Joseph Iregbu

Purpose Guy

A Case for Biblical Unity, Not Uniformity

Earlier this week, I shared a post on Twitter about our personal responsibility to discover and step into our calling, particularly as members of the body of Christ.

Over the years, I’ve made the case that it’s spiritual incompetence to allow another individual to determine your calling under the guise of submitting to ‘spiritual authority’. Note, I said ‘determine’, not guide or support.

God can (and does) use pastors and spiritual mentors to often direct us into an area of calling or even provide a platform to express that calling.

But both the encouragement and platform are of God, so that no man should take the glory to himself.

Unfortunately, many have outsourced their direct connection with God and will not act unless another man validates or approves them. What a shame!

One body, many members

So, my tweet (inadvertently) got me thinking about the true meaning of biblical unity in the body of Christ.

If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, there is a calling of God on your life. It may be small or big (in the eyes of men) that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you are faithful where you are.

Paul said in Romans 12:4:

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function…

The body of Christ has many members called to accomplish various assignments. The ministry of the man on the pulpit is no bigger or better than that of the woman called to serve her home group.

As some are called to proclaim Christ publicly, others are called to sound the trumpet for biblical integrity. As some are called to administer help, others are called to teach.

The critical criteria that God demands is for all to be faithful in their various calling.

Unity, NOT uniformity

The idea that unity in the body of Christ means we speak the same way or have the same mannerism is biblically inaccurate.

Unity must not be mistaken to mean uniformity of expression or personality. Otherwise, what becomes the essence of Romans 12:4-8?

Just as we are different individuals, we have diversity of gifts and its accompanying expressions among us also vary.

That is not to mean we have no guiding scriptural principles that should moderate our lives. We absolutely do. The Bible must be our standard, not man. The Holy Spirit must lead the way, not our flesh.

The focus of biblical unity is to make Christ known among men. Our message must be single. We serve under one banner and that's Jesus Christ alone // A Case for Biblical Unity, Not Uniformity Click To Tweet

When you consider the early disciples and apostles of Christ, there was little uniformity among them.

Paul had little patience for John Mark, thereby disagreeing with and splitting from Barnabas Acts 15:36-41. In Galatians 2:11-14, he rebuked Peter publicly.

Speaking of Peter, his temperament couldn’t be more different to that of John the beloved. Yet these men were consumed by a single passion to preach Christ and make Him known.

When next you think of biblical unity, understand that it is not rooted in the affirmation of the same denominational creed, administrative or cultural norms, but in our collective commitment to preach Christ with the grace given us by the same Spirit — albeit expressed in different ways.

And sometimes, that means we may disagree on the ‘how’ but NEVER the ‘what’ of the gospel.

Don’t miss the latest episode on my podcast: EP32: Dear Pastors Series – Forgiving One Another. You can also listen on Apple Podcast or Spotify.

Photo by Juan Pablo Rodriguez on Unsplash.

About Joseph Iregbu

From a homeless, near-school-dropout to living a story worth telling. Purpose is my passion. What's your story?

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