All in All
When Christ is not a Christian’s fullness, that one is filled with self, not Christ. When Christ is not all in all to the body of Christ, it becomes an empty vessel. When the Lord Jesus is not preeminent in our lives, we fail in our ministry.
Body of Christ
Adam a fallen man was a firstborn human son – through whom God worked. Israel the nation was a firstborn human son – through whom God worked. Christ, the perfect man, was God’s only begotten Son – through whom He would work.
The body of Christ is to reach its full stature - even the fullness of Christ Jesus.
Body of Christ
The body of Christ is being built up until we all come into the unity of the saints.
both individually and corporately, until we come to a unity in our faith – and deeper knowledge of Christ Jesus.. until we are all mature in the faith – until the body of Christ reaches its full stature, even the fullness of Christ Jesus.
May we do our part to build up the body of Christ – in love.
Character of God
Doctrinal breaches explode into estrangements in the body of Christ. Legalistic thinking is adopted, which causes a gross distortion of the grace of God, but worst of all God’s character is distorted and twisted perceptions of Him abound – even the word 'dispensation' has itself fragmented into various conflicting meanings.
Body of Christ
None of the weighty doctrines for the body of Christ were unfolded to these twelve. Oh, they saw many infallible proofs of His resurrection for forty days.. as He spoke of things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
For instance, if you were to take Paul’s Epistles out of the Bible, you cannot find anything about the Church - the Body of Christ, for no other apostle mentions the Body of Christ.”
And that is the difference between a congregation, so many Christians, or units coming together as units, and a spiritual organism, a local expression of the Body of Christ: and it is the Body which is God's thought, not a congregation, not a bunch of flowers.
The focus on Peter and Israel’s earthly kingdom, (where God’s rule on earth will be through Christ for 1000 years), shifts to a focus on Paul and the mystery of the Church – the body of Christ, of which we are all members (and God’s universal rule in the eternal ages to come).
Now read this passage from Colossians, carefully. Read this precious passage, which was written to the church, from the Amplified Bible, This is God’s Word written expressly to the Body of Christ and speaking to us.
There is no way of deliverance from the law and its bondage, into that liberty for which Christ set us free except to believe, and to keep reckoning, that we died to the law with Him, and are now risen, and joined to Another, the Risen One - even as Romans 7:4 asserts: Ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even Him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God.' -W.R.N.
Pray for the Church
There are many in the body of Christ who have become indifferent to the word of God.
And we too can intercede for the Church – the body of Christ if we know our Lord.
Temple of God
Nehemiah was a man that had a passion for his God and a love for God’s people. He was distressed that the superstructure of God’s house had fallen into disrepair. We too should have a passion for God and a deep love for God’s people. We too should intercede on behalf of the body of Christ – who are the temple of God.
But the wonderful thing is that this weighty prayer of Paul is for all God’s children. Paul’s desire was that all believers discover the precious privilege they have in Him, and down through the centuries of time men and women have rejoiced in his words – and his prayer for revelation is for you and for me, and for all the body of Christ.
Body of Christ
All believers are baptised into the body of Christ the moment they believe in Jesus. The day of Pentecost was when Spirit baptism happened to the Jewish believers.
Samaritans & Gentiles Added
We read in Acts 2 of the day that Jews were placed into the body of Christ – Pentecost. We read in Acts 8 that Samaritans were added to Christ’s body – through Philip’s ministry, and in Acts 10 Gentiles were included in Christ’s body at the house of Cornelius, a centurion – when Peter was urged by the Holy Spirit to go to the house of a gentile.
Body of Christ
But the Church, which is the body of Christ, is not meant to be exclusive to the Jews.
The contrast is painful in the extreme between the uniform language of the New Testament about Christians as thus called to worship in liberty and joy and nearness to the Father, and that of liturgies ancient and modern; and this because the results of redemption soon became merged and hidden in Jewish forms, and the law was recalled to the place of the Holy Spirit, and man in the flesh intruded wholesale into realms which belong only to those solemnly accredited as God's Church, the Body of Christ. -W.K.
Believers in Christ are called by many names and known by a variety of titles. They are the “new man in Christ”; “the body of Christ”; “the new creation – His “children.” They are known as “Christians”; “His little flock”; “sons of God” and “the bride of Christ”.
God may use an unbeliever to forward His sovereign plans and purposes, as He did with Pharaoh – but they can never be conformed into the image of the Lord Jesus. They can never gain spiritual understanding and maturity for that is the unique right and privilege of the body of Christ.
The moment we were born from above we were positionally sanctified for we were placed into the body of Christ by the Spirit – and we are forever positioned in Him. The instant we are saved, we are set apart unto the Lord.
We are placed into the body of Christ the moment we first trust Jesus as Saviour. First, we had to hear the gospel of truth, for faith comes by hearing the word of God. Then we had to believe the gospel of truth and all who believe in Christ are saved – and through believing in His name we were given the right to become His children.
A Study:- Man’s Nature and Destiny
The need for maturity in the body of Christ is the focus of most of Paul’s messages. It is the mature Christian who is an overcomer; a faithful steward – a wise virgin.
and Paul warned and instructed of the need for maturity in the Christian life. Obedience is the most important exercise in the Christian life: obedience to His Word; listening to His Voice – compliance His Commands. And instruction on spiritual maturity in the body of Christ, is the focus of most of Paul’s messages to the Church of God. Paul tells us that: he that is spiritual judges all things..
Expression of Love
The Body of Christ is built up of love and is born out of love. The Church of Christ is constituted by love and continues in love, and Christ is the head of the Church, which is His body... and He is love.
The Body of Christ
The body of Christ is being fitted together perfectly and being built up by Him. Each part has its own special work to do, so that the whole body is fit and healthy. Each one is to help the other grow and mature and be built up together full of love. Each is Christ’s representative who needs to be spiritually renewed to express His love – a spiritual renewal of our thought, our heart our attitudes, and our mind, for we are told be renewed in the spirit of your mind in Ephesians 4:23
For the body of Christ is being fitted together and built up by Him – in love.
Defeat : Prepare : Edify
Such prayer is destined to DEFEAT the strategies of the enemy. Such prayer is designed to PREPARE the way for the salvation of the lost. Such prayer is designated to BUILD UP and edify the body of Christ in holy faith.
Unsung lovers of God who’ve seasoned the path of the body of Christ over time; each adding tears of intercessory love to the brimming bowl on the heavenly alter – all combined to contribute to heaven’s plan – in the throne ministry of God’s will.
Christ is the invisible head of the Church – Who is seated in heavenly places, and the Church is the visible body of Christ – who are His representatives on earth – for we are one with Him and He is one with us. We are in Christ and He is in us.
The Second Adam
But remember that we are part of His body and together we are His fullness. We are various and individual members that make up the Body of Christ – and He is the HEAD.
The Church is the body of Christ – being filled with the fullness of Him.
What the Lord needs is an open, pure spirit towards Himself, and love toward all saints; the Lord will bring into His greater fullness where there is a genuine love one to the other - in Him.... The Ephesian letter in which there is the fullest unveiling of heavenly truth in the deepest teaching concerning the Church, the Body of Christ, there is from start to finish the golden thread of love running all through; this is significant when you consider what the letter contains. 1 Corinthians 13 is the great chapter on love, and is put over beside all the gifts.
God’s Inexpressible Gift
Through Christ Jesus we possess life – eternal life – abundant life. We are part of the body of Christ and made saints of the Most High. We are become ambassadorship of Christ on earth and have a heavenly citizenship. We are joint-heirship with Christ and have an inheritance held in trust for us by God.
If you have the Spirit and of course I am addressing those who are supposed to have the Spirit you should know that, if you are out of joint with another member of the Body of Christ to which you belong, it is, as it is with a dislocation in the natural physical body: there is an ache, a perpetual ache....
Seven 7-fold Work
There is a sevenfold work of the Spirit of God at our salvation, which can be resisted:- 1) He convicts us of our need of a Saviour (John 16:8-9) 2) He regenerates the forgiven sinner, giving a new life (Titus 3:5) 3) He baptises the new believer into the body of Christ (1Cor.12:13) 4) He indwells the new believer permanently and forever (1Cor.3:16 1Cor.6:19) 5) He anoints the new believer (2Cor.1:21 1John 2:20-21) 6) He earnests a first-fruit pledge of full fruit (Eph.1:14 Rom.8:23) and 7) He witnesses with an assurance of son-ship (Rom.8:16).
Law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth' (Rom. 7:1), but when it has cursed him and killed him the law has no more to say to him; and we are become dead to the law by the body of Christ' (Rom. 7:4), for we have died judicially with Christ on the Cross.
He was presenting the embryonic gospel of grace, which was to be more fully revealed by the ministry of the apostle Paul – to include the Church as the Body of Christ in Union with Him – a new creation and joint-heirs of God’s Son – a heavenly citizenship and the indwelling Holy Spirit as a down-payment from God the Father – our Abba.
It is hard to understand why a nation that was so blessed would turn aside from the God of their fathers and fall into such gross apostasy - and yet how reflective this is of the church today, for despite the incredible spiritual benefits and blessings that have been showered on the Body of Christ, so many are following after another gospel, rejecting the inerrant Word of God and worshipping a Christ made in their own image.
And in the same way there are those in the Body of Christ today, who are not enticed into the worldly ways of the apostate church but contend earnestly for the faith, fighting the good fight of faith; taking hold of the eternal life to which the Church is called, and conducting themselves in a manner that is worthy of the gospel of Christ.
