Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three stands is not quickly broken.”

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV)

“As we draw nearer to Christ, we shall be drawn nearer to His people.”

G.T. Manley

God does not produce loners. He makes some people more sociable than others, but He has not called anyone to a lifetime of isolation.  Why? Because the body of Christ is made up of many parts. They cannot operate independently any more than fingers an operate without hands or muscles can operate without nerves. An isolated soul is, in a very real sense, separated from the fellowship of Christ. He can experience the Spirit of god in some ways, but not in others. An essential means of God’s Spirit working in our lives comes only in community.

That should be obvious, but those of us who have grown up in an individualistic society have been trained to think of human beings as coexisting, not interrelating. We choose our relationships with a sense of independence, never realizing that we depend on the whole church in order to be complete in ourselves. Jesus may dwell in each believer for prayer and faith, but He does not dwell fully in any one believer for His entire accumulation of His works and ministry. In God’s infinite wisdom, He designed His works and ministry to be carried out by requiring a body with numerous and diverse gifts to be the means to the end. If our desire as Christians is to bear fruit in His name, we must bear fruit together.

Unfortunately, the universal body of Christ known as the Christian “Church” has become horribly fragmented. Somehow, we got the idea that separation was a casual matter. We change churches with relative ease. We move in and out of spiritual relationships with apparent apathy toward them. True believers develop overly exclusive theologies and divisive personalities and cliques. All the while, we forget a foundational biblical principle:

In the body of Christ, as in many other venues, unity equals strength.

God gives us this principle of the three-strand cord because He wants us to be wrapped and bound together. He wants us to gather in His name. He wants a unified body of Christ, not many bodies of Christ. He wants individuals to find strength in tight, durable communities.

Reference

  • The One Year Walk with God (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2004. Chris Tiegreen)
  • Holy Bible (New International Version).

 

Rick Mayhew

Rick Mayhew

Elder & Senior Staff Advisor

Rick and his wife, Suzi, joined Heritage during Christmas time in 2018 and have since taken up leading a Community Group. Rick, a retired fire chief, was appointed as an elder in August 2020 and joined the staff here at Heritage as the Senior Staff Advisor in 2021. Rick and Suzi have been lovingly married since 1982. Rick and Suzi both accepted Jesus as their Savior over 40 years ago and have been faithfully serving the Lord ever since. They enjoy spending time with their family and spoiling their four grandchildren. If you ever need to find Rick or Suzi…check the beach.