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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Does Individualism Matter?

Philippians 2:25 "Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me."
 
The theme continues - another worker for the Lord who did not consider his own life something to be preserved or protected.

 The theme of the church as a body with each member supplying a part is also continued. This person - Epaphroditus - about whom we know little was known for three reasons. He worked with Paul to spread the gospel, he nearly died in the line of duty, and he added something to the church in Philippi which it lacked without his presence.
 
Individuality is not bad in any way. God designed that we be unique. Unfortunately well meaning people are often blind to this fact and religion often ends of being an exercise in conformity that discourages, shuns, and even destroys individuality.
 
The truth is that our individuality is needed by the body while at the same time our individuality needs the balancing influence of the body. I have observed over the years that every church congregation has a personality. Some are all about being friendly and inviting but may lack depth and purpose. Others are all about studying and knowing the truth but lack in both friendliness and a balanced view of who the Truth is. Some churches are very concerned about behaviour and conformity to a mutual standard while other churches seem to have no standards at all. How does this happen? It happens because at some point leadership was out of balance and over time the church body grew to reflect that imbalance.
 
Sometimes God will send an individual or individuals into a church body to counter balance or bring a more healthy wholistic personality to the body. Often these persons are met with suspicion or resistance or even opposition. In our imbalance we forget that Jesus was both law and grace, justice and mercy, compassion and principle, strict in tje way He lived yet open wide to work with and walk with sinners of all stripes.
 
Jesus confused religionists. His behaviour threatened their conformist culture. His love for the unlovable threatened their behaviour based control model.
 
The bottom line to all this is that we need each other, and we need Jesus. And often we need the people we naturally resist the most. Consider Jesus - consider Him in His fulness, not just the aspects of His character that naturally appeal to you.

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