All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:11-12
Unity in the Body of Christ begins with the Holy Spirit who convicts people of sin and, through the salvation found in Jesus, places them into His church. The Spirit is the One who distributes the gifts and abilities to each person in the church. He has done this. It’s Him! So the Spirit needs to be our focal point in worship and to maintain unity in the church.
But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 1 Corinthians 12:18
As members of the body of Christ we are one church made up of many people. Since God has placed us together, we cannot say ‘I am not a part of the Body’ or ‘You are not needed.’
God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 1 Corinthians 12:24-25
Church splits happen all of the time. At the heart of such disunity, regardless of the issue, eyes have been taken off of Christ and what He has done. Eyes have been taken off of the Holy Spirit and His Presence among us. Eyes have been taken off of God and His placing us right where He wants us in His family.
Unity happens as we do the opposite! We are to fix our eyes on Jesus and celebrate the diversity in His Body that He has created. We are a vibrant demonstration of God’s grace and power! God is doing this unifying work so that there would be no division in the church – and this results in praise to Him.
Understanding what God has done and conviction over the importance of unity in the church is why we live out Titus 3:10, too. We might think Paul is saying that ‘all are needed so don’t offend anyone.’ That’s not exactly right.
Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. Titus 3:10
Regardless of the issue, a divisive person is devaluing the body of Christ and what God has done in placing us together. Paul says they are ‘warped and sinful’ (Titus 3:11). Only when we value the church highly enough will we warn divisive people a couple of times and then remove them from the fellowship.
When I have allowed divisiveness in the church I thought I was being patient and kind. It’s actually unkind to the person and so damaging to the church family to permit disunity. It is better to be patient and kind while you practice Titus 3:10 and, in that way, highly value the body of Christ.
Allowing divisiveness is the emotionally easy path in the moment, but it turns treacherous and painful eventually. It is much better to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and have a courageous heart that values unity in the church.
Lord, we are Your people. Protect us from division by Your Spirit and through the godly leaders you raise up from among us. May we be evidence of You and Your grace in this world – all for Your glory.