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Devotional: One Body, Many Parts

By Brandon Lemons

 

Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth addressed widespread strife within the church.  There were rivalries and factions.  Some church members were looking down on other church members.  It was a dysfunctional church family, to say the least. 

 

The church in Corinth was a far cry from the New Testament’s vision of church, which we talked about on Sunday as being “a community that is deeply and lovingly invested in each other’s lives.”  Church can be a beautiful, attractive, life-giving community that helps people thrive!  It can spur people on toward deep spiritual growth and fruitful ministry! 

 

In order to help the Corinthian church understand how a church ought to function, Paul developed a metaphor: the church as a body, and each person in the church as a meaningful contributor to the body’s functioning.  Then he switched imagery and wrote a beautiful exposition on love.  This focus on love is relevant, since Jesus said, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

 

  • How does this passage contribute to your understanding of how a church should function?

  • What happens to a body part that is no longer connected to a body?  How does this apply to Christians who are disconnected from consistent fellowship with other Christians?

  • What are one or two specific ways God has equipped you to contribute to the well-being of those around you, especially in the church family?

  • What is one specific way in the next few days you can live out the type of love Paul describes in 1 Corinthians 13?

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