When we asked Jesus to forgive our sins, and we accepted his gift of salvation, we became a member of the great and glorious body of Christ. But there is also an expression of the body of Christ at the local level; we are many members with many different backgrounds, gifts, interests and abilities. This is in part a mystery as to how God can take different people from different backgrounds and experiences and mold us and unite us together into the body of Christ.
The body of Christ is not a club that attempts to bring people together. The body of Christ is a living organism that works together to serve the head of the body, Jesus Christ. We are joined to one another by our love for the one who called us to a new life, redeems us from the cost of our sin, and renews us for a life of service and love.
The apostle Paul uses the image of the human body to refer to the relationship of Christ with His church and of the members to one another. He doesn’t say we are “like a body” – similar to - he says we “are the body of Christ.” “Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 (NLT)
God calls us from all areas of life. There are some who grew up in loving homes, where we were taught about a God who loves us. Others have experienced abuse and mistreatment that the rest of us can't even begin to imagine. But God who is rich in mercy brings us all together. He does something supernaturally that only He can do. The Word says that we have been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
It seems too easy to become dissatisfied and move on to another church. It reminds me of a story I heard about a man who was rescued from a deserted island. When the rescuers found him they also found three huts on the island. They asked them why they were three huts. He said, the first one was where he lived, the second one was where he went to church and the third one was where he used to go to church.
It is Christ, who puts the whole body together, but we have to be willing. We have to consider the needs of others as our own needs. We have to love one another as Christ loved us. “He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” Ephesians 4:16 (NLT)
I have had the opportunity to see the giant Sequoia redwood trees. It is amazing how tall they grow and how long they have lived. Did you know that you can never find a tall redwood tree standing by itself? In relation to its height, the redwood tree has a very shallow root system; one however that extends out far into the distance. In fact, the root system can spread as wide as the tree is tall. But the reason you won't see a tall redwood tree by itself, is that the root system is shallow and the tree is vulnerable in a storm. But what happens is that as the trees grow together their roots become entwined. This gives the stand of trees much greater strength than any tree could have standing alone, and therefore they support each other. This provides the longevity and endurance to grow tall. It is the same way with the body of Christ; standing alone, we can accomplish very little, but as we allow God to knit our hearts together, He causes us to grow and to flourish and to be a blessing to those around us.
The body of Christ is indeed a mystery and a miracle. It is not something that could be put together by man, but God fits us together and he knits us together for his purpose and his glory.