The Body of Christ
Think of the Body of Christ as being a river. The water in the river is One with all and flows together as one flowing matter. But if a portion of this river strays off into its own, you will see pockets of stagnant black water that becomes stagnant and not fit to drink or swim. So is the soul who chooses to go off into his own way in the things of the Lord.
We are connected to the Vine through Jesus; John 15. We no longer live, but He lives through us; Gal 2:20. Anyone who refuses Christ, who does not yield to the Lord– is like branches not connected to the Vine and eventually wither and die and are gathered to be burned.
The Lord’s will and prayer for us, John 17:6-19, are for His followers to be one with Him and His Father. This is how we can (honestly) love one another as He commands us.
Just because we may look like we are part of the Vine and are seen as hanging out with the Vine does not mean we are connected to it. It is troublesome for all the dead and withered branches piled as kindling among us!
The dilemma the dead branches face is the inability to see that they are dead and that these words may be concerning them! We don’t realize how dead we are until we experience Life via the Living God’s Spirit. And why we are admonished to examine; 2 Cor 13:5 and judge1 Cor 11:31 ourselves by the Word.
One of the telltale qualities of a branch connected to the Vine is that we will desire deep personal intimacy with the Lord and His people.
The meaning for communion in Strongs concordance is 2842. koinónia and described as being a participatory fellowship. Those who are involved in the union contribute to its betterment.
If we are not careful, we can become spectators to what we call our walk with the Lord and fellowshipping with the saints. We are nothing more than those who show up to get without a thought of meaningful contribution. Our many modern teachers and teachings allow for this; some even promote it as being the Lord’s grace. WE become the focus where God primarily ministers to us to serve our needs. This is nothing more than self-seeking, which the bible strictly warns us against.
Or do you not know that your Body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your Body and in your Spirit, which are God’s. 1 Cor 6:19-20
Christ died not so we may live unto ourselves. We now become God’s possession so we may live to serve Him THROUGH Christ.
We each have a part to contribute to the flow of the river of the Lord Jesus Christ. But if we are like those who are self-seeking, we will be like a stagnant pond that attract nothing more than a host of pests and disease of all kind.
Anyone can serve the Lord through works for the sake of works. This is not what the Lord desires.
It is not until we are in the proper order will we flow in His Oneness and glory of God. We are first His lover whom we offer ministry and devotion where we become known to Him and begin to know Him. It is utmost that we get this. Our walk in the Lord is to get to know Him and, more importantly, where He is allowed to know us. We can know people but not really know them. We can choose what we will let others know about us. The Lord commands us to be known to Him as we clearly learn in his rebuke: ‘Depart from Me, I do not know You!’ Matt 7:22-24. That means we must be honest, transparent, and fully submit to Him. We put ourselves in grave danger if we only let the Lord enter certain areas of our lives but leave other sites off-limits.
When we are One with the Lord, we will also desire to minister to Him and be suited for ministering to others. Our works will be the product of the quality of the intimate relationship we invest with the Lord Jesus and Father God in prayer, worship, and His Word in Spirit and Truth.
Discerning the Body
One of the Apostle John’s main encouragements in his epistles is on love and fellowship with one another. This is a component that will strengthen us and witness to the unbelieving Jesus Christ and His Body. Without being repetitive, this bears repeating. Unless we first are lovers of the Lord Jesus Christ, yielding to His Spirit, we will not flow with His love that will enable us to love one another, let alone the lost world.
We have cheapened this kind of love by attempting to manufacture it. ‘Fellowship Friday,’ Muffin Sunday, Women’s retreats, youth fests, and men’s golf and fellowship groups -are all ways to encourage fellowship among the Body. When there have to be enticements such as this, it is probable to be manufactured and not alive nor birthed of the Spirit. In fact, if there were true spirit-led and filled fellowship among us, there would be no need to create events such as these.
Paul warned us that when we do not discern the Body, we put ourselves in danger of judgment and why many of us are weak, sick, and dying. I remember when I attended all such like gatherings, one in particular: I was new to a church and thought I would receive fellowship and get to know others if I went to the coming women’s retreat. This was proved to be farthest from my hopes and was one of the loneliest experiences I have ever had. Rather than feeling included, I felt and was treated as an outsider. This was not intentional on the part of the ladies in attendance by no means; these were a lovely group of women. On the outside, me being the new kid on the block, they would each say hi and offer a small chat but then go back into their circles, leaving me – alone. The Lord opened my eyes on that weekend, which I hold dear today, but then, it was the most painful couple of days I had to endure. I saw the fake-ness of it. I experienced how manufactured fellowship looks, feels, and produces. After this horrid weekened, I continued to go to this particular church and looked forward to Muffin Sunday, an event they boasted where we could get to know one another over coffee and muffins! I will never forget how awkward not only I felt but my children too as we ate our muffins – as new attendees with no such engagement. It was embarrassing really, like we were intentionally avoided. This church played a pivotal role in the deprogramming of man-made religion because there was absolutely nothing wrong with it. The Word was preached, heartfelt prayers were prayed wonderfully, and a loving group of people. It was one where the Lord showed me that it was not the church nor the pastor or any other facet of the many churches I tried to make my home that He held dear. Muffin Sunday was the beginning of the end of my involvement with the construct of religion and the beginning to my pursuit of the heart of God for His Church. That was 15 years ago, and many more stories to tell in how the Lord opened my eyes to what I thought was of God but nothing more than another man-made cesspool off the beaten path of the vital flowing river of God!
It wasn’t until I was willing to see the truth did He begin to unfold it, first in my own heart.
Is what I am saying about church – buildings and bashing them? No! Some are alive with the Spirit of Christ flowing like a raging river through them! I’ll be honest, though, not very many. Is this about becoming a home fellowship group? No! For some are filled with the hardness of the religious spirit as you will ever see!
This is about you and about me willing to be one with the Lord at the cost of laying down our sacred cows we have so lovingly and with great devotion paid homage to – for one reason: So His Body, the Church may be one as He is one with the Father – and the gates of hell shall not prevail. His Church is present among us, and we must stop looking for it in the boxes we have placed it. We will not be like those in Corinth who could not see the needs of those in their own midst while they feasted at the Lord’s table. Instead, we will be quick to see when our brother or sister is in need of a drink of cold water and minister to them in their time of need.
We are not a perfect people, but we together strive to be perfected – in Christ and must see the Body beyond the walls we have placed it and in a better position to watch over each other with the Love that the Lord gives us. Amen.