Unity through Diversity

Jeff Munroe

READ : 1 Corinthians 12:4-26

If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (vv. 19-20)

Since unity has been such a theme of this letter, it’s fair to wonder how unity really can be achieved. It’s easy to imagine a Corinthian or two wondering how they were supposed to be united when they were so different. It’s not hard to look across the vast landscape of different Christian denominations today and wonder the same thing.

Paul seems to be saying, “That’s exactly my point!” Unity is not to be found in everyone acting like clones of each other. Unity is achieved when we recognize we are a body with many parts, and that no part is greater than another.

For an example of what this can look like, read verses 4 through 6 again carefully. Notice what Paul says. There are varieties of gifts, services, and activities, but only one . . . one what? Here Paul may surprise us. He does not say “one God” over and over. Instead he uses the three persons of the Trinity: one Spirit, one Lord (always a reference to Jesus) and one God. Is God unified? Absolutely. Does God also have three distinct persons? No doubt about it. Unity is not found in being the same but in being diverse without being divided. Be the best “you” you can be, because that’s what the body needs. And then don’t expect other parts of the body to be exactly like you.


We praise you, Lord, for the variety of your family.