The one and the many - Hope 103.2

The one and the many

By David ReayTuesday 23 Aug 2016LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. (NIV)

It is so very sad if we think that Christians come off some assembly line where the emphasis is on uniformity. It seems God didn’t intend it this way. He made us all different at birth and the new birth retains such differences. With, of course, an overarching unity of purpose and destiny. Paul uses the illustration of the human body to show the importance of both belonging together and maintaining our uniqueness.

Not only are followers of Jesus distinct from each other in terms of church service and capabilities. We do in fact come to Jesus in different ways in the first place. Some give themselves to Jesus tearfully in response to an evangelistic message. Some pray a prayer of commitment at the conclusion of a course explaining Christianity. Some quietly decide having weighed up the evidence by reading a book.

Some conversions are dramatic; others are scarcely noticeable at the time. Yet others can’t really point to a time and place of conversion. Some people change certain behaviours very rapidly while others struggle with such behaviours throughout their Christian journey. While the need for repentance and faith are universal, the way we go about these things seems to vary a lot.

So beware of figuring that others should be just like you or you just like them. No quality-control-dominated factory produces Christians. The Spirit of God does that. And he turns us out in all sorts of odd shapes and sizes and bids us follow him in our own unique way.

David Reay