Like other apostles, Paul was a special messenger who was called, chosen, and authorised by God, to receive hidden revelation for the Church and to lay down foundational doctrine and godly principles for the Body of Christ.
However, EVERY post-Cross believer receives the baptism of the Holy Spirit, about which John spoke. From the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was sent by God to indwell every member of the fledgling Church (the Body of Christ).
At the moment of salvation, a person immediately undergoes a baptism - a DRY, SPIRITUAL Baptism - the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which places them into the Body of Christ.
All who are Baptised by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ are identified with HIM and baptised into His Body.
The truth of the Gospel that Peter taught on that day caused over 3000 men of Israel to repent of their sins and to be born again into the newly-formed body of Christ. But Peter was to astonish these fledgling believers and those that were listening to his teaching even more, by announcing that this same Jesus was not only resurrected from the dead as David foretold, but He had ascended into heaven in power and great glory and been exalted by God to sit at His right hand - where He is now seated on God's heavenly throne.
As Christians we have received the high privilege of being born into the family of God, baptised into the Body of Christ by the Spirit of God and sealed by Him until the day of Christ.
Indeed, throughout all His writings this dear apostle had a deep affection and sincere concern for all the body of Christ.This particular letter holds a very special place in the canon of Scripture, as it is said to be the first letter of instruction and encouragement that the apostle Paul wrote to any Church.
Had Paul spent all his time refuting each individual heresy and every strand of alternative apostasy, he could not have begun to stem the flood of false teachers that were streaming relentlessly into the body of Christ.
Instead Paul called for believers to speak the truth about the things of God in the body of Christ, to preach the Word and to teach all that belongs to healthy doctrine, and Paul also advised that a practical admonition and serious rebuke be made to all teachers who were infecting the churches with their doctrinal lies.
But not one of us has the right to murmur against this generation of Jews... for we see in ourselves and in our own day and age the Body of Christ, which is the Temple of God, following many ungodly pursuits and engaging in blasphemous behaviours.
We, as the Body of Christ, are the spiritual Temple of God and in many ways, both individually and corporately, we have allowed the world to be assimilated into our hearts and minds..
Both individually and collectively the Church, which is His body of Christ, needs to be cleansed - so that when Christ returns to take us to be with Himself we will be pure and chaste.
We who were dead in trespasses and sin and without God in the world have been brought near to God because of Israel's transgressions, and by grace through faith in Him, we have been made children of God; forgiven of our sins, made part of the Body of Christ, been in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit and received eternal life as a free gift of God's grace. Hallelujah!!
In that day, when you are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit; placed into the Body of Christ and sealed - He told them, you will also know that I am in you (My resurrected life given to you - My eternal life imparted to you - My perfect life imputed to you) so that I may influence your choices and decisions, until it is not I that lives, but Christ that lives in me..
Attempts were made to incorporate Jewish rites into Christian worship; to confuse Israel with the Church and to combine the programme God must carry out through His chosen nation – Israel, with the work He is currently undertaking through the body of Christ – which is the Church.“Circumcision” was a special sign, which God specifically gave to the nation of Israel – through Abraham It was a sign that sealed the unique and important role they were to play in God’s plan for man’s redemption.
Paul's epistle to Titus outlines the conduct, integrity, and maturity that should be the hallmark of spiritual leadership, both in the body of Christ and in the home environment.
He also gives some instruction to the whole Body of Christ on living godly lives in this fallen world system - as we live in our local communities and interact with a wide variety of unbelievers.
Both within the church and in the wider world of the unsaved, there are those that have a particular bee in their bonnet about a certain doctrine or one aspect of biblical truth to the exclusion of everything else, and they consistently drag up their singular theological soap-box, with the intent of entering into mindless arguments or destructive debates... or deliberately causing disunity in the body of Christ.
We should not waste our valuable time and effort in indulging the divisive tactics of someone whose prime objective is to cause division, within the body of Christ.
Paul also mentioned another staunch brother in the Lord - Apollos, whom Paul wanted to link up with the Corinthian church, and the underlying reason seemed to be that as the Body of Christ, we are to pull together - to honour one another - to fellowship with one another and to make sure that we are one in heart and mind with our brethren..
If was for this reason that Paul spent so much time writing his epistles and correcting the many false doctrines and corrupt teachings that were already starting to infiltrate the Body of Christ - including Jewish legalism, Gnosticism or hidden knowledge, asceticism (which attempted to train the sin nature through self-abasement), and antinomianism (which promoted a licence to sin) - to name but a few.
In this last letter before his death, Paul gives this amazing truth about the God-breathed Scriptures to Timothy, AFTER a passage that warns of the difficult days that are coming for the Body of Christ.
False doctrine infects and contaminates the spiritual Body of Christ in the same way that germs and viruses seriously infect or injure our physical bodies, and Paul describes these false teachers as: idle talkers and deceivers..
He also tells of the amazing work of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the honour of being baptized by Him, into the body of Christ.
We are given wise advice on how to function spiritually as members of the body of Christ and reminded that we all have spiritual gifts, which are to be used for the encouragement of the saints and the edification of the body of Christ.
All have been made a new creation in Christ and all have been baptised by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ - which is the Church of God
Though we all have our own unique gifting's from God and recognise the distinctions between male and female in the various ministries to which we may be called - we are all members of the body of Christ - and as such there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female - for we are all one in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
The divisions and disunity that was evident within the Corinthians church, so long ago, is equally as conspicuous in the body of Christ today and Paul lovingly exhorts each one of us to agree amongst ourselves so that there is no disharmony, disagreement or dissention amongst us.
Every child of God that has been born from above and placed into the body of Christ by the Spirit is equally enriched and knowing the superabundant riches of God’s gracious enrichment should we not walk in utter devotion to the God - who has so blessed us?
The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of Life', who regenerates our human spirit; places us in the body of Christ; gives us the life of Christ and then works in the new-life within - but only when we submit to Him..
It was Paul to whom the mystery of the Church - (which is the Body of Christ) was entrusted..
Every physical, mental, ethnic and spiritual barrier that ever separated Jew from Gentile was forever torn down in the body of Christ.
which condemned both Jew and Gentile as sinners in need of a Saviour... is the same cross that unites the two into the one Body of Christ - bringing peace to all who were far off and peace to those that were near- by means of His shed blood on Calvary's cross.
the Helper, Whom Christ sent from the Father on that first day of Pentecost - the Spirit of truth Who proceeds from the Father, and Whose ministry to the Body of Christ is to testify about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
How long it took for this truth to blossom in the heart of Nicodemus we will never know, but as one of the men who laid Christ's dead body in the stone-cold tomb, we know that this dear man did not only SEE heaven with his spiritual eye of faith, but will enter the kingdom of heaven as a forgiven child of God and a member of the Body of Christ.
Like the prophets of old they did not understand the mystery of the coming 2000-year long Church age (from Pentecost to the rapture of the Body of Christ) - and the unique privileges (which in general were revealed to Paul) that believers in this Church age afford.
Paul quickly realised there was division in the Body of Christ, due to Peter's bad example, and Paul wisely addressed the disturbing behaviour of the older apostle because it was having such a negative impact on many members of the Church - both Jew and Gentile believers alike.
The teachings He gave, together with many prophetic Scriptures, should have prepared them for all the events that took place during those astonishing post-resurrection days - but first, they were to be baptised into the body of Christ and empowered and taught by the indwelling Holy Spirit.
The nefarious plans of the enemy, have all too often been employed to overthrow or undermine powerful political, military, economic and religious machines.Paul identified the ‘divide-and-conquer’ method within the church of his days and recognised that vain arguments about things unrelated to sound, church doctrine were causing increasing unrest within the body of Christ.Much within Paul’s writings addresses the issues of ‘divide-and-conquer’ and in his letter to Titus he once again addressed it with a warning to..
This caused foolish controversies about genealogies, and disputes about the Mosaic Law to develop – which were unprofitable and worthless, because the consequence was ‘divide-and-conquer’.Today we see an increasing propensity towards this evil strategy, not only in the world of governmental economics; society politics and religious platforms – but also within the very body of Christ, which should remain pure in heart and united in the Spirit.Sadly, inter-denominational feuds, doctrinal differences and a willingness to compromise the truth of the gospel, is causing the Church to become fractured and weakened.
Christians have been made the righteousness of God in Christ by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, and during the Church age there is a remnant of Israel that are being saved as part of that body of Christ, but a day of deliverance is coming that will eclipse their great deliverance from Egypt.
Paul often prayed for the comfort, encouragement, establishment and strengthening of the Body of Christ, which is the Church... and in this great prayer we find Paul's fervent intercession addressed equally to the Lord Jesus Christ and to God the Father.
The kingdom of God is that heavenly sphere of life, where His children are willingly governed by the holy Spirit, in which righteousness reigns - and it refers to the body of Christ, the church of the Lord Jesus.
God is no man's debtor, and despite spiritually gifting all who are called to shepherd the flock of God, Peter reveals a wonderful truth that should rejoice the heart of those who are called to be pastors or elders, or those who Shepherd the Body of Christ, for His name's sake.
Whether this is only given to those who are under-shepherds in a Church fellowship, or whether it is a crown that may be awarded to all who have faithfully served the body of Christ, and cared for the people of God in the graciousness of their heart, under the guidance of the Spirit is not clear, but may we all in humility of heart carry out Christ's will faithfully and fervently, by caring for the Church of Christ, as we look for that glorious day when we will be with our Good and Faithful Shepherd, Who died and rose again so that we might live eternally.
