BODY CONVERSATIONS

A BIBLICAL FOUNDATION FOR ONENESS AND DIVERSITY

THE BODY OF CHRST SERIES 1: Pursuing our Oneness in the Body of Christ


BIBLICAL FOUNDATION FOR ONENESS AND DIVERSITY

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON THE BIBLICAL FOUNDATION OF ONENESS AND DIVERSITY AND HOW WE, AS THE BODY OF CHRIST, DEFINE, UNDERSTAND, AND DESIRE TO APPLY IT.

Summary: Throughout this series of BODY Conversations on Biblical Oneness and Diversity, we desire to only look at the words, works, and witnesses of Jesus to define, understand, and apply the concepts of Biblical Oneness and Diversity.  Within the American culture, when we hear the words, Oneness and Diversity, it means different things to different people in positive and negative ways.  

Today’s Context:  Without a biblical foundation for defining Oneness and Diversity, the evil one will continue to replace biblical definitions within the church with non-biblical definitions determined by changing societal norms.  As this occurs, churches will not be able to fully represent the full love and truth of Jesus to its members and to a world that needs both, and not one or the other!  


FULLY FORMING CHRIST IN US

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON WHAT IT MEANS TO BE “CONCEIVED” IN CHRIST VERSUS BEING “FULLY FORMED” IN CHRIST. 

Summary:  Many of us remember, whether it was ourselves or seeing others receive the invitation to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Many of us have experienced going to the front of the church or getting on our knees to pray, repent, and accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.  Jesus enters our lives and we are conceived into our new life in Christ.  Although we are conceived, according Galatians 4:19, “Are we fully formed in Christ?” 

Today’s Context:  If we are not careful, we can focus too much or solely on Evangelizing the Lost versus Discipling them into Maturity.  May each member mature to become fully formed to carry out one’s full function in the Body of Christ.  


INEQUALITY NOR EQUALITY IS OUR AIM!  

LET’S HAVE A DISCUSSION ON HOW THE AIM AND HEART OF JESUS FOR HIS CHURCH IS NOT INEQUALITY OR EQUALITY…BUT SOMETHING MORE BEAUTIFUL AND GREATER!

Summary:  Throughout the history of mankind until now, humans continue to discriminate against humans, inequalities continue to exist, dissension and protests are increasing, and the drumbeat for justice for all continues to be heard.  How should the Body of Christ respond to continued discrimination, inequalities, and injustices?  We are thankful in God’s Word, there are solutions!  

Today’s Context:  If we are not careful, as Christians, we can fall into the fleshly trap of addressing current societal injustices in non-biblical ways.  May we live by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

  

JESUS – SON OF GOD & MAN:  THE BIBLICAL MODEL FOR HIS BODY!

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION AND PRACTICALLY WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR US TO BE CALLED TO BE FULLY JESUS…AS THE SON OF GOD AND THE SON OF MAN! 

Summary:  Prior to Jesus coming to earth, He was only the Son of God!  When He was conceived and birthed through the Virgin Mary, Jesus also became the Son of Man.  Jesus is the Head of the Body of Christ.  As Jesus, the Son of God and the Son of Man, how do we live out His fulness in love and service to the Body of Christ and to the community?  

Today’s Context:  Sometimes our churches and ministries can find ourselves with too much of a focus on either addressing a human condition or our divine position.  Are we called to focus on one or the other…or both?


LOVING AND SERVING ALL PEOPLE

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION HOW CHRIST MODELED FOR US HIS LOVE AND SERVICE TO ALL PEOPLE, EVEN HIS ENEMIES, AND HOW WE ARE CALLED TO LOVE AND SERVE LIKE HIM!  

Summary:  God so loved the entire world…that He gave us His Son! (John 3:16).   As members of the Body of Christ, we are called to love and serve all people…as Christ did and still does.  Romans 5:8 says, “while we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Are we truly prepared to love, serve, and even give our lives for people we strongly disagree with or who are our enemies?   

Today’s Context:  If we are not careful, opposing views can lead to people taking an “Us Against Them” mentality.  We tend to have a Winners and Losers, and either you are my friend or my enemy.  Is this way of Jesus?  What reward do we have if we only love those who love us?   


