Tag Archive for body of Christ

The call for Unity

The Call for unity

The church, the spiritual body of Jesus Christ has been urged by the apostle Paul saying, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1Corinthians 1:10).
Therefore, to everyone who profess to be a member of the body of Christ, we should make it our aim to walk in the unity of the Spirit as admonished by the apostle Paul saying, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
It is the Lord`s earnest desire that all believers may be one, as stated in His prayer to the Father stating, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:21-23).
Now the rationale for this call for unity, is due to the fact that, “There is one body of which we are all members, one Spirit, in whom we were all baptized, called in one hope of our calling; there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
One cannot deny the fact that the churches which supposed to be representing the body of Christ are not in one accord, they are divided and are not perfectly joined together as the Lord intended, so the main concern is how can we all fulfill the Lord`s desire to have His church perfectly joined together?
To be able to help in the process of assuring unity in the body of Christ I think that it is imperative that every member learn how to use his/her gift for the overall development of the church, because Christ Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
The reason for that is that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16).
To be able to help resolve the differences that exist in the body of Christ I have come up with a formula that will help me personally deal with this issue of disunity in the body of Christ. The formula I came up with is as follows:-
1. Try to identify the root cause of the disagreement
It is almost impossible to solve a problem without knowing the root cause of it. A problem cannot be solved by dealing with the effects, neither by compromising.
2. Seek the right solution in dealing with the particular issue
The truth of the word should not be compromised in order to attain unity, instead we are to strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:12-14).
3. Learning to shod the feet with the gospel of peace
In essence that means shunning profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness, but instead pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
4. Approach the situation in humility
For it is required of a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Note that the forces behind the wrangling and arguments is a snare of the devil, Therefore, we have been admonished to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
The irony of truth is, for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when our obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:2-6).
5. Establish the truth
In any discussion which pertains to the believer`s way of life, the truth must be established, and the way we establish the truth is by following the procedure by which biblical knowledge can be attained which is stated as follows; ” Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28: 9-10).
Therefore, to establish the truth one should not take one verse of scripture in isolation to the rest of the scriptures and knowledge is revealed to those who are mature and partaking of solid food.
6. Uphold the laws of nature
Nature is a sure way of teaching us even the invisible things of God, for we have been admonished saying; “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).
Therefore, if there is anything that seems hard and difficult to understand, see how the natural laws of nature deal with the particular issue.

THe Process of Reconciliation

The Process of Reconciliation

The second step towards man’s reconciliation is Christ drawing man to the Father. For he said quite explicitly: “I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” There is only one God; and one Mediator between God and men, the man Jesus Christ, who gave himself as a ransom for all men” (John 14:6; 1Timothy 2:5-6).

This aspect of Christ drawing men to the Father is made possible also by three inseparable links.

  1. Jesus Christ officiating as our High Priest

Seeing that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

It is the qualification and appointment of every high priest taken from among men, in things pertaining to God, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; and therefore, it is necessary that Christ himself also has something to offer. Now since he continues forever, and has an unchangeable priesthood, he is also able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

  1. Jesus Christ offering his body as a sin offering to reconcile us to the Father

For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Christ, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once we were alienated from God and were enemies in our minds because of our evil behavior. But now he has reconciled us by Christ’s physical body through death to present us holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

The broken body of Jesus Christ which is now represented by the unleavened bread is the new and living way to the presence God, which Christ has consecrated for us in his flesh.

  1. Jesus Christ offering his blood as the propitiation for our sins

It is the blood the purifies, it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul, and it is the blood that purges the conscience from dead works in order to serve the living God, and grants us the boldness to enter the Most Holy place. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean, how much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God. Cleanse our conscience from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God.

The confession we have to hold on to, and called to persevere is simply this; “Since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good works. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:19-25).

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The Reconciling Work of Christ

The Reconciling work of Christ

This is what produces peace with God, gives us access to the Father, and produces unity between Jews and Gentiles, and believers with other believers. The reconciling work of Christ is made possible only through his body as it is written; “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” (Colossians 1:22).

In like manner, the redemptive work of Christ is made possible only through his blood. For God has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, (through his blood) the forgiveness of sins.

The reconciling work of Christ is three-fold, and each requires a three way cycle to make it complete, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit complete the Godhead, and the body, soul, and spirit makes man complete, so it is with God’s plan of salvation for man.

The first step towards man’s reconciliation is God the Father drawing man to Christ, as stated quite distinctly by Jesus Christ who said; “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” This was repeated for emphasis when the people did not believe the words which Christ spoke to them, so he said to them again; “This is why I told you that no one can  come to me unless the Father has enabled him” (John 6:44, 65).

The process of drawing people to Christ was made possible by three inseparable links.

  1. Jesus Christ had to be God

Only as God was Christ able to claim and redeemed the lives of every human being. He was the Word who was in the beginning with God, and who himself was God, through whom all things were created, and without him nothing was made that was made. He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation. For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. But as God it was impossible for him to die, so the next obvious chain of event had to occur.

  1. The Word who was God, and by whom all things were created, became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Since as God he could not die to pay the penalty of sin in man’s place which is death, he was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, that he by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says; “I will declare you name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praise.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me” (Hebrews 2:12-13).

Now since the children whom God has given him have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful High Priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. And because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

  1. Redemption through his blood

It should be an indisputable fact, that the law requires nearly everything be purified with blood: for without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. Therefore in order that our sins could be forgiven, it was imperative that Jesus Christ shed his blood. For the life of every creature is in the blood, and God has given it to make atonement for the soul on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. It is through the process of these three inseparable chains of events that God the Father drew man to Christ, like he said; “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. (John 12:32-33).

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