It was very hard for them to accept that Gentile believers were equally accepted by God as Jewish believers and that together they made up a new category in God's economy, 'the Church' which is the Body of Christ.
Like Israel, every member of Christ's Body has our part to play in the perfecting of the saints, for the work of ministering, and the building up of the body of Christ - until we all reach unity in the faith and a deeper knowledge of God’s Son - as together we grow into a mature man, to a measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Jealousy and resentment, superiority and criticism have no place in the Body of Christ.
He wanted to rejoice in the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting by faith in Christ.But the body of Christ had been slowly and stealthily infiltrated, by certain vulgar individuals, who were denying the efficacy of the blood of Christ, and adversely influencing the faith of others.And so he wanted to remind his fellow believers of the fate of those people, who deny the truth of the gospel.
And so in these last days of the Christian dispensation, we ourselves are witnesses to the increasing apostasy and degeneration of true spirituality in the Body of Christ as the days become darker, men grow more evil, false teachers proliferate, and doctrines of demons saturate the Church as the time for Christ's return draws ever closer.
Indeed, they will often present themselves as angels of light in order to infiltrate the Church, deceive the Body of Christ, and cause Christians to become unfruitful and spiritually impotent.
It is for God's own sake and for the sake of His holy name that God will never break His promises to Israel - and praise God that in like manner He will never break His many precious promises to His church, which is the body of Christ - for they are all 'yes' and 'amen' in Him.
The trump of God will sound and the voice of the archangel will be heard to shout, as the Body of Christ are summoned to their heavenly home, thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Having been baptised into the body of Christ; filled with the Spirit and indwelt by His holy Presence, Peter was empowered by God to deliver his message to the men of Israel, following that unique day of Pentecost. Peter used the Hebrew scriptures to attest to the truth that Jesus is God's Messiah, and cited His glorious resurrection as biblical proof - for it was impossible for Christ to be held captive by death..
But not only does He desire a vertical oneness of each of His children with Himself, but He also yearns that we have a horizontal oneness with our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ – that we become one in principle and purpose – one in thought and word and deed – one in faith and doctrine, one in love and hope.
The Spirit-inspired words of Isaiah were an encouragement to the people of Israel, who were suffering affliction during their Babylonian captivity, and it is the same Holy Spirit that speaks to us and gently leads the body of Christ through the peaks and pitfalls of this worldly system.
The Age of Israel ended at the cross when they were set aside for a season, and the Age of the Grace (or the Church Age) began. The Church was born at Pentecost, so that the good news of the gospel of Christ would continue to be shared through a new group of people - the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
Paul also knew that after his departure, grievous wolves would arise in the Body of Christ and would not spare the little flock of God.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Paul gives significant advanced-warning about treachery within the Church and seriously cautions Timothy against false teachers, doctrines of demons, apostasy within the Body of Christ, and ungodly heresies infiltrating the little flock of God.
We see an evolving gospel which focusses on a feel-good factor and we hear of ungodly aberration in the Body of Christ.
In his desire to warn believers of the increasing numbers of false teachers and heresies that were bombarding the church of his day, Jude wrote an epistle of encouragement and advice – but he begins with a beautiful greeting – a prayer that has travelled down the centuries, to the body of Christ, and an entreaty to God that mercy and peace and love be multiplied to all those who in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Astonishing as Isaiah's magnificent vision of God's glory is, where He glimpsed the Lord seated in the wonderful splendour of His heavenly Temple, the truth for those in the Body of Christ, is far more staggering in this Church age, for we have become the chosen Temple of God's Holy Spirit.
The Body of Christ, which is the Church, has been chosen by God to be His permanent dwelling place, throughout time and into the eternal ages to come, for our bodies are a temple of the living God and the Spirit of God dwells within each one of us.
We are directed, as the Body of Christ, to shine the light of Christ into the world with our godly conduct, so that throughout our Christian life we may walk worthy of our calling as 'children of the light'.
The first three chapters of Ephesians remind us of our position in Christ and the many promises and privileges that are ours in Him, while the last three call us to live responsible lives worthy of our calling, to walk as children of the light, and to function in spirit and truth as beloved children of God and fully fledged member of the Body of Christ.
Yet by grace through faith in Him our sins have been washed as white as snow and we have been forever forgiven of our sin, adopted into God's family; placed into the Body of Christ and reconciled to the Father.
What a difference there would be in the body of Christ today, if we were to apply all that is written in the Word of God, in our own lives and marriages – if wives were to submit to their own husbands and husbands were to love their wives as Christ loves the Church.
At a time when much of the body of Christ seems to have lost its way and has succumbed to many false doctrines, that are infiltrating many churches , let us rejoice with Israel and sing, Who is a God like You, Who has pardons iniquity and saved us, by grace, through faith.
The Apostle is laying out the basic principles of fellowship, within the Body of Christ, during times of increasing deception in the wider world, where the love of many has grown cold, and Christians are instructed to act as lights in a world, darkened by a web of deceit and duplicity.
Wherever we are, whatever our role in the Body of Christ, and however vast or insignificant our ministry for our Lord may be - when Jesus is central in every area of life we are bound to say, He must increase, but I must decrease.
For 40 years, Israel was prevented from entering their rest due to carnality, and in the same way, the redeemed Body of Christ who have been brought into glorious union with Him can remain in a spiritual wilderness of spiritual infancy... and live a defeated life throughout our sojourn on earth.
Christ's prayer would later expand into intercession for the whole body of Christ, who would come to faith in Him through the word of their testimony - and their faithful witness to the truth. The hour for Christ's betrayal and crucifixion arrived..
Indeed, the Bible cannot be correctly interpreted without the Holy Spirit's guidance, although unfortunately there are many that twist and distort it for their own gain, and to the detriment of many in the Body of Christ.
Paul considered himself as the least-worthy of sinners and certainly not deserving of salvation, yet it was by grace that God looked down at this legalistic man who was ravaging the Church, entering house after house and dragging off men and women, putting them in prison, and mercilessly persecuting the Body of Christ... and decided to use him as His apostle to the Gentiles!
He reminds us that there is one body of believers - the body of Christ; one Holy Spirit Who indwells and seals each believer; one hope of our calling which is reserved for us in heaven and one Lord - our Saviour Jesus Christ.
There is also one faith with a settled body of doctrine that is clearly laid out in Scriptures; one baptism into the body of Christ at the moment of salvation - one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and one Holy Spirit Who gives spiritual gifts to all who are positioned in Christ.
Praise God for the Scripture which is unchanging and unchangeable - and praise God for the men today, whom He has called to teach these truths to the body of Christ.
That foundation was laid and completed in the early Church and given for our learning through the completed canon of Scripture - and for two thousand years the Body of Christ has continued to be fitted together and is growing into a holy temple in the Lord - built together into a dwelling of God - in the power of the Spirit.
Paul was keen to identify and address disunity within the body of Christ at Philippi, for he knew that the favour, fragrance and joy that percolates from Christian unity can evaporate when unrest and contentions are aloud to fester.
As Paul draws his second, lengthy epistle to the Corinthian Christians to a close, he reiterates his earlier exhortations to seek after unity within the Body of Christ, to be of good comfort to one another, and to remain encouraged in the truth of the glorious gospel of God.
The qualities and qualifications of church elders, or bishops, were clearly laid out, and the exemplary character that was necessary for this role was to ensure that the teaching of the gospel of grace would not be compromised, by the increasing numbers of false teachers, Judaizes, and demonic doctrines that were pouring into the Body of Christ with increasing intensity.
As children of God, and joint heirs with Christ, the conduct that is expected of all members of the body of Christ, is clearly laid out in the later chapters of Ephesians, and Paul implores us to walk worthy of the calling, with which we have been called.
The letter to the church in Thyatira is no exception and despite being commended for their love, faith, service, and perseverance, church members are fiercely rebuked for permitting sexual immorality to infiltrate the body of Christ, admonished for embracing other pagan practices, and challenged to change their ways.
As Peter nears the end of his earthly life, there seems to be an increasing urgency to warn the body of Christ of the mounting danger of false teachers, whom the apostle identified as rebellions, mercenary, animalistic and deceitful men, who are persistent sinners.
The formation of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, is a wisdom which none of the angelic rulers of this age knew about, nor did they understand the significance of Christ's humanity, His sinless life, and His sacrificial death - until after his Resurrection.
Neither the ravages of the old sin nature nor the temptations of the enemy who seeks our destruction, can separate us from the love of God or remove the hope that is ours, in Christ Jesus our Lord.Paul’s dear desire for the body of Christ is translated into the most beautiful, intercessory prayer - Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We are born from above, regenerated and sealed; adopted, baptised into the body of Christ and permanently in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit Himself, and He calls us to walk in spirit and truth and to live godly in Christ Jesus.
And Paul was able to rejoice in his suffering or the body of Christ - for in so doing he knew that he was sharing in Christ's suffering - and was filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ - for His body's sake, which is the church.
the body of Christ, which is the Church..
The unity of the saints and the oneness of the body of Christ were essential elements of Paul's teaching and so he encouraged Timothy to be a good and faithful servant..
The Church is the body of Christ and in His absence from the world we are called to be the salt of the earth and yet we are also warned that if salt loses it saltiness it is good for nothing, other than to be thrown out and trampled under foot.
Passing through the midst of the Red Sea, presents us with a beautiful picture of baptism, for we are identified with Christ when we are baptised by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ - when we place our trust in HIM for salvation.
