For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.– Romans 12:4-5
It is at this point that those of you who have been keeping up with this study may say to yourselves, “it’d be nice if we can move on to another topic.” The fact is that this topic was one of the most important topics to Paul. Paul knew churches would fall away from truth and follow after false teachers (Acts 20:28-30). He knew there would be those lifted up with pride who will do more harm than good to the ministry. He knew many Born-Again Believers did not understand the basics of the nature of the Body of Christ. Still today we face these problems. There are those who believe a church is a group of people who are led by a pastor. There are those who believe a church is an assembly of people with mainly two groups – the regular church-goers and the spiritual people – all being led by a pastor. There are those who believe the pastor is the ultimate head of the church and acts a mediator between God and the church. These are all spiritually-immature views of what a church is! We will begin this study on the Body of Christ by looking at Romans 12:4.
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:” – Romans 12:4
During my undergraduate degree, I attended a “Christian” university. It had a lot of good characteristics with great academic programs. Well there was a revival meeting at church which conflicted with some required evangelistic meetings at the university. At first, the university would not allow me to attend the revival meeting at my church. After I told them I was the youth choir director, they told me since I had a role in the church, I’d be allowed to attend church. Well . . . at the same time there was also a girl in the church who attended the same university, and she was not allowed to go to church during the revival meeting to miss the university evangelistic meetings because in their eyes she did not have a “role” in the church. This is a failure in understanding what a church is. Those in the university making these decisions had degrees in theology without a basic knowledge of what a church is.
To introduce this topic, let’s look at the statement, “all members have not the same office.” Tomorrow we will look at what Paul has to say about this in 1 Corinthians 12. We must realize that just as the eye, ear, nose, and mouth have different offices (jobs, duties) they are all important. Paul was dealing with a church who did not see the church as an organism with each person serving as member (“functioning part”) of that organism. This Corinthian church viewed the church as a place where they got to see their favorite preacher preach (we won’t look at it, but read 1 Corinthians 1). There are many today who have a similar view towards church. I’m shocked they haven’t made up preacher trading cards where they trade cards to get their favorite preacher card. The church is instead an organism – living and functioning. We must realize that all the parts (members) of this organism are vital to the church’s proper functioning. We must not look down on others whose jobs differs from us. This breeds pride which is the ultimate destroyer of churches (Proverbs 13:10). Big or small, every job in church is important and vital. “All members have not the same office.”
In the harvest field now ripened
There’s a work for all to do;
Hark! the Master’s voice is calling,
To the harvest calling you.
Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own.
Little is much when God is in it!
Labor not for wealth or fame;
There’s a crown, and you can win it,
If you go in Jesus’ name.