“A Group Project”

March 24, 2021 Mike Bradley 0 Comments

Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.'” – Genesis 2:18

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit, and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” – 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12

The Bible tells us that we are each uniquely designed by God and created for good works that He has prepared beforehand (Ephesians 2:8). Each of us is different and gifted in different ways, but we are not made to be independent of each other. On the contrary, Scripture tells us that we are created to be interdependent. In Genesis there was only one thing that God said was “not good”. From the beginning God never intended for us to be alone. We are created for fellowship with God and with each other. God created each of us to work together in a community of faith for His glory and our benefit. In other words, life is a group project!

We are designed to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is unique but interlocks with the other pieces of the puzzle to reveal a bigger picture. Each piece, though different, is equally valuable to the puzzle and each piece is not complete by itself. We need each other! The church in Corinth struggled with this and was dealing with issues we might find familiar. They were very independent and did not always appreciate the contributions of others. They did not always get along. In this first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses this problem and challenges the members to have a mutual love and respect for each other and their differences. He used the human body as an illustration when he described how the Christian church should function. The body is composed of many parts that work together to make one body. The different parts must function in harmony for the body, as a whole to be healthy.

So, the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to address this problem and reveal to them (and us) another wonderful characteristic of our God…He created us to be together. We are a part of the bigger picture. Without a relationship with the Father we cannot know who we are or why we were created and, only in relationship to other people can we become all that God designed for us to be. This, according to Paul, is how we love one another. It is in the very next chapter following the verses above that Paul describes what love looks like.

“…I will show you a still more excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrong doing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” – 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:8

This kind of love is modeled by God and only available to us in a relationship with God. John tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8) and only those who know Him can love like Him. Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 8:34, 35).