Diversity, Unity and Interdependence in the Body of Christ

Last week, I ended my post by asking you this question (among others): What themes stand out to you about the Body of Christ as you read Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and Ephesians 4:1-16?

For the record, there’s no right or wrong answer. Neither is there a particular theme that I was hoping you would mention. But I would like to share with you some themes that stand out to me. Last week, I hoped to share two of them, but upon further thought, I’ve added a third.


#1. The members of the Body of Christ are diverse

Just as the eye is different from the ear and the foot from the hand, so the Body of Christ is a diverse group of people with all manner of different abilities, talents, passions, needs, quirks and insufficiencies. The pastor who speaks in front of 100s or 1000s of people is vastly different from the writer of the God-exalting poem or the nine-year-old who tells her teacher about what she learned in Sunday School.

(To read directly from the Bible about the diversity of the Body of Christ, see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and Romans 12:3-8 in particular, but the passage from Ephesians uphold the same idea)

#2. The members of the Body of Christ are to be unified

Though incredibly different, the various members all have a few unifying factors in common:

  • They’re part of the same Body of Christ,
  • They have the same Holy Spirit living in them,
  • They hold to the same promise of eternal life,
  • They call the same God their Lord,
  • They share the same faith,
  • They make the same commitment, and
  • They serve the same God.

These unifying factors are big enough and important enough for members of the Body of Christ to show each other grace when they face disagreements on matters of secondary importance.

(The above list is based on Ephesians 4:1-16, but again, the other passages uphold the same principle of unity in the Body of Christ)

#3. The members of the Body of Christ are to interdepend on each other

None of the three aforementioned passages use the word “interdependence”. Nonetheless, it seems to be implied. The passage from 1 Corinthians says:

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

1 Corinthians 12:26

Because the members of the Body of Christ are diverse, they complement each other. Where one is weak, another, by God’s grace, is strong. Where one is vulnerable, another can offer valuable accountability. The unity of the Body of Christ brings members together and by their different roles, they form a strong team.

God designed us to function best when we’re living within a community that needs one another. A community that depends on one another. That serves one another.

-Kristen Clark, Girl Defined

So let’s talk:

  • Reading through the three passages, did you these themes? What other themes did you see?
  • Do you prefer independence or interdependence?
  • Are you a part of this divinely assembled and maintained team called the Body of Christ?
  • What is the whole point of this Body?

Resources for deeper digging

Psst! For more on:

  • Unity, diversity, and interdependence of the members of the body of Christ: read (or re-read and study) the three passages we’ve been talking about (Romans 12:3-8, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31 and Ephesians 4:1-16)
  • Interdependence and the quote from the Girl Defined blog: read the full post here



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