Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Unity of the Body

How do we perceive ourselves as Christians, as followers of Jesus? How do we perceive our congregation at Shiloh? Do we still look at ourselves as individual, free agents who voluntarily participate in Sunday morning gatherings?

What happened when we came to faith in Christ? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says the old man passed away and we were recreated into the new race of men. We are new creations who are mystically united by the Holy Spirit. We can no longer continue to look at ourselves in the old way. We are part of the body of Christ now. As such, we are to live our lives in a manner worthy of that name.

What about Shiloh Church? We speak of it as "our church." I know what we generally mean by that. But we have to be careful to look at Shiloh in a spiritual way. It is God's church; Christ's church. It is united to all churches everywhere in the world who name the name of Christ and who follow him. Even if they don't agree with us in everything.

Do we all have to agree on everything? I once thought so. But our faith and our church does not consist of a series of propositional statements! We do not have a corner on the truth. We believe what we believe because we think it is true. Others believe what they believe because they think it is true. We must be prepared to hold firm to the central truths of the gospel while being willing to hold the rest with a looser grip. We must recognize the universality of the church of Jesus Christ and pursue the unity of that church in love and peace.


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