Tag Archive | body of believers

I Corinthians 12:7 ” Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

The Holy Spirit not only sovereignly assigns Spiritual gifts to each Believer, but also empowers their use by providing the strength, skill, and means to exercise them.  So you may ask yourself, “But I don’t know what my Spiritual gifts are.”  It’s pretty simple.  What areas are you talented in and what are you passionate about?  Your gifts will always follow along those avenues.  But more importantly, your Spiritual gifts are not for your personal edification alone…they were given to you to build up the  body of Christ – the Church – as works of service for others.

I Corinthians 15: 13-14 ” If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”

The foundation of Christian faith is this, “We believe that Jesus died and rose again…” (I Thessalonians 4:14)  But stop and think about this for a minute.  How absurd does this really sound?  You actually believe that Jesus was crucified, died on a cross, was buried…but 3 days later rose from that grave alive?   How delusional can you be?  And if you do truly believe this “fairy-tale”, you must be living in a fantasy-world!   But this is exactly how the world views the Gospel Message…some far-fetched implausible story.  Except, within this story is something that all of mankind is constantly searching for… peace, hope, and freedom from guilt and shame.  For the resurrection of Christ is the basis of our hope as Believers, and it is only by our faith that we are set free from the penalty of sin and death.

I John 1:3 ” We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.”

The Greek word for fellowship is Koinonia.  Now when we talk about fellowship or fellow-shipping together, our idea of it may be different from the true meaning.  For many of us think of fellow-shipping  together as  fun social gatherings…where we mix and mingle, often with lots and lots of Potluck dishes, but little mention of God.  But this word Koinonia has a much deeper and spiritual  meaning.  When as a Believer we learn to commune or share intimately with  God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ…it’s called Koinonia.   And when  the Body of Believers come together, it’s Koinonia when we share our love, faith, and encouragement with each other.   For when we are truly  fellow-shipping one with another, we are sharing what we have in common…our love and joy for the Lord.

I Corinthians 12:12 ” The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.”

They estimate that the human body has 100 trillion cells, 100,000 hairs on our head, and 9,000 taste buds…not to mention 206 bones, 600 muscles, and 79 organs.  Each part of our body has a unique purpose and function…each part working together seamlessly in perfect unity.  For inside our body there is co-operation not competition…and harmony not rivalry.  In this verse Paul is comparing the human body and all its parts to the Church…the body of Christ.  For we are one body with many members, each just as important as the other… all bound together as one in love.

Philippians 2:1-2 ” If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.”

In other words…if you have the love of Christ within you, demonstrate it!  Paul calls us here to be like-minded…the Greek word for this meaning the activity represented involving the will, the affections, and the conscience.  This unity involves coming together as a whole in decision-making, with morally right passions, and motives.  For being like-minded is thinking the same thing for the good of all, not just a few.  Yes, being like-minded takes work on the part of everyone.  It calls us to be peacemakers, bridge-builders, and servants to all – for His sake and for His glory.

John 11:26 ” Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’ “

The Lord is asking you this same question today…”Do you believe this?” Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved?  Do you believe that He died for your sins that you may have eternal life?    Maybe you’ve never been confronted to make a decision for Jesus…or maybe you’ve been resisting the wooing of the Holy Spirit.  Either way, believing is a commitment of mind, body and spirit.  It’s the start of an intimate spiritual journey of faith, trust, and obedience.  The Lord is asking you today, “Do you believe?”

Acts 4:32 ” All the Believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”

It tells us earlier in Acts that, “All the Believers were together and had everything in common.  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 2:44-45)  This is how the early Church functioned…their inward focus was on unity and mutual care for one another.  For they took the Lord’s charge to “Love one another” very seriously.  And  because of everyone’s personal commitment to “see a need, fill a need” …the early Church exploded.  So I ask you, what would happen if all Believers committed to the “see a need, fill a need” directive…not waiting for someone else to do it, or thinking it’s only the Pastor’s responsibility?  The early Church’s focus was on perfect unity and mutual care for one another…the Church today could only benefit from this same focus.

Acts 9:15 ” But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is My chosen instrument…”

The Believers in Damascus had heard about Saul and his murderous threats against them.  Ananias also knew Saul had traveled there with the authority from the Chief Priests to arrest them all.  So you can imagine that Ananias had many excuses as to why he shouldn’t go and lay hands on this man…but God said, “Go!”  And Ananias went.  But somewhere between his house and the house where Saul was staying Ananias had a major heart adjustment.  For when he greeted Saul,  he called him Brother Saul.  Brother meaning Saul had been accepted  into  the community of brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Acts 2:47 ” Praising God, and having favor with all people. And the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved.” (King James Version)

I use the King James version of this Scripture today… because it states that it was the Church that God was adding to daily…(other versions say – God added to their numbers).    So what was so different about this particular group of people?  What we saw was unity and mutual care for one another.  There was fellowship, prayer, and the breaking of bread among them…but there was also evangelism outside the four walls.  The early Church was a delicate balance of both inward and outward focus…and God added to their numbers daily.

John 20: 27 ” Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.’ “

To me, doubt is the most debilitating and controlling weapon Satan uses against us.  We can be the  strongest of  Christians with absolute trust and confidence in our Savior…but when the tiniest bit of doubt  creeps into our minds,  suddenly we’re filled with questioning, uncertainty, and apprehension.  And a lot of these times it’s not that we’re doubting God …we’re doubting what God can to do through us.  Self-doubt will stop God’s plans and purposes for our life…self-doubt is like telling the Lord, “You don’t know what you’re doing, I know better.”  As Jesus told Thomas, “Stop doubting and believe.”