6 Implications of 1 Cor. 12:14 — “Not One Part, but Many”

“Indeed, the body is not one part, but many.” (1 Cor. 12:14)

Today’s post is actually based on today’s devotion as well (and, if you’re not aware of the daily devotions I write, I invite you to subscribe to those as well via the separate sign-up on the right- hand side of this page). Whenever I read about a 1 Cor. 12 church, I’m reminded about how much we still need to learn about the New Testament church. For example, here’s what this text reminds us:

  1. The church doesn’t belong to any one of us (or even all of us). Christ is both the head (Col. 1:18) and the cornerstone (Eph. 2:20) of the church. It’s His church. Nobody—nobody—in a local church can legitimately say, “This is my church.”
  2. The church is not dependent on any of us for survival. Some folks think their church will die without them, but God has a way of teaching them otherwise. Frankly, the local church is often healthier after folks who make this kind of threat leave.
  3. Everybody in the church matters – including those who may seem less significant. That means that the leaders in a church have an obligation to support, raise up, empower, and trust other church members. In fact, it means being willing at times to change roles so others might lead.  
  4. If every member is a clone, the church won’t be healthy.  To be fair, churches should have a doctrinal statement they rightly expect all members to accept – but that doesn’t mean we can’t differ on gray areas or carry out our ministries in different ways. Unity in diversity is a good thing.
  5. No member is supposed to be doing everything. Some church members hold many positions—and they thus often see themselves as more faithful. At best, that’s the product of a church that doesn’t disciple well. At worst, that’s an idolatrous power play. Either way, it’s not biblical that any one member play all the parts that God intends others to play.
  6. Members must never leave a body lightly. If one part of the body simply disappears, the entire body is weakened. There are indeed times when it is right to leave one church to join another, but leaving poorly is selfish and unchristian. Prayer, wisdom, and godliness are essential in this kind of transition . . . for the good of the body.  

What other implications come to mind for you? 


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.