The Diamond, Part II

diamond

“Did the word of God begin with you, or did it come to you alone?” –1 Corinthians 14:36

Let us stand before the diamond of the Gospel. We are short-sighted and our strides so small that we could not possibly walk around such a mountainous jewel or study its every facet, even if given a thousand lifetimes. There is so much of God and His gospel that I fail to see from my current position—for my eyes are limited and my feet are often too stubborn to explore.

Yet God knows “we are made of clay,” and “a person’s life is like grass” (Psa 103:14-15). And so He has given us a community in which to immerse ourselves in order to grow from deep doctrinal discussions (saints beside us) and theologically robust books (saints from afar). A brother-in-Christ, whose experiences do not match my own, stands in a unique position in contrast to mine. God has revealed to another man things about His glory that I have not seen. Remember: “God has placed each member of the body just as he decided,” and “blended together” parts that are not alike (1Co 12:18,24). Just as we need one another serving in our spiritual giftings, we also need one another for unique insight and experiential offerings “for the strengthening of the church” (1Co 14:26).

Tim Keller puts it his way: “Each denomination has its strengths and weaknesses. Every one of them has limitations. [We need] way more collaboration…. Presbyterians have got doctrine and deep exegesis. Baptists have outreach and evangelism. Charismatics and Anglicans have worship. They have all got their own vitamin that is their own specialty, [where] the other denominations will never do as well. Unless you know each other really well, you won’t be able to learn from the other denominations and traditions.” (Special Interview from “The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill” Podcast).

Consider the diversity of the saints. Consider our own blind spots, and that we perhaps share visual obstacles with those whom we naturally gather. Consider that our flesh works against us, avoiding challenges to our comfort zone. Let us actively work against this constraint, seeking the visual aid of many brothers- and sisters-in-Christ.

Billy Neal

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