Paul talks about the followers of Christ as being one body. “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:12-13).
In some instances, Paul describes the body of Christ, quite literally, as a healthy human body. He says some of us are the hands, some of us are the feet and some of us are the quieter or less prominent positions, but he makes it a point to say that not one part is more important than the other. Can we live without a liver or bones? Are we equal to other whole bodies without eyes or ears or stomachs? Every person in the body of Christ enacts a necessary role (Romans 12:14-26).
A body isn’t strong if it is missing parts. A body needs to live as one full unit, because “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
If we are truly dedicated to Christ, we will begin to see those who follow Christ as parts of our own body. When we see each other as pieces of ourselves, we will begin to see what Jesus wants us to do with our lives more clearly. The Holy Spirit will be able to shape us to fit the entire body that God wants to grow. “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3).
After we find a position that fits our level of faith, it isn’t wrong to want to progress in strength and knowledge of Christ so that one day the Lord can use us in different ways.
The main function of the body of Christ is to love the Lord and love others. In love, all things can be completed—people can be saved through Christ, needs can be met, the poor in spirit can be given new life, the hungry can be fed, joy can be renewed, faith can be strengthened, wisdom can be acquired, leadership can be developed, spiritual gifts can be discovered…
As the body of Christ, it is our duty to help each other. “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and truth” (1 John 3:17-18).
We need to find a group of Christ followers to belong to. It’s a rockier trail to travel if we decide to follow Christ by ourselves. Not only do we not get the benefits of having an entire group of people to help us, befriend us and love us, but it is also easier for the enemy to harm us.
Our spiritual nutrition comes from the Lord through the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ, but God has put survival resources in our lives for a reason. We need to study the Bible. It is God’s word, and God’s word is truth. Cities will crumble, but God’s word will never die. It is food for our soul. It is power for our faith. It is a light for the lost to find Christ. If we take ourselves out of the body of Christ, we won’t have the benefit of talking and learning about God’s word with other Christ followers, and that means that we way may get confused, stay confused and walk straight into the enemy’s trap. When that happens, not only will our own lives be at risk, but so will the countless others that God wanted us to reach.