Bearing One Anothers Burden
Instead of isolating ourselves or carrying our burdens alone, let us help one another. When one part of the body is wounded, you dont take it away and put it back once its healed.
This COVID-19 crisis or pandemic tends to form in us in a subtle way a kind of thinking or habit, that once we get sickâwe separate . Weâre not like Christ who has the power to heal the sick and need not worry about approaching the sick, but we also have examples of early Christians who demonstrated Christian love despite the threats of sickness.
- Scholars estimate that up to a quarter of the population died during each plague.
- At the height of the second epidemic, thousands died daily in the city of Rome
Gerald L. Sittser, Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries
How could that happen?
We cannot presume that God will make a miracle and heal all COVID cases or so-called COVID cases. But either way, modern science and medicine are not the only and perfect solution. Science and medicine cannot determine how we ought to live with one another.
In our times of sickness and trials, let us ask help and give help to our brothers and sisters as much as possible, according to God-given means.
What Is The Church’s Role On Earth
Before Jesus left this earth, he commanded his followers to go out into the world and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and to teach them to obey all that Jesus had taught . This is the primary role of the church. Believers have been commissioned by Jesus himself to share the Gospel message and teach others about his saving grace.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he answered that we are to love God and to love one another . This, too, is an important role of the church. Believers must love God and they must love others. All that we do must be done in love. When we read about the life of Jesus, we see the perfect example he set of doing everything out of love for others, including giving up his life on the cross to save the whole world.
These two powerful instructions from Jesus serve as a foundation to the primary role of the church. From this understanding of the church, it becomes clear that it is only the church that could fulfill these things which Jesus commanded and taught.
The Members Of The Body
âFor the body does not consist of one member but or many. If the foot should say, âBecause I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,â that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, âBecause I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,â that would not make it any less a part of the body . If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.â
It was common in the city of Corinth that roles are determined by social status, and the rich and powerful often preferred religious, philosophical, and political ideologies that advance their power and influence. Such values and context of the broader society surrounding the Corinthian church seems to be carried over among the believers, so that their diverse groups led to divisive issues and practices.
. Lawsuits against one another . Demonstration of individual spiritual gifts without order and unity .
But Paul makes it clear that as believers, though they are many and diverse from each otherâthey are one and united in Christ.
Our union with Christ through the Spiritâs work makes us altogether children of God. Therefore, union with Christ leads to union with one another.
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The Type Of This Body
âFor just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one bodyâJews or Greeks, slaves or freeâand all were made to drink of one Spiritâ
Some keywords to observe for now:
There is one body, and that body belongs to Christ, and those who are