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Monday, November 28, 2016

Rugged Individualism (1 Corinthians 12:12)

"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body."

Since the Garden of Eden men/women seek to live independently of God. Independently of Adam, Eve makes the decision to eat the forbidden fruit; and Adam, independently of God, makes the decision to go along with her decision. Cain decides he will come to God his own way and angrily kills his brother after God confronts him over his unacceptable offering. Since those first days every man, woman, and child (whose early words "Mine!" characterizes the interaction between toddlers) struggle to live in community with others and with God.

Rugged individualism. We all struggle to live in community. Community with others and community with God.

God, in Christ, restores community. His Spirit, indwelling believers, moves us toward one another in community; therefore rugged individualism has no place in the Body of Christ. "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts, and though all its parts are many, they form one body." When one area ceases to function within the human body it affects the entire body.

Living in concert with the diversity of other personalities and talents requires a unifying factor or power; He, the Holy Spirit, dwells within believers to provide that unifying power. Division always occurs among rugged individualists who live independently of the Holy Spirit and independently of others.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
1 Corinthians 12:2-13:13
  • What is the context of Paul's teaching on the conduct of believers?
  • What complaint is Paul addressing?
  • What causes division among believers?
  • What happens to the human body when one organs ceases to work?
  • What does this tell you about the interdependence of body functions? About the body of Christ?
  • How does anyone come to agreement or unity with others in such a diverse body of believers?
  • Why do we need other believers in our life?
  • How does God see the body?
  • What gift has God given to the body that brings unity and what will then characterize that body?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to reveal an area of independence that negatively affects others. Ask Him, then, to refine you in that area.