We are the Body!
Some thoughts today about the Body of Christ and what our response should be to God’s generosity by grace to make us a part of that Body.
Note from Kip…
For those of you who were baptized into Christ have been clothed with Christ. There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female; since you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:27-28 (CSB)
The last few days, as I have continued to contemplate the significance of being a true Disciple of Jesus, the magnitude of being part of the body of Christ became more and more clear.
Along with the magnitude of this body, is it’s complexity and diversity. We all serve one Christ and are saved by His grace. We each cling to His Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the focal point of our existence. Likewise, we all are called to be the Disciples of Jesus who sacrificed Himself for us even before we knew Him.
We are His Body. Born of unrestrained Love of the Creator for His Creation.
Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:5-6 (CSB)
Our fleshly bodies are born in corruption. As beautiful and perfect a new born child is, each of us is born into a condemned state. Jesus made it abundantly clear that we must be born a second time and this time be born of the Spirit.
I tend to be fascinated by formulas and calculations. It’s the engineer part of me that causes that fixation I suppose. But the truth of the Gospel can be expressed in the following relationship:
1 (birth) = death x 2 and 2 (birth) = 1 (death) = 1 (life)
If we are not born again, we can not enter the kingdom of God. We must be born of His Spirit, into a new life which will endure beyond our earthly existence. At that point in our transition to eternal life, we are adopted by God as His Son or Daughter.
And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.
2 Corinthians 6:18 (CSB)
We become a Royal Priesthood.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9 (CSB)
And become part of the Body of Christ.
For just as the body is one and has many parts, and all the parts of that body, though many, are one body — so also is Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and we were all given one Spirit to drink. Indeed, the body is not one part but many.
1 Corinthians 12:12-14 (CSB)
Because it is the Spirit that gives us Life!
The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
John 6:63 (CSB)
Consider the Body Spirit
Reflecting back to 1 Corinthians 12 we see that each person who is born anew by the Spirit of God becomes part of this Body of Christ. That which is born of the Spirit is not of the flesh for the the flesh is death to the body.
While we wait for the transition from these fleshly bodies, to the the new spiritual bodies Jesus has said he will bestow upon us, we necessarily have to deal with the limitations of the flesh and it’s flawed condition.
Our spirits are white as snow being cleansed by the Blood of Christ, we are united in Christ Jesus and by our union with Christ we are united one to another.
Each providing a particular benefit to the the Body as a whole.
I was sitting in a church study group this last week. I believe it was our Sunday School class. We often when we gather to study the Word will ask for prayer requests to be shared with the group. It was as we were sharing these prayer requests, that I came to a realization of the Body of Christ that I likely should have fathomed earlier, but didn’t really grasp hold of till that very minute.
The Holy Spirit living in each and every person in that group was linked by not only our proximity to each other but by the Spirit Living within us. Each time we join in worship and study we feel that very union, but when we pray we tend to separate ourselves from each other as individuals.
We are one body in Christ Jesus and if one part of that body suffers from illness or misfortune then every other part of that body is affected. But we tend to pray for the person specifically, rather seeking accommodation for them as part of our own body, the Body of Christ.
I realized that we are perhaps restricting our prayers to focus on the one and not the whole body. Not that we shouldn’t pray for each others needs, no, far from that. But this prayer request is not ‘their issue’, it is my issue, your’s and your’s too.
If my brother has crippling pain, I must be beyond sympathy and find empathy because when he hurts the body suffers and I suffer with him as a result. It no longer is a prayer request for someone else it is an urgent plea for me on behalf of the Body of Christ.
At that moment, my prayer life changed for the better. Being cognizant of the Body of Christ and how just as each part brings a benefit to the whole, each burden, sorrow, pain, and discomfort, is shared by the complete Body of Christ.
There is a distinct difference within this that celebrates our union with Christ and our union with each other. For we are truly one in Christ and Christ Jesus is in us. It transformed us when we surrendered to Him and He is the bond between each and every believer.
So now, my prayers aren’t for ‘that brother’ or ‘that sister’, because that brother and sister are my body as much as my arm is if it became broken. In that manner, when they are broken, weary and trouble, I am as well.
Because ‘We are the Body‘!