Responsibilities Within the Body of Christ

by Liz Sykes | September 24, 2007

Lately there has been here quite a bit of reporting of statements from other blog sites, referring to roles and responsibilities for wives and husbands, women and men. The verses being quoted to support such claims have seemed, at best, verses fraught with interpretation or translation issues, and not as clear as some would have us believe.

Meanwhile, there are countless places within Scripture where our responsibilities towards one another within the body of Christ are encouraged, and there can be no argument against those plain statements. For example, in Galatians 5:13-14 we have the words ‘For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters, only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love, become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment,"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."' (NRSV)

Jesus himself said ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you, for this is the law and the prophets’ (Matthew 7:12, NRSV) – in such a simple yet profound statement about our innate equality and responsibility towards others. Also in Scripture, there is a long list of ‘one anothers’ which cover all aspects of relationships within the Christian family, and we would do well to live by them and then discover that there is no need for anyone to be responsible for, or over, any other person. If we all esteem others better than ourselves, we can't go wrong.

It is interesting that Jesus is not recorded as having said anything which even remotely suggested differing roles for women or men. All people are called to sacrifice, servanthood, submission, and holiness… the list goes on and on. Jesus’ last words were ‘Go therefore and make disciples of nations… and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’ (Matthew 28:19-20 NRSV) You will notice that there is not a word about the difference between male and female followers or their responsibilities.