Sunday, August 14, 2016

Buchanan: the one New-Testament church

Sunday, August 14, 2016
    Commemoration of Maximilian Kolbe, Franciscan Friar, Priest, Martyr, 1941
    Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.
    And I will show you a still more excellent way.
    —1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (ESV)
    The doctrine of the “body” in First Corinthians... is a picture of the local church, [which] is distinguished by a great variety of gifts, outlooks, and cultures. The various members belong organically to each other in Christ, and are to exhibit that harmony practically in their common life. The recognition of how they differ from each other, and are yet one, is to enrich their worship, inspire their ministry, and quicken their love. To divide the local church is... to witness to a divided Christ, or to a discipleship to lesser masters than Christ, such as Paul or Apollos. Both implications are equally unthinkable. There is no New Testament pattern of serving the one Christ, except in one local body, formed by the incorporation given in the one baptism, and the continued life sustained by breaking and sharing the one bread.
    ... C. O. Buchanan (b. 1934), “The Unity of the Church”, in The People of God, Ian Cundy, ed., vol. 2 of Obeying Christ in a Changing World, John Stott, gen. ed., 3 vol., London: Fountain, 1977, p. 117-118 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 12:27-31; Acts 2:42; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 10:17; Gal. 3:26-28; Eph. 4:11-13; Col. 3:11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant us unity.
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