I just finished reading Frank Viola’s blog for today December 28, 2010. Frank’s focus today was giving thanks publicly through his blog to those who have been and are of help to him. This morning as I was thinking of adding to this blog, the Lord nudged me to share a little about His Body and our need for one another.
For the past few Sundays we have been considering again the importance of each member of the Body of Christ. In fact we have been taking some time when we come togther to encourage ourselves to see Christ in one another; to notice that Christ is sitting besde you and behind you and in front of you as He occupies those around us.
The internet has really given me a greater appreciation for the variety that exists within the Body of Christ. I personally have been encouraged by many others in Christ who live in various parts of the United States and other countries around the world. Great men and women of God who are great because of Christ in them. There are a few persons who I have never met in the flesh nor heard their voice who nevertheless I look forward to reading and hearing or seeing them by way of the internet. I really thank God for the Body of Christ and the many who I am knowingly linked to and the many who I am linked to but don’t know them. Since there is but one Body we are all linked together; we are members one of another.
What I have noticed is that there is a common understanding of Jesus Christ that is spreading throughout many members of the Body. I hear the same teaching from various parts of the world. The words might be a little different, but the essence of what is said remains the same. On several occasions I have emailed persons asking if they know so and so who is teaching the same thing. Most of the time the response is no they have not heard of the other. It is a great thing to witness the Spirit of God training up the Body of Christ. Some are at the little children level. Some are at the young man level, and some are at the father level. It is amazing to see it from all over the world.
What Frank’s blog today pointed out in my mind is the absolute necessity each one us have for one another. We all owe a note of thanksgiving to the many God has used for our benefit. We are complete in Christ. But yet we are not complete by ourselves even with Christ in us. It is the same way that my hand is complete as it is, but it really is not without the rest of my body. In fact my hand can not do anything my head tells it to do without the rest of my body. The truth is that my hand will die if it tries to live without the rest of my body.
One of the Holy Spirit’s teachings through the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 is that one member can not say to another member I have no need of you. I focused my attention on the fact that Paul said CAN NOT. He did not say should not say I have no need of you, but rather he said CAN NOT. It seems that it is impossible for any spirit filled member of the Body of Christ to say they have no need for the other members of the Body of Christ. This understanding is vital for us in the Western part of the world where individualism is king. The mindset that now that I have Christ I don’t anybody else is extremely dangerous, and shows a level of childish understanding of Christ who is both Head and Body.
There is a very serious issue Paul pointed out to the Church at Corinth. Even though they were members of the Body of Christ, and had all of the gifts of the Spirit, they lack one major thing. They could not discern the Body of Christ. As a result of not discerning the Lord’s Body, Paul said that many of them were weak, sick and some had even died. WOW. Paul stated this in chapter 11 just before he began to do some serious teaching about the Body of Christ in chapter 12. One of the dangers for me and for you is to think and act like we don’t need other members in the Body of Christ because we are complete in Christ. It happened to many in Corinth and the result was that many persons who were complete in Christ became weak, became sick and died because they did not consider their union with one another in their union with Christ. Their view of Christ had not matured to see Him in all of the other members who were vital to their own functioning and life.
Many today can remain childish in their understanding of being complete in Christ and leave the fellowship of other members to express their freedom. It’s a childish teenager thing. Freedom is not a location, nor a setting but a state of mind based on the truth of God’s word that is discovered in Christ. It is a living fact no matter where we are or the circumstances we are in; we are free because of Christ living in us. He that the Son of Man sets free is free indeed! It does not matter if you are in a house church or traditional church setting, or no church setting. Certainly Jesus was free as He sat in the temple listening to the Pharisees wrongly teach the scriptures. Paul was free when he was sitting in jail. The setting never defines who we are, except for our place in Christ where the Father has set every one of us. There are many everywhere who need to find the freedom in Christ we have received.
There is another very special thing about the Body of Christ. The different types of members. Not all of the members are the same. We do not look the same, we do not act or behave the same, we do not even grow the same. Using the human body as a factual illustration opens up great lessons for us. And all of us have one, so we take this great classroom around with us and we have the greatest teacher in us. Who can take the things concerning Christ and reveal them to us. We have many members that make up our one body. Our eyes are not our ears. Our eyes do not look like our ears. Our eyes do not behave or act or function like our ears. In fact that is one of the major reason that they are different for the glory of God. Different members are needed for different functions. This is huge in my mind to discern and appreciate the many members in the Body of Christ. It helps me not to compare myself with anyone else, and to not judge others as well. I can not understand why some members act the way they do, just like many can not understand why I act the way I do. We are different but have the same life of the same Christ in us. My eye does not understand my ears. But they work together and I am glad that my eyes see and my ears hear. This can be the source a lot of misunderstanding. When we think that everyone else should do like us; act like us, grow like us. We can forget that most of the other members of the Body are not like us at all. God has designed them to be different in order for Christ who is the the Life and the Head to express Himself through them. The only thing that is the same about every member in the Body of Christ is agape, love. It s the only thing that gives anyone the evidence that we are real members of the Body of Christ. I John 4:7,8.
At a later time maybe we can consider the different functions of the Body of Christ and the fact that each member supplys to the other members what it receives. We are very limited in our understanding of how the members of our physical body works. How much more are we limited in our understanding of how the members of the Body of Christ works? But we need to understand so that the Body of Chrst can be built up to the maturity of the fullness of Christ. And this is what is happening within the Body of Christ. I want to shout right now. Father you are wonderful!!! You are beyond words!!!
You have any thoughts about this? I would love to hear from you.