When was the last time you saw a head go walking down the street? Have you been out to lunch with that bunch of arms and legs from work lately? Perhaps you've shared a cab with a kidney, or picked up a stranded liver? Ridiculous you say? Of course! Who's ever heard of body parts functioning on their own? Sure, modern science can keep some vital organs and other body parts "alive" for short periods of time, but not in a normally functioning state. And unless they're reunited with a whole human body, these parts will soon die.
In the twelveth chapter of his letter to the Corinthian congregation, the apostle Paul used a body as a type of the Church. It seems that the brethren in Corinth had been arguing about the gifts of the Holy Spirit - the very thing that united them! Paul didn't want members to leave the congregation to become "independent". He knew that would be spiritual suicide. So Paul used the humorous analogy of contentious body parts. He showed how absurd it would be for the head to tell the foot that it had no use for it. Paul taught that each part had its function and was important in its own right. He pointed out that even though a body was made up of different parts or members, so too the Church is made up of different members, each one contributing to the whole.
We can read about parts wanting to leave the body and laugh at the very idea. But do you know Christians who believe that they can "make it on their own?" Do you consider yourself to be an "independent" Christian? The Bible says all Christians are baptized into one body - that is, the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). Just like a severed member, you will surely begin to whither and die if you neglect regular fellowship with the Church of God. But you don't have to believe me, just read it in your Bible, and listen to your own body!
April 2, 2000