God’s Body Pt 2 – Many Members

My apologies for a long gap between posts.

Last post we began the series dealing with the fact that WE are GOD’s BODY. We are (should be) the physical evidence of the existence, the love, the compassion, mercy and grace of God! But what exactly does that look like? If you’re like me you might just be imagining a massive group of people coming together to form the shape of a human body. But don’t worry, that is NOT where we are going with this. We are going to take a walk through scripture to see how God paints the picture of His Body. Hopefully you will be able to see not only what the entire body looks like and its function, but also where you fit in!

Our first stop is 1 Corinthians. Paul is an extreme missionary, a radical Christian. There is nothing that can stop this guy from spreading the Gospel. He literally walked all over the known world to grow the Body of Christ. He understood the God’s design for the Church so well that he made sure it had all of its functioning members. Among these members were people of different race, different family history, different personal backgrounds, different sin struggles and the list goes on. It’s in 1 Corinthians that Paul first brings up the parallel between our physical bodies and us being God’s Body. Take a look at 1 Corinthians 12:12-26.

The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.
Yes, the body has many different parts, not just one part. If the foot says, “I am not a part of the body because I am not a hand,” that does not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear says, “I am not part of the body because I am not an eye,” would that make it any less a part of the body? If the whole body were an eye, how would you hear? Or if your whole body were an ear, how would you smell anything?
But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.”
In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it

    When it comes to seeing the bigger picture of God’s Body, the first thing we must realize is that if WE are HIS BODY, then there is NO ROOM for ANY favoritism, racism, segregation, isolation, discrimination, or anything even related to those things. Imagine if your hand decided that it was better than the rest of your body. Imagine if it all of the sudden decided it wanted NOTHING to do with the rest of your body and started separating itself from your body and treating the rest of your body with contempt and ugliness. How would that work out exactly? Not only would you be missing a hand, but you would constantly be under attack, BY YOUR OWN HAND!

   Unfortunately if you immerse yourself in our current Church culture, it won’t take you very long to experience subtle or obvious forms of hostility between members. Countless congregations around the world are suffering at the hands of people who would rather assert their own beliefs and interpretations of scripture instead of share in the Body of Christ. So many Body PARTS are deciding that they are better off separated from the Body and are attacking the other PARTS of the body that don’t go with them.

Unlike our own physical bodies, God’s Body is a body that never stops growing. Imagine if during your childhood, your bones decided that not only did they not want to grow, but wouldn’t allow new muscles to form, or organs to develop completely. What if your current blood cells refused to allow new blood cells to form and start working for the body? How long would your body last?

The most valuable lesson we can learn as God’s Body is that WE aren’t the ones who get to choose who is part of God’s Body or not. When you read Acts, you don’t read, “And the Apostles saved over 3,000 souls,” or, “The Believers added to their number daily those who were being saved.” God is the ONLY one in control of HIS Body. We are just members of His Body, hands, feet, shoulders, blood cells, bones, etc… All designed to work TOGETHER no matter how different we are, no matter what kind of background we have, no matter what color our skin is, or what our family history is.

How are YOU working WITH the Body? Are you a member with a desire to grow not just individually but also with the rest of the body? Are you willing to SACRIFICE your own OPPINIONS for the sake of a UNITED BODY? HOW?We are all part of something bigger than we can imagine. We are small parts in a really big picture. Are you doing your part?

We Are God’s Body Pt. 1

We all know that God isn’t a physical being. With the exception of Jesus we don’t really give much thought to the physical aspect of God. But if you begin in Genesis and read all the way to Revelation you will encounter a very physical God. A God with a physical body and that is constantly at work in a physical world.

Now before you load your argument guns, I would suggest that God can be a physical God WITHOUT being a physical being. Confused? Maybe you’re like me and can’t really see a difference between the two. But God has never really been one to follow our rules. But the purpose of this post isn’t to discuss the nature of who God is and what rules He does or does not follow. The title is “God’s Body (Pt. 1)” and that’s exactly what I want to talk about.

I wonder what would happen to the Church if we realized %100 that WE ARE GOD’S BODY. We have been designed as the Church to be the living proof of the existence of God. We are called to be His hands, feet, arms, legs, elbows, and yes, even the armpits. When people encounter us as the Church they are SUPPOSED to be encountering God. Seems like a pretty tall order doesn’t it? I mean, after all we are ONLY HUMANS, right? We are a selfish, sinful, poorly put together group of people, aren’t we?

I grew up hearing about how us “humans” could NEVER measure up to who we are supposed to be and that our very “nature” was sinful and unchangeable. But when I read our origin story, and I look at our history throughout the Old Testament and I couple that with Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament, I don’t see that. Instead, what I see is a God seeking a relationship with His children, children He created “GOOD!” The reason we don’t ever measure up isn’t because it’s in our “nature” to be “bad,” it’s because we refuse to see ourselves how God sees us. We aren’t content with the image of God that we have been created in.

Look at Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1:26-27 God plans and creates humanity in “HIS OWN IMAGE…” “…TO BE LIKE HIM.” But if you fast forward to 3:5, the thing Satan says that pushes humanity over the edge is “…your eyes will be opened and YOU WILL BE LIKE GOD.” Satan somehow managed to convince Eve that she WASN’T like God and that she wasn’t created in God’s image.

The first thing we need to understand about being a member of God’s body isn’t a list of steps to complete, or verses to memorize, or prayers to pray. The first thing we need to understand is that God CREATED us TO BE members of HIS BODY. Not selfish, not sinful, not broken, not hurting, not sick, not dying, not of this world. We were created GOOD so that we could BE GOOD, and so that when people encounter God’s Church/Body, they encounter a GOOD GOD. And if we want that to happen we have to change the way we see ourselves.

How do you see yourself? Has Satan convinced you that you are something you’re not? Have you been convinced that you are nothing more than a naturally sinful human being with no hope of ever being like Jesus? I want to encourage you to remember whose image you’ve been created in, and allow His image in you to live through you and see how it changes your life!