OUR COMMON ENEMY 

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON WHO OUR COMMON ENEMY IS…AND HOW HE CAN BE DEFEATED FROM SOWING DIVISION IN OUR HEARTS, WORDS, AND ACTIONS TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER.    

Summary:  Satan, the father of lies, the evil one, the tempter, the great divider is our common enemy.  Jesus ask as to pray for deliverance from the evil one. (Matthew 6:13).  Paul instructs us that we fight against not flesh and blood, but against power, principalities, rulers in high places (Ephesians 6:12).  Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 16, “Get Behind Me Satan!” not “Get Behind Me Peter!”     

Today’s Context:  Although each and all of us as humans can feel, think, speak, and do “good and evil things,”  we are called to be like Jesus to love all of humanity.  For God so loved the world, that He have gave His only Begotten Son (John 3:16)!  While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly!  (Romans 5:8).  May we love the sinner but hate the sin.


SHARING IN THE JOYS AND SUFFERINGS OF OUR CHURCHES

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON BIBLICAL EXAMPLES AND PRACTICAL WAYS WE CAN SHARE IN THE JOYS AND SUFFERINGS OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST.     

Summary:  In 1 Corinthians 12:26, the Apostle Paul states that as one member in the body rejoices, we all rejoice…but also as one member suffers, we all suffer!  What Paul is saying make totally logical sense if we truly see ourselves as the one Body in Christ.       

Today’s Context:  Church leadership can be so busy doing the work of the ministry that we can forget to share our life’s joys and challenges with one another.


SHARING IN THE JOYS AND SUFFERINGS IN OUR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES 

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON BIBLICAL EXAMPLES AND PRACTICAL WAYS WE CAN SHARE IN THE JOYS AND SUFFERINGS OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST.     

Summary:  In 1 Corinthians 12:26, the Apostle Paul states that as one member in the body rejoices, we all rejoice…but also as one member suffers, we all suffer!  What Paul is saying make totally logical sense if we truly see ourselves as the one Body in Christ.       

Today’s Context:  Church leadership can be so busy doing the work of the ministry that we can forget to share our life’s joys and challenges with one another.


THE CHURCH: A MELTING POT OR SALAD BOWL OR OTHER?  -  THE VALUE OF ALL GOD’S PEOPLE

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON HOW WE VISUALLY SEE THE CHURCH AS EITHER MELTING POT OR SALAD BOWL OR SOME OTHER VISUAL…AND THE CHURCH VISUAL DESCRIBE IN THE SCRIPTURES.              

Summary:  What is your vision for Biblical Oneness and Diversity for your church?  Do you see the church as a melting pot, salad bowl, or some other visual example that captures Jesus’s vision for His church?      

Today’s Context: Christians in the 21st century should try to follow the first century example of intentionally valuing cultural, ethnic, age, gender, class, and spiritual gifts and the value that our diversity can bring to our churches, ministries, and communities.                


THE MEMBERS OF CHRIST:  FULLY UNIQUE AND FULLY UNIFIED

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON BIBLICALLY AND PRACTICALLY WHAT IS MEANS TO BE A FULLY UNIFIED AND FULLY UNIQUE MEMBER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST!               

Summary:  As a member of the Body of Christ, what is my role?  Am I called to be Fully Unified in the Body of Christ or am I called to realize and release my Full Uniqueness…or possibly both?       

Today’s Context:  As I have surveyed 100s of church members over 30 years, very few church members seem to fully know or believed they have been released to fully exercise their unique gifting while simultaneously fully supporting the unified vision of their local church.                   


THE PRESENT AND COMING KINGDOM:  ON EARTH AND IN HEAVEN!  

LET’S HAVE A CONVERSATION ON THE IMPORTANCE US TO PREPARE FOR OUR HEAVENLY ETERNITY THAT IS UNIFIED AND DIVERSE AS WE LIVE OUT OUR DAILY LIVES ON EARTH WITH ONE ANOTHER AS THE ONE AND DIVERSE BODY OF CHRIST!                 

Summary:  The current kingdom of God on earth and in heaven are diverse and one at the same time.         
Today’s Context:  Our racial, ethnic, cultural, worship styles, political positions, comfort level, preconceived perceptions and personal experiences create fleshly barriers that hinder our spiritual growth and eternal perspective of achieving Biblical Oneness and Diversity in the Body of Christ.