application: If you are ‘in Christ,’ then you are a part of Christ’s body, the Church. What that means is that you belong to everyone else in the church. You are no longer an individual, you are part of a family, which means you have responsibilities towards that family. You are not part of a club, where your membership is defined by a common interest; rather you are a part of a family, where your membership is defined by a common love, a love for Jesus and a love for one another. Do you see yourself as belonging to everyone else in our church?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You didn’t just call me into Your Kingdom, rather You have called a people to worship You and I am one of many. And I’m not just another person, rather I belong to all the others. You have called me to love my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to encourage them and comfort them and challenge them in their faith in Jesus Christ. And Lord, You have placed me in Your family, particularly Your family at Westside in order that they may love and encourage me. Lord, I thank You for Your Church, I thank You for the individuals that make up Westside. Lord, help me to help Jesus’ body here on earth function to Your honour and glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.