More Than Brethren

Recently I considered how many Christians refer to other Christians as "Brother John" or "Brother So-and-so." We often refer to a fellow Christian as a brother or sister "in the Lord." But let me show you that we are actually much closer than that, and how the real nature of our relationship should change how we deal with each other.

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular (1 Corinthians 12:27).” "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another (Romans 12:5)." "For we are members one of another (Ephesians 4:25)."

You see the Word of God actually says that we are members of the same body, and in fact that we are members one of another. WHAT? I am a member of you and you are a member of me? Is that real or possible or some mistranslation? Check out what Jesus prayed - "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We are (John 17:11)."

Jesus prayed that God would make us all one together, and the Epistles confirm that this prayer was answered. We are actually members of the same body, and we are all one with each other. WOW! That will make you look a little closer at that funny-looking guy you joked about at church last week.

Now, remembering that we are members of the same body (the Body of Christ) and that we are members one of another, let's consider the sibling relationship. If you have a sibling, think about him or her for a minute. I actually have 3 half-brothers, 2 half-sisters, one step-brother, and one-step sister. Considering I was an only child until age 12, I gratefully praise God for all my siblings.

But let's say something terrible happened to my oldest brother (who is 16). I would be devastated. I love him dearly. If he got hurt or got into serious trouble or had some other problem I would feel really bad for him. I would do anything I could for him, physical or spiritual. But at the end of the day, his problem is not my problem. If his life gets ruined, it will only affect my life in part. I can still have a happy, fulfilling existence. No matter how close you are to your sibling, their problem will never be your problem.

Now consider those "spiritual siblings" you have at church. Our church friends have problems all the time, don't they? But their problems are not yours. You may try to help them, you may pray for them, but in the end it really doesn't affect your life. And as that is the real case, you will do only so much for them.

Now consider again your real relationship with these people. Imagine that "Sister Susie" and you are actually two fingers on the same hand. You each have jobs and desires. But what if Sister Susie gets hurt? That will seriously mess your life up. Not only will you not be able to fulfill your calling, but the rest of the hand, and the entire arm, and maybe the entire body, won't fulfill its mission in life because one finger got injured. You see where I'm going with this.

But remember, the Bible says that Susie is both in the same body as you and that Susie is a part of you, and you a part of her. What if a part of you gets hurt? You know how it is. Most humans can't function properly with even the slightest injury or discomfort. Even the toughest among us won’t function at full capacity. I think that’s a picture of spiritual reality we missed.

If one of our Christian brethren is incapacitated for the slightest reason, the entire Body of Christ functions at less than 100%. Consider that reality. You simply can't make up for their loss, not fully, no way.

My point is that now we must regard our fellow Christians as fellow laborers, fellow body parts, and even parts of us. Won't that radically alter our feelings towards, and treatment of, our Christian brethren? Glory to God. How much easier is it to love yourself than another? Think about it, you automatically love yourself. Every single Christian you encounter, treat them with the same love you have for yourself. I'm not talking about some sinful self-love; I'm talking about the care and concern you have for your own life and body.

YOU NEED THEM. WE NEED EACH OTHER. I know that we always say it doesn't matter what happens to others, as long as I'm doing my job before God. But we need to focus, especially in these latter days, on the global body of Christ and the entire ministry of His Body. We all need to be functioning perfectly to fulfill His complete ministry on the earth.

Pray for each other, comfort each other, love each other, hold each other. Whatever you can do to help get the other parts of The Body, really the other parts of yourself, back on track, do it. We need to get on the same page and get prepared to work the works of God together.

When we finally recognize and appreciate our true relationship to one another then we will treat each other appropriately and help the entire Body of Christ better fulfill its mission on Earth.


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