Israel was set aside for a season, God began to work through the Church, which is the Body of Christ, and the Kingdom of Heaven was postponed for 2000 years - UNTIL Israel repents of their sin, recognises their Messiah, and, calls on the name of the Lord. Then He will come in the clouds with His holy ones and we will rule and reign with Him.
As members of the Body of Christ, we too, like Nehemiah, have a choice when we hear of the terrible things that are going on in Christendom today... where false teachers and doctrines of demons proliferate.
We discover in this verse that false brethren had secretly been brought into the Body of Christ. It appears that Jewish teachers had disguised themselves as born again Jewish Christians and had infiltrated the Body of Christ at Antioch.
They had sneaked into the Body of Christ to spy out the liberty we Christians have in our risen Savour.
We were placed into the body of Christ the moment that by faith we trusted Jesus for salvation..
All the lusts of the flesh; the lusts of the eye and the prideful pursuits of all who will one day make up the complete body of Christ were crucified with Christ on the cross, 2000 years ago - and now must be kept in the place of death.
Paul explained to the believers how the Father has put all things in subjection under Christ's feet and appointed Him to be the universal and supreme Head of the Church, and how the Body of Christ is completely filled by HIM, while He Himself is completely filled by God - Who completely fills everything in every way!
The work of the Spirit is to convict the unconverted of sin of righteousness and judgement, and when that man or woman believes in their heart that they are a sinner and that Christ died for their sins and rose again the third day, the Holy Spirit, Who reads the very motives of the heart, places them into the Body of Christ - as they transfer from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son.
Spiritual gifts from the Spirit are bestowed on every child of God, but they are a privileges that must be used wisely, for when abused by the carnal believer, that can cause confusion in the body of Christ and deliver a distorted gospel.
Let us like Daniel come to the Lord with earnest pleadings for ourselves and for the body of Christ – that she may ready herself for the soon return of the Lord Jesus, Who is coming soon to take us to be with Himself – Maranatha – Come Lord Jesus.
The Lord promised that He would never leave them nor forsake them. Do not be afraid or discouraged, was the word of hope that was given to Israel as they prepared to pass over the Jordan, and it is a promise that is equally valid for the body of Christ, in this Church dispensation.
Paul was a man who interceded for others in the body of Christ and often we discover him to be lifting up Christian brothers and sisters in pleading prayer ..earnestly asking the Lord that all who are born from above might mature in the faith, grow in grace and in accordance with the riches of God's super-abundant glory and His perfect will.
Paul's prayer is that the body of Christ would be strengthened in the inner man according to the riches of God's infinite glory - according to and the power of His everlasting might and majesty, dominion and power.
When Paul interceded for the body of Christ he prayed big and bold prayers according to the might and majesty of our heavenly Fathers.
We are the living stones who are being built-up, day by day, into the spiritual Temple of God, and today Jesus Christ is continuing to build His Church – for we are the Body of Christ – and the gates of hell will not prevail against us.
God in His grace used these early days of the Christian Church to teach these people that a new dispensation had begun and that God was starting a new thing through the Body of Christ - which is the Church.
To discover the reason that Paul bowed his knee before the Father, causing him to pray one of the most beautiful prayers for the body of Christ, we need to revisit his thoughts throughout chapters 1 and 2.
His faithfulness lasts from one generation to another and His promises are all 'yes' and 'amen' in Christ Jesus our Lord - both for this cloud of faithful witlessness and for every member of the Body of Christ - the Church.
The wonderful thing is that God had provided something better for the Body of Christ, so that apart from us - Israel would not be 'made perfect'.
Just as Israel was called to be God's chosen people during the dispensation of Law, so members of the Body of Christ, the Church, are called and chosen to be God's representatives on earth during this Church dispensation. We have not only been made children of God, but He has clothed us in Christ's righteousness, seated us together with Him in heavenly places, and made us to be joint-heirs with Him.
Not only is the salvation message under attack from unbelievers with their satanically inspired, unbiblical world-view, and also from many Christian cults and sects that disown or distort one or other aspect of this complete saving message of grace - but the salvation message is also under attack from some that are inside the body of Christ.
The book of Acts gives us some great insights into the ministry of the Spirit, within the corporate body of Christ, as well as the lives of believers, individually.
It details the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, and His multiple functions within the Body of Christ in the early years of Christendom.
God put His redemptive work through Israel on hold... but continued to operate His salvation plan through the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
He told them they would be baptised into the Body of Christ, by the Spirit, not many days from then.
On that first Day of Pentecost these faithful followers were baptised into the body of Christ, in fulfilment of His own words... together with John the Baptist's stirring prophecy, I baptise you with water, but One is coming Who is more powerful than I.
While those who believe are baptised with the Spirit and placed into the Body of Christ at salvation, those who do not believe remain under God's eternal condemnation and will one day be baptised with the terrible fires of God righteous judgement.
Christ has already been judged for our sin at Calvary's cross because we trust in Him. And on that first Day of Pentecost, those early disciples were not only baptised into the Body of Christ, by the Spirit..
It includes our regeneration or rebirth into the body of Christ and the indwelling ministry of the Spirit in the life of all believers.
Other 'non-experiential' work includes the baptism of the Spirit when we are placed once and forever into the Body of Christ and His sealing work where we are confirmed as God's children and indwelt by the Spirit.
It is the one in which believers engage as an outward sign of the inward change, because they trusted Christ's sacrifice for sin, and were born again of the Spirit Who baptised them into the body of Christ.
Being baptised with the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Bible, but perhaps 1 Corinthians 12:13 offers the clearest description of this once-for-all, supernatural event, that takes place in the life of every Christian, the moment they place their faith in Christ for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting, For in the power of one Spirit, we have all been baptised into one Body - we have been placed INTO Christ's body - we have become a Member of Christ's Body, which is the Church - whether Jews or Greeks, whether bondmen or free, and have all been given to drink of one Spirit.
May we, the Body of Christ, rest in His peace in this hostile, violent world, and look up and lift up our heads as our redemption draws nigh when Jesus comes in the clouds to Rapture His Bride and take us into heaven to be with Him.
And the day is fast approaching when the Lord Jesus... the rejected King of Israel, will return to earth with all His saints (us - His Bride - the Body of Christ).
It was near the end of his life, when Paul knew that he had finished His earthly race and had steadfastly kept the faith, that he wrote to Timothy with even more serious predictions of shocking faithlessness that was occurring in the body of Christ and warned of even more difficult times to come.
Paul's strong denunciation of this false teaching and his bitter attacks against those that were determined to bring the Body of Christ under the curse of the Law, demonstrated that he was never going to be intimidated by his accusers nor was he prepared to compromise the truth of the glorious gospel of Christ - and neither should we!
Before the cross men could only approach God through Israel but after the resurrection..the Church, (which is the body of Christ) were to be His witnesses on earth - and their testimony was to start in Jerusalem and spread out from that point.
No surprise that God purposed that in the ages to come He would use the Body of Christ, which is the Church, as a demonstration of the manifold wisdom of God to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
What joy to know that collectively, the Body of Christ will be used to display the immeasurable riches of God's grace towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ Jesus died for us.
The moment we are baptised into the body of Christ we are positioned in Him, through time and into eternity.
All believers are baptised into the Body of Christ by the Spirit, all are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and... unique to the Church age, we all have Him indwelling our hearts as a pledge and guarantee... for we are one Body saved and sealed by the same Spirit.
Being baptised into the body of Christ, sealed by the Spirit of God, and having Him take up permanent residence in our mortal body, are some of the wonderful ministries that take place the moment a sinner believes in Christ and trusts the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and eternal salvation.
That was the point when those who obediently remained in Jerusalem, as instructed by Christ, were collectively baptised by the Spirit into the body of Christ.
as outlined in the Word of truth, but also warning them to be on their spiritual guard... for false teachers and doctrines of demons, which were aggressively infiltrating the body of Christ in those early days of the Church - just as they are today..
As the Body of Christ, we are His representatives on earth.
Just as Christ was the Channel through Whom God worked to reconcile the world back to Himself during His earthly ministry - the Body of Christ, which is the Church, is called to carry out the same, responsible task.
God Himself chose to make the individual bodies of Christians, and the collective body of Christ, (which is the Church) His sacred residence.
When instructing Timothy concerning church conduct, the necessary qualities in elders and deacons, the responsibilities of pastors and teachers, the roles of men and women in the Body of Christ and in their home environment, and the need to challenge false teachers and insubordinate church members, Paul lays out an established, God-given order, that should be adopted within every Church community.
It seems that little groups or different sects were forming within the body of Christ, with each one stating their preference for a different Church leader.
Every born-again member of Christ’s body and their Christian leaders should be united in heart and manifesting the fruit of the spirit in their lives for the glory of God, and each one should be using their spiritual gifts for the benefit of the whole body of Christ.
That first day of Pentecost was the day the Church was born, and the Holy Spirit was given – they were all baptised into One Body – the body of Christ.
On that first Pentecost, it was Christ Who baptised that little group of Believers with the Holy Spirit, Who became an indwelling reality - and the apostle Paul tells us that from this point forward it is the Holy Spirit Who baptises every new believer into the Body of Christ – the moment they believe on the Lord Jesus Christ – What GRACE.
We are the Body of Christ and we have become a holy priesthood and ministers of reconciliation, and we are to offer ourselves to God as a spiritual sacrifice... holy and acceptable to Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Church is the body of Christ and in this verse it is the power of God, working through the Church, that is being praised... because of Christ Jesus our Lord, and how this rejoices the heart of the apostle.
