Building The Body of Christ 

"so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." (Romans 12:5).  A corporation* is perhaps the best example in our present society of many people working together as one for a common purpose.  God's Word needs to be the guide to all of our actions.  Since we are created in God's image, the word that created us may be a guide to God's Word for us.** 

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*By definition, a corporation is a group of people legally authorized to act as an individual.  A corporation is given many of the legal powers given to individuals, such as: enter into contracts, buy and sell property, etc.

**Hopefully in a New Era, our beliefs can be incorporated into our work much more completely than has been the case for the last 2000 years.  Reread Romans chapters 12-15 as well as Ephesians chapters 4-6.

People in the USA value personal freedom as a right from God, and the Bible supports such a belief.  The Bible is also clear about an individual's relationship to a group and about a group's relationship to each individual.  Paul uses "The Body of Christ" to illustrate these relationships in his Epistles throughout the New Testament.  In 1 Corinthians 12:12-30 for example, Paul talks about the body having many parts, which "...God has arranged...just as he wanted them to be." (verse 18).   

A body has bones, which have a limited amount of flexibility,  ligaments that hold the bones together, and muscles that move the bones around.  Without bones, a body would have a limited amount of structure.  Without ligaments, there would be just a pile of disconnected bones.  Without muscles, bones (even if they were connected together) would be motionless.  There is constant tension between bones and muscles and ligaments -- that is the way God designed our bodies.  Every part of our body is needed in order for us to function as God intended.  In a similar manner, every one of us has an unique place in God's universe and every person is needed in order for God's universe to function as God intended.  As a result, there are likely to be constant tensions between personal freedoms and group relationships.  This is healthy as long as there is an understanding that such a tension is necessary and that one doesn't try to crush the other.