Members of One Another

(Rom. 12:4-5)

Remember being assigned group work in high school? Group work for me meant my grade would
include other people’s efforts too and not just mine. I remember feeling so relieved, “surely the teacher
can’t fail all of us?” I was certain to be able to coast by without having to work very hard for a passing
grade. As Christians we are all members of a group which is the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:27). However,
unlike the group work I did in high school, Paul reminds us that we are also members individually. This
metaphor insists on individual members doing their part so that the body can grow, …according to the
effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself
in love.” (Eph. 4:15-16). Not every member has the same function, but all members are necessary for
growth and edification of the body.

To be a member of Christ’s body is not merely to have an official status as a “christian,” but rather it is
to be a working part of the body. So how can we ensure we are doing our individual part as members of
the body of Christ? The key is relationships. Our relationships with each other should first be genuine.
This is accomplished by being truthful with each other (Eph 4:25). What are my struggles with sin? How
is my relationship with God? An honest representation of our own righteousness keeps us humble.
Secondly, we need to strive to be knitted and fitted together. This term in Eph. 2:21 is used in reference
to building a house. The cornerstone is Christ and we are being “…fitted together into a holy temple in
the Lord.” This is the work of being unified, speaking the same things “… perfectly joined together in the
same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Cor 1:10). This unity keeps us from being divided and ensuring
that we are all following the head of the body which is Christ.

Finally, the best way for me to do my part in the body is to use my talents. Not everyone is the eye or
the ear, in fact the less honorable parts of the body are bestowed with greater honor. The skeletal
structure is not very presentable but extremely necessary. We all have been given different talents but if
we are not seeking opportunities to use them, we will be like the lazy student who thinks that he/she
can coast by without any effort. If we are going to cause growth in this body (the church) every part
must do its share.