Should this not rejoice the heart of every member of the body of Christ?
We are baptised spiritually into the Body of Christ and brought into a living union with the lovely Lord Jesus.
Spiritual regeneration, the baptism of the Spirit, His sealing of believers, and the Holy Spirit's indwelling ministry in the Body of Christ, takes place only once in the life of a believer - at his or her salvation.
The mystery, that was kept hidden from men and angelic beings alike, was that the unsearchable riches of God's grace, which He purposed towards whosoever would trust in His only begotten Son (whether Jew or gentile, male or female, old or young bond or free), were to become part of the mystical body of Christ, which is the Church.
This terrible judgement will not fall on the Body of Christ, for we are not appointed to God's wrath.
Just as Zephaniah was called to warn Israel of the coming Day-of-the-Lord, so the Church, which is the Body of Christ, have been commissioned as Ministers of Reconciliation, to tell out the good news of the gospel of God to this lost and dying world.
Both men and women are of equal value in the sight of God, but both sexes have been given different roles and responsibilities within a marriage relationship and in the wider body of Christ.
In this section, Paul is concentrating on the conduct, clothing and attitude of women within the body of Christ, where inner beauty and modesty is emphasized, in preference to exterior adornment and ostentation.
When the roles and responsibilities within the Church are correctly implemented and function biblically, the quiet, submissive spirit of godly women is seen to compliment the leadership role of the men, and helps to unite the body of Christ in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
He encourages all believers to live in peace with one another and to give encouragement and help to all who are members of the body of Christ, because he himself knows that the joy of the Lord is our strength, Paul calls on his brothers and sisters in Christ to rejoice in the Lord and to keep on rejoicing together in harmony of heart.
What a privilege it is to be a Christian - a part of the church – a living stone - a member of the body of Christ.
This privileged access into the very presence of the Almighty is for ALL who are the called – all who are Christians – all who are a part of the church – all who are a living stone being built together into the Temple of God - all who are members of the body of Christ.
As members of the Body of Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.
Let us take to heart this exhortation to rejoice in our suffering, for as members of the Body of Christ, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing - not only in this world, but in the ages to come - praise His holy name.
Paul gave some important teaching concerning the organisation and orderliness of the Church, in Titus chapter 2, so that the Body of Christ would come to a knowledge of the truth, which leads to godliness.
Paul was encouraging Titus to boldly share these Biblical truths with the Body of Christ and to encourage those in his care towards righteous living and reverent behaviour.
Paul's second command to Titus was to exhort the Body of Christ.
There are many lessons to learn for older men and women, younger pastors, appointed elders, and the whole Body of Christ, in this letter to Titus, and we would all do well to study its organisation and orderliness, and to ensure that our character and conduct reflects the godly behaviour presented to us in Scripture.
Preaching the word is often to encourage and exhort the body of Christ as we watch and wait for the any day return of the Lord Jesus for His church – but it should always reflect Christ's gracious character.
And they were also exhorted to: shepherd the Body of Christ, which is the Church - reminding them, (and us) that we were purchased with His own precious blood, on Calvary's cross.
Let us pray for those that are overseers in local churches and shepherds in the Body of Christ today, that each one may take to heart this important command to be on their guard for their own spiritual well-being, and to take responsibility for protecting all the flock of God with sound doctrine and a disciplined life..
Having given the Corinthians Christians additional insight into the glories of the new body that awaits every Church-age believer at the resurrection / rapture of the Body of Christ, Paul reminds us that each one of us will also stand before the judgement seat of Christ, following this event.
Let us live holy lives that are well- pleasing to the Lord so that all we say and do is helpful and edifying to the body of Christ – so that as we walk in newness of life, as we grow more like Jesus day by day.
but he demonstrated that earnest and frequent prayer for all the body of Christ should be our own joyful priority - for the earnest, on-going and heartfelt prayers of a righteous man are effective, have tremendous power and accomplished much.
They were yet to discover that the Church age was to run its course; that the Body of Christ was to be become God's messengers to the world for a season instead of Israel - and that the dispensation of the grace of God had to run its course before God would finally fulfil His promise to the nation of Israel.
They were yet to discover that God was going to unveil greater revelation of the mystical Body of Christ and our heavenly inheritance..
He endured hunger and thirst, beatings and imprisonments, stonings and shipwrecks, and encountered various dangers and disappointments from every segment of society, including some from within the Body of Christ.
On occasions, he feared for his life... and at other times he was concerned for spiritual growth within the Body of Christ for whom he laboured so tirelessly.
The church is the body of Christ and can be compared with a building of living stones that is being built up and fitted together in a beautiful way, by the Holy Spirit, into a holy temple –a permanent dwelling place for God.
But because each member of the body of Christ trusted Jesus as Saviour we are no longer foreigners and strangers who were eternally condemned in their sins and headed for eternal separation from their Creator – but are now fellow-citizens of heaven along with all the past old testament saints.
Despite his blasphemy against God and his persecution of the body of Christ, Paul was shown mercy and grace without measure for this visitation became a commission to proclaim the glorious gospel of Christ to Jew and Gentile alike - to Israel and the nations.
The descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, where the assembled company were filled with the Spirit and baptised into the Body of Christ, inaugurated a new dispensation.
Before the death of Christ, God was working through the Jewish nation to forward His redemption plan, but following His resurrection and ascension, God set Israel aside for a season and began a new work through the Church - the Body of Christ.
They deceive the heart of young, inexperienced believers, who love the Lord, by weaving error in with the truth, and they disrupt the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace, within the Body of Christ.
While Jesus won the victory over Satan at the Cross, God in His grace is using the Church - which is the Body of Christ on earth today, to carry forward His plans and purposes, through spiritual warfare - for the weapons of our warfare are not physical, but spiritual.
Micah is one of many prophets that have foretold of the coming Millennial kingdom of Christ, where Israel will be established in the land and the Church - which is the body of Christ, will rule and reign with Him for a thousand years - for it will come about in the last days that the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains.
Let us plead these timeless words, that were prayed by the writer of the Hebrews - over ourselves and all believers in Christ. Let us pray that the body of Christ, both individually and corporately, may indeed be equipped with everything that is needed to do God’s will, so that we become a people that are pleasing to the Lord in all the things that we DO and in everything that we ARE.
Even in Paul's day, there was much confusion and false teaching concerning the prophesied Day-of-the-Lord, the end of the age of grace, and the events during this time period, including when the Lord Jesus returns in the clouds to gather the Body of Christ to Himself in the Rapture, the seven-year period called the Tribulation, and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus to earth to set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
Paul obviously felt the need to pray for the Body of Christ in a way that reflected Christ's own High Priestly prayer - which the Lord Jesus prayed only hours before His own crucifixion (see John 17).
The moment that we were born again, the Holy Spirit takes us from the kingdom of darkness and places us into the kingdom of God's dear Son - we are baptized into the body of Christ and become one with Him.
It was not only in Paul's days that such divisive practices were evident within the Church, but today, similar divisive things are taking place which promote division within the Body of Christ and criticism of other Christian brothers and sisters, which causes confusion in the congregation.
Although the ministry of the 70 was a unique, pre-Cross commission, there are many aspects of their ministry that are relevant for the Body of Christ today, as we... like them, are sent out into the world to continue to share the gospel of Christ with whomsoever we meet.
However, he did seek to encourage his fellow-labourer to be faithful to his calling, to build up the Body of Christ and to strengthen the resolve of this younger man, as he pressed on to the goal of his calling.
Paul records that, by one Spirit, (the baptism of the Holy Spirit) we were all baptised into one Body, (the Body of Christ, which is the Church).
We are placed in union with Christ by the Spirit - we are baptised, by the Spirit, into the Body of Christ, by faith.
The moment we are saved, we are baptised into the Body of Christ.
We are removed from our original position in the first creation, where we are 'in-sin' by being identified with the first Adam - and placed into our new position in the Body of Christ as part of the new creation 'in-Christ'.
Whether talking about our spiritual baptism into the Body of Christ by faith, or our water baptism as the outward sign of our trust in Christ's finished work as Saviour - we can say, with all other members of the Body of Christ, I have been crucified with Christ and buried with Him in baptism, through faith in God.
The spiritual nature of our salvation, where we are baptised into the Body of Christ by faith, is outwardly demonstrated when we go to the waters of baptism.
Events that were veiled to the eyes of these great men were brought into sharper view when the Holy Spirit started to move in the lives of the apostles, who unfolded the mystery of the Church, which is the body of Christ and the free gift of salvation, which is given by grace through faith to all who will believe in the only begotten Son of God - as Saviour and Lord.
The message of the gospel is so simple that even a child can understand it, but it is very difficult for people, who are steeped in the Hebrew tradition, to come to terms with what the Bible really teaches – that there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the Body of Christ, but we are all one new man in Him.
Not surprisingly Philip said, Yes, if You believe what I have told you, about Jesus - that He is the promised Saviour, Who died on the Cross according to the Scriptures, was buried, and rose again according to the Scriptures - then you can be baptised and brought into the Body of Christ.
FIRST, Church-age saints who have died will be resurrected (the dead in Christ rise first) - SECOND, the rest of the Body of Christ will be taken into His presence without seeing death (then, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with the Church-age saints, and we will all forever be with the Lord).
As believers we are the corporate body of Christ and when two or more members of Christ’s body are united in prayer or praise, thanksgiving or worship – we are in a small way fulfilling Christ’s high priestly prayer: that we may be one, even as He is One with the Father.
I must decrease and He must increase, for there is one Lord; one faith; one baptism into the body of Christ and there is One Head, Who is to guard and guide us individually and corporately.
Although this little piece of Israel's history is interesting to us, it does not hold any real significance to the Body of Christ in this church dispensation, and yet there are lessons that we can learn from this interesting snippet of Israel's history.
As forgiven sinners we ALL became members of the body of Christ at salvation.
But this single verse.. (in a wonderful chapter that describes with unspeakable joy the glorious expectation of the Body of Christ, and the wonderful inheritance of the saints..
And this same verse has also been used by some unscrupulous and legalistic church leaders, as a threat against the eternal security of the body of Christ, in order to gain control over the members of their congregations.
It is the collective Body of Christ that is being called to continue in the faith in this verse - if you (ALL) continue in the faith.... and it is Christ Himself Who loved the Church so much that He and gave Himself up for her so that He Himself might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water by the word, that He Himself... might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
A day is coming when the Church, which is the Body of Christ will be presented holy and without blame to God the Father in heaven..
But Paul reminds us at the start of chapter 2 of what we once were, before we were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, forgiven of our sins, born from above, baptised into the body of Christ and made children of God, through our position in Christ, as a result of His finished work at Calvary.
For whatever reason, this great multitude, who were saved by the blood of the Lamb during this terrible time, did not believe in the Lord Jesus during the Church age and are not part of the Body of Christ, which is the Church.
Having just delivered an important paragraph about the qualities of being of a peacemaker... where sowing in peace is the key to raising a harvest of righteousness, James dives headlong into a stinging treaties on the detrimental effects of fights, quarrels, lust, hate, envy, and pride, within the Body of Christ.
The sad truth is... that within the Body of Christ, now as then, the source of such sinful pursuits is self.
And the fleshly drive for prestige and a carnal desire for pleasure, is an ongoing battle between the flesh and the spirit - between the old-sin-nature and the new-life-in-Christ - between our former 'Old Man,' and our new position as a member of the Body of Christ.
As believers we are positioned in Christ, born into the family of God, made members of the body of Christ and placed in eternal union with our Lord Jesus - and as such we are called upon to glorify our Father, Who is in heaven.
On the day of Pentecost, when faithful believers were united together in one place, filled with the Spirit, baptised into the Body of Christ, and started proclaiming the wonderful works of God in many languages, Jews and Jewish proselytes from around the world were amazed to hear the gospel in their own tongue, and were perplexed.
As believers, we were saved by grace through faith in Christ and at the moment of our salvation, the Holy Spirit of God placed us into the Body of Christ - He baptised us into Christ and we become one with Him and identified with all He is and all He did on the Cross.
Peter’s letter was addressed to the Body of Christ and in this final passage he addresses “the Day of the Lord”.
Peter had to make a huge adjustment from being a devout Jew, who lived under the Law of Moses, to becoming a mature, member of the Body of Christ, who lived by the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
Both books are equally relevant to Christians today who are continually being enticed back into the legalistic practice of the pre-Cross dispensation of Law... rather than appreciating that we are members of the Body of Christ in this post-Cross dispensation of grace.
Despite Peter’s experience with Cornelius, (the Roman centurion, who was baptised by the Holy Spirit the moment he believed), there was much resistance to admitting uncircumcised Gentile believers into the Body of Christ – but we discover that in Antioch a great number of people believed in Jesus, and many Gentiles, as well as Jews, turned to Christ for salvation.
Paul was on a mission to slaughter Christians... but he was apprehended by the risen, ascended, glorified God-Man Who warned him that in persecuting the Body of Christ, Paul was persecuting Jesus - the eternal Son of God - Who is God the eternal Son.
and Christians that choose to forsake joining together with other believers in Christian fellowship, (as the Body of Christ)..
or succumbing to carnality and falling short of their high calling in Christ Jesus - and so we are exhorted not to forsake assembling together as the Body of Christ, (which is the habit of some) - but motivating one another towards godly love and good works, and encouraging each other in our Christian walk - and this should happen all the more as we see the day of Christ's return drawing ever closer.
Let us do all we can to ensure that we do not forsake our assembling together as the Body of Christ - as is the habit of some believers, but rather let us take every opportunity to meet together with like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ,, for mutual strength; support; edification and encouragement - so that we can give and receive spiritual nourishment and sound biblical teaching together with like-minded believers - which is all the more important, as we see the day of Christ's return drawing ever nearer
We are to have our body washed through the sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost at rebirth, when we were born from above; placed into the body of Christ; set apart unto God and made holy by the washing of water with the Word of God.
Paul was not unaware of the petty squabbles and unnecessary disagreements that permeated the different churches in his care, but he was also quick to condemn such disunity in the Body of Christ and stressed the importance of Christian unity - where any differences of race, colour, nationality, culture, language, gender, and status, are brushed aside in love.
He was certainly zealous in stressing the importance of keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace - where by grace through faith in Christ, we are ONE Body and ONE Spirit... with ONE hope, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism into the Body of Christ - and ONE God and Father, Who is above all, through all, and in us all.
Believers were baptised into the Body of Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit and all received the gift of tongues.
However there is much confusion about the meaning of the word 'prophecy' in the church today, and this text is often used to introduce extra-biblical revelation to the body of Christ..
But for those Jewish believers who trusted Christ on that wonderful day of Pentecost - their times of refreshing had already arrived, for they became born-again of the Spirit of God and part of the body of Christ.
And so they were given the privilege of participating in the birth of the Church, when the Spirit was poured out on them in great abundance - and each one was baptised into the body of Christ and given the gift of tongues so that they could prophesy in other languages about the wonderful works of God - to the men of Israel who were present in Jerusalem on that momentous day..
This interrelationship of every aspect of the human body is used, by Paul, to illustrate the beautiful way that each member of the body of Christ is important to the whole, and should function and interact with all other members.
Christ is the Head of the body, and just as the head of a human body is the control tower which governs every internal organ and directs each external member to work together in synergistic harmony, so it should be with every member of the body of Christ, which is the Church - for HE is our Head.
All, however, contribute to the effective functioning of the Body of Christ.
Christ is to be made manifest to a broken and hurting world through the Body of Christ, which is the Church - for individually and collectively we are His witnesses.
And the apostle Paul would later be given greater revelation about the Body of Christ: for by one Spirit we are all baptised into the one Body - i.e.
the Body of Christ.
As members of the Body of Christ, let us remain faithful to the witness and testimony of the gospel of Christ, Who said: I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life - no man cometh to the Father, but by ME.
that He will take what is Mine and will disclose it to you. At this time however, they only saw through a glass darkly, but the day would come when they would be baptised by the Spirit of Truth into the Body of Christ and have the indwelling Holy Spirit of God unfold to them the mysteries of the kingdom... and the privileges of the dispensation of the grace of God.
Paul is making a valid point that appropriate management in a man's home-life, is likely to translate into expedient leadership within the body of Christ.
May we all study the qualities and characteristics that Paul expects from those that are overseers within the Body of Christ, and seek to reflect every godly attribute in our own lives, both at home and in the wider community.
God's never-ending love-story for His people continues... but today, as the Body of Christ, we wait for that glorious event when we shall be taken into heaven to be His Bride... for His love-story for the Church is equally wonderful as His love for Israel... and is deserving of our praise and worship.
Paul has been a major vessel that God has used in Christ's post-cross ministry to reveal much of that form of teaching that is exclusively given to the body of Christ, just as He has used Moses to give the form of teaching that was exclusively given to the nation of Israel.
All who are born-again are expected to know the Scriptures thoroughly, to rightly divide the Word of truth, and to put into practice the godly principles and instructions, that are specifically written to the body of Christ - which is the Church.
As the body of Christ, we should be of one mind, one spirit and one heart, but it is only as we are transformed into the likeness of Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will we be able to discern what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God and to display it in our lives.
He knows the end from the beginning and the formation of the Body of Christ was in accordance with God's eternal plan and purpose for the redemption of mankind - which was carried out through the Lord Jesus Christ, at Calvary.
The mistakes made by Israel in the wilderness and their slide into rebellion, unbelief and disobedience, during those 40 years of wandering, present some of the most serious warnings to the Body of Christ in Scripture, for despite being saved by grace through faith when they made their exodus from Egypt, Israel lived in defeat for the rest of their lives, and failed to access God's precious promises of rest.
As a result, Hebrews quotes many Old Testament passages and we find many references back to the oracles of God, and much that is written by these holy men of God, provide some serious warnings against developing legalism in the Body of Christ.
The same cowardly men who had fled from Gethsemane and denied their Lord only 50 days earlier were suddenly filled with the Spirit, baptized into the body of Christ and began proclaiming the wonderful works of God to all who were present in Jerusalem for that feast of Pentecost.
As members of the body of Christ and citizens of heaven we should confidently walk the earth in unity of the spirit and consistently stand firm in the faith that was once offered to the saints - with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith of the Gospel, and in so doing glorifying our Father Who is in heaven,
Some were commissioned to be a pastor of a church or to appoint elders from the Body of Christ, so that the Church of God would be spiritually equipped, enabled to grow in their faith, and become mature men and women of God.
There seems to be no rivalry between Paul and Epaphras, because their united focus was the Lord Jesus, their singular ministry was to preach Christ crucified, and their common goal was to spread the gospel of God to the unsaved, while also bringing the body of Christ into spiritual maturity.
When we do become partakers of His suffering, Peter exhorts us to, rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, for there is a depth of meaning in this verse that touches every member of the world-wide Mystical Body of Christ Jesus, which is the Church.
And yet we are encouraged to rejoice in our sufferings, with exceeding great, and overflowing joy, knowing that it is for His sake that we are ill-treated all day long – for He is the living Head of His Mystical Body – the Body of Christ, which is the Church.We, of course, had no part in His atoning work at Calvary, for He alone was the sacrifice for the sin of the whole world.
The union of Jew with Gentile has resulted in the Church becoming one nation under God, for we are the Body of Christ - and God has called us during this Church dispensation, to be His chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession - that we may declare the praises of Him, Who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light.
Let us follow after the things which make for peace so that we may edify one another - and let us pursue what promotes a godlike tranquility in the body of Christ and build up one another in godly grace.
Some become so conceited in their own spiritual importance; boastful of their own spiritual discernment or critical of the spiritual development of others that they disregard their brother's spiritual wisdom and dismiss their value within the Body of Christ.
But we also live in a world where the enemy of our soul is seeking to shipwreck the faith and witness of every one of us, who are part of the body of Christ.
The permanently, indwelling Holy Spirit, Who would Himself baptise all believers into the Body of Christ at salvation, was a further staggering truth the early church would have to learn, but so too was the unprecedented realisation that Gentile believers in Christ were equally accepted by God as Jewish believers in Christ.
Paul knew there were evil workers among the body of Christ, who placed their confidence in the flesh rather than in the Lord Jesus, and because of his narcissistic, pre-salvation life, Paul recognised that the zeal of these self-righteous legalists placed them in opposition to Christ!!
There are about 150 passages in the Word of God that state unequivocally that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ's finished work on the cross - alone, but sadly there are some that cause confusion in the body of Christ by teaching that without water baptism a man or woman is not saved and they often cite this verse as evidence..
The instant a guilty sinner ... who recognises their need of salvation, puts their trust in Christ as their own Kinsman- Redeemer.. that man or woman is immediately baptised into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit and is taken out of Satan's domain and placed INTO Christ's body.
and baptised into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit - for they have not mixed an inner heart faith with the factual truth.
The body of Christ will not be divided in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we are reminded that as we wait for the Lord Jesus, it will be God Himself, who will also confirm us to the end of the Church age.
This glorious second coming of Israel's Messiah is not to be confused with glorious rapture of the Church for which we eagerly await today - for we are the body of Christ and we are not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What a thrilling message Peter had for the men of Israel on that wonderful Day of Pentecost when the Church was born, and all those present were baptised into the Body of Christ - filled with the Spirit, Who took up permanent residence in their bodies and received the gift of languages.
Whoever it may be can become a new creation in Christ, for whosoever believes that Jesus is the Messiah is born of God: and everyone that loves the Father Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God and the sure proof that we love the Father Who saved us is that we have a love for the whole body of Christ - a love for all believers who have been begotten of God and saved by grace through faith.
He baptises us into the body of Christ, for it is by the power of one Spirit that we have all been baptised into one body, whether Jew or Gentile, whether bondmen or free, and we have all been given to drink of one Spirit.
Originally, Israel had been called to be God's witnesses on earth, but due to their unbelief and apostasy, Israel was set aside for a season and the Body of Christ, which is the Church, was called to produce the fruit of righteousness.
but were kept secret from before the foundation of the world -things concerning the Church, (which is the Body of Christ), and God's great, eternal plan of redemption.
But God in His wisdom gave them as much revelation as was meet for them to know, and raised up the apostle Paul to open up the mysteries of the Body of Christ, which is the Church - and that is 'Christ in you the hope of glory'.
And so, Paul exhorts the spiritually bankrupt members of the Corinthian Church to put away childish things and to remember that as members of the Body of Christ, they had the Holy Spirit of God indwelling their mortal bodies!
They were not to pervert their God-given gifts in order to stroke their own, personal egos. Gifts of the Spirit are given for the benefit of the Body of Christ and for the glory of God. They are not given to satisfy the lust of a self-indulgent, carnal believer.
Each has been spiritually equipped to carry out the work that God has prepared for them to do, so that together with the rest of the Body of Christ, they will individually and collectively grow in grace and walk in the unity of the Spirit.
Each church fellowship is a microcosm of the world-wide Body of Christ.
Thirdly, Paul explained that because we are members of the Body of Christ and belong to Him, we are in Christ... we are positioned in Him and enjoy spiritual union with Him - and as such we are all considered to be the spiritual descendants of Abraham and heirs of the promise: And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise. But what is the promise to which is Paul referring... and Who is the Seed that He mentions in this verse?
As well as offering encouragement to these younger men, the three epistles give instruction on how the Body of Christ should function and interact with one another, and also list the roles and responsibilities of Church leaders and those in their charge.
Paul became increasingly aware that after his departure, the enemy would not only seek to divide the Church through false teachers and demonic doctrines, but would also use internal dissentions and disunity to cause havoc and distress among Christians and divide the Body of Christ.
False teachers and destructive doctrines infiltrating the Body of Christ was the biggest danger about which all the apostles warned in their letters, and in Acts 20 we read that Paul knew that vicious wolves would come into the Church, twist the truth, and scatter the flock of God after his death.
We who have entered into the body of Christ have entered God’s rest - for the Lord Jesus Christ is the Sabbath-rest for the people of God – and while we are still living in this world in our bodies, our rest is in Him – we rest in His word and we rest in His promises.
'Anathema', is a Greek word that translates into 'accursed', 'condemned', 'damned', and 'bound under a great curse.' The terrible consequences of false teaching and demonic doctrines, percolating into the body of Christ, cannot be over-emphasised, which is why Paul made this shocking invocation on all who do not love the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind and strength.
But each member of the body of Christ has the responsibility to know the truth, contained in the word of God, so that they will not be tossed about by every wind of doctrine nor seek after teachers that spew out an egocentric Christianity, rather than the Christ-focused truth.'
The message of the cross is that Christ died and rose again so that all who believe on His name would not perish but have everlasting life - and those that believe in Him are united together with Christ and placed into the body of Christ.
We are the Body of Christ and we are identified with Him - and He with us.
Certainly we should intercede for our world leaders, governments, nations and lost souls - indeed we are urged to make entreaties to the Lord through prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, on behalf of all men - and Paul specifically mentioned kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity - and certainly we should pray for the body of Christ, which is the Church - as well as for families and friends - yes, there are many instructions for Christians to pray and intercede.
BUT to take this verse in its correct context and seek to apply it to any nation, other than Israel is to distort the Scripture and claim a promise from God that is not for the body of Christ.
And on that first day of Pentecost, the disciples who responded to John's message of repentance and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation were gathered together in one place, in obedience to Christ's command. But not all those that were baptised into John's baptism of repentance were present on that singular Day of Pentecost... when for the first time, the Holy Spirit was given to the Body of Christ - which is the Church.
As men and women heard the good news being taught on that special Day of Pentecost, and believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, they were also indwelled by the Holy Spirit and baptised into the body of Christ.
What joy for this little faithful band of Jews who had received John's baptism of repentance, to at last hear the gospel of Christ, and be placed into (or baptised into) the Body of Christ.
What joy they must have experienced when Paul laid his hands on them and they were immediately transferred (baptised) into the Body of Christ.
were 'baptised' into the Body of Christ) by the Spirit of God through faith, and were in-dwelt by the Holy Ghost - as the fledgling church transitioned from the closing days in the dispensation of the Law into the opening hours of the dispensation of the grace of God.
He was one that violently persecuted the Church of God, which is the Body of Christ, and he tried to destroy it.
When he understood that Jesus Christ was the King of Israel and that he had been complicit in crucifying his Messiah, Paul came to the shocking realisation that in tyrannising the Body of Christ, he was abusing the Lord Jesus Himself.
He could only judge himself to be the very least of all the saints of God, for he considered his sins against God and the Body of Christ to be the most heinous of all crimes.
when the fledgling church was born and all who were eagerly waiting, (as instructed in the upper room), were suddenly baptised into the Body of Christ, by the Holy Spirit - and we read that they were all filled at that moment by the Spirit of God.
Every Christian is a member of the Body of Christ, but too often the works of the flesh and the old sin nature allow ungodly thoughts, words, and deeds to expose a carnal attitude that is trying to disguise itself inside a spiritual coating.
And yet, if every believer were to follow the wise instructions that we find in Paul's directive to wives and women in his various epistles... the Body of Christ would be enriched with godly women who would teach younger ones to exhibit the qualities of the virtuous woman in the book of Proverbs... by encouraging them to: Love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the Word of the Lord will not be dishonoured.
Today, as we recognise the shocking apostasy that is exploding in Christendom and the multiplication of false teachings in the churches, we often look back to those early days, when apostolic teaching, communal fellowship, the breaking of bread and earnest prayer was the beautiful signature of the body of Christ..
a time before the mystery of the Church, as the spiritual Body of Christ, (with all the other the great teachings of the apostle Paul) had not yet been revealed.
Today, 2000 years later, the Body of Christ continues to grow and multiply - but it does so quietly and secretly.
and how they turned back to Egypt for succor and strength, instead of looking to the Lord their God - we as the body of Christ can learn some important lessons and apply its vital truths to our own lives, in this Church dispensation.
who were saved by grace through faith and who are all members of the body of Christ, that we were unwilling to quietly depend upon the God of our salvation as our exclusive Sustainer, Provider and Defender as we journey through this world..
We should get on our faces and confess that as the Body of Christ, we have not done what we ought to have done... and we have done the things that we should not have done.
And as the Body of Christ we should humble ourselves and pray, and seek God's face, turn from our wicked ways, and cry out for His mercy, though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines..
He knew that our Father is a God Who hears and answers the prayer of His children, and so Paul encouraged the Philippian believers to intercede on his behalf - knowing that God would hear and answer their prayer, and that his deliverance from prison, would increase their faith; give great encouragement to the body of Christ and cause the gracious spirit of Christ to be formed in them.
We are instructed to use them wisely, as directed by the Holy Spirit, and to develop our giftings, for the collective benefit of the Body of Christ, and to the glory of God.
One important principle, which the Corinthian Christians disregarded, was that gifts are for the edification of the whole Body of Christ and for the glory of God.
Instead of recognising it is a command to the collective Body of Christ, there are many believers today, who set about crying to God to receive the spiritual gift they particularly desire.
May we determine in our hearts to earnestly desire the greater spiritual gifts within the Body of Christ, so that together we may grow in grace and learn to LOVE others as Christ loved us - which is the more excellent way to live our Christian life, as we wait for the any-day return of the Lord Jesus.
His epistle to the Romans has been argued to contain the most thorough treatise on every aspect of our initial justification, ongoing sanctification and future glorification, together with the most comprehensive directive on the godly behaviour and personal conduct given to the Body of Christ.
And some as evangelists and some as pastor-teachers whose role is to equip the saints in the service of our Father, in order that the Body of Christ may be nourished in the Word of God and built up spiritually.
Today, we see through a glass darkly, for there are many irritants and unholy differences within the Body of Christ which will never be fully harmonised until we are all finally perfected in Him - but He has given us His Word and furnished each one of His children with spiritual gifts, to equip the saints in their service to the Lord.
Every born-again child of God is a member of the body of Christ and each have their own God-appointed gifts and abilities... so that they are enabled to carry out the roles and responsibilities for which each has been called.
As the Body of Christ, we are instructed to labour in this world, so as to bring about God's fullness in Christ.
The agricultural metaphor of fertilisation and full-fruitage, tumbles into the glories of magnificent architecture and a building that is growing into the Temple of the Living God - for the same little flock, that are God's fellow-labourers are also those living stones that are being fitly built together and raised-up into the magnificent superstructure that is the Church - the Body of Christ - the dwelling-place of the Lord of the Harvest.
Every member of the Body of Christ has a part to play in God's progressive plan of redemption, and He Who started the good work in our lives at salvation is faithful to complete it, until the day of Christ Jesus.
And on that day of Pentecost, we read that 120 faithful followers were all together in one place, and were all filled with the Holy Spirit and started to proclaim the wonderful works of God in multiple languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. They were BAPTISED into the Body of Christ and then FILLED with the Spirit, Who gave each one a spiritual GIFT.
This unique event happened on the day of Pentecost, and the Church, which is the Body of Christ, was born.
From this time on, the gospel of the Grace of God would be taught by the One New Man in Christ - the Body of Christ - a New Creation, made up of Jew and Gentile believers.
Israel were to turn back to the GOD of Israel through John's Baptism of Repentance and Israel as a nation, were to believe on Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting - and by so doing they too would be baptised by the Holy Spirit into Church, which is the Body of Christ, and they would receive the indwelling Spirit of God, as promised of old, at God's appointed time - (Pentecost).
Because they repented of their sins and turned to Christ, they were also baptised by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ.
The Jewish men were not only baptised by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ for their inward cleansing, but they also were baptised in water as the outward sign of this inner change of heart.
They were born-again into the family of God and baptised into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit - and these men of Israel demonstrated their trust in the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of sins and life-everlasting by going through the waters of baptism.
What an incredible spectacle must have taken place on The Day of Pentecost, when believers were baptized into the body of Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Should not we who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and become part of the body of Christ, join that great cloud of witnesses in exulting our resurrected Saviour and glorifying our Father in heaven?
The gifts of the Spirit are given to help equip other believers in their spiritual service; to edify the body of Christ and to help to perfect each member of the Church for the particular ministry to which God has called them.
He adds that the ultimate goal is to bring all believers into the unity of the faith and a knowledge of the Son of God, so that the body of Christ becomes spiritually mature as we are daily being conformed into a measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ..
But when a member of the body of Christ has been hoodwinked by the enemy or strayed into some cunningly devised fable from false teachers; unbiblical teachings or worldly philosophies, we are exhorted to preach the Word in truth and to speak that truth in love - so that together we may grow is grace as we mature in Him - Who is the Head of the body, even Christ Jesus our Lord.
This verse is in a passage concerning the use and abuse of spiritual gifts, where Paul moves into an examination of the Christian Church and an explanation of our membership in the Body of Christ.
The spiritual Body of Christ is an exact representation of a physical, human body.
Paul continues to explain that we became a member of the Body of Christ when we were born again. The moment we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ we were baptised into the Body of Christ.
At salvation we were placed into the Body of Christ by ONE Spirit. We were removed from our position in Adam and positioned in the Body of Christ: For by ONE Spirit we were all baptised into ONE body whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
It was on that unique day that by one Spirit, all the believers in the upper room were baptised into the Body of Christ. All were placed into Christ's Body by ONE Spirit, and throughout the Church dispensation, the moment a sinner is saved by grace through faith he is removed from his position in Adam and baptised into the Body of Christ - by one Spirit.
I am sure they discussed the importance of salvation being a gift of God, through faith in Christ and the uniting of Jewish and Gentile believers in the Body of Christ, and I am sure they came to an understanding that Jewish believers are saved in the same way as Gentiles believers, for we read: We are also saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way that Gentiles are... without the encumbrances of the Jewish religious system.
Together, as the Body of Christ, they would go into all the world and preach the gospel of grace to lost sinners - both Jews and Gentiles.
This sublime commandment to love as Christ loved us, is given to those in the body of Christ, for only by believing on Christ are we placed in union with Him - and only as we abide in Him and He in us can we fulfil His sublime instructions to the Church as recorded in John's gospels:- this is my will that You believe on ME - this is My commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you.
He reveals to us the mystery of Christ that was hidden from previous generations - that there is neither Jew nor Gentile in the Body of Christ, and Gentiles are fellow-heirs - members of the same spiritual Body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
He came to baptise all who believe, into one single unit - the Body of Christ.
While each spiritual gift is to be used for the benefit of the whole Body of Christ, Paul identifies a number of gifts that are particularly necessary for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ - apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.
Having stressed the importance of unity in the body he writes He gave some to be apostles, and some prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers - for the equipping of the saints for the work of service and to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. The first two spiritual gifts were most important in the early church, before the New Testament Scriptures were written, while the others are important in sharing the common truth of the gospel.
The other gift/s Paul identified in helping to equip the saints for the work of service, and to build-up of the body of Christ, is that of Pastor and Teacher.
Every gift of the Spirit is of equal importance and all Christians can exercise their spiritual gifts and graces to bless their brothers and sisters in Christ, and in so doing are helping to equip the saints for their own work of service and to help build up the body of Christ.
Rather let us stir up the spiritual gift with which we have been blessed and exercise it wisely, so that we too may help to equip, encourage, comfort, and support the saints in their spiritual service, and pray that God would use us to help build up the body of Christ, for His name's sake.
Too often, Christian brothers and sisters permit their personal feelings and a touch of spiritual pride to fan a flame of disagreement with other members of the Church which results in broken fellowship or a split within the Body of Christ.
Such disagreements may mar their Christian witness or may cause division within the Body of Christ.
How important, also, to recognise the wisdom of maintaining the unity in the spirit in the bond of peace and preserving harmony in the Body of Christ.
Indeed, there are crowns and rewards for teachers who shepherd the flock of God, bring others into a closer understanding of His Word, and edify the Body of Christ - through their desire to teach the truth of our wonderful Saviour.
Paul had to tackle issues such as idolatry, incest, and prostitution, within the very Body of Christ, and challenged them in areas such as litigation, where believers were discrediting themselves and tarnishing the name of the Lord by involving unbelievers in their petty legal proceedings, rather than sorting differences out between themselves in a quiet and godly manner.
As members of the body of Christ who have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, we know that the sufferings that we may be called upon to go through in this fallen world cannot be compared with the glories that God is keeping for us in heavenly places.
For we are the body of Christ and one with Him - and it is by grace through faith in Christ that we are enabled to fulfil every desire for goodness.
Like the Lord Jesus, Paul seems to have developed the desire to live his life in an attitude of prayer and throughout his writings we find him encouraging the Body of Christ to prayer without ceasing, to pray always, and in every situation to pray with a thankful heart and having done all... to keep on praying knowing that our sufficient strength comes from God alone.
It precedes Paul's examination of the Christian Church and explanation of our membership in the Body of Christ.
The spiritual Body of Christ is an exact representation of a physical, human body.
Paul explains that we became a member of the Body of Christ when we were born again. The moment we believed on Christ we were baptised into the Body of Christ.
At salvation we were placed into the Body of Christ by ONE Spirit.
When we were regenerated, we were removed from our old position in Adam to our new position in the Body of Christ: For by ONE Spirit we were all baptised into ONE Body - whether Jews or Greeks; whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
It was on that unique day that by one Spirit, all the believers in the upper room were baptised into the Body of Christ. All ate of the same spiritual food and all drank for the same living fountain.
All were placed into His Body by the ONE Spirit, and throughout the Church dispensation the moment a sinner is saved by grace through faith, he is removed from his position in Adam and baptised into the Body of Christ, by the same Holy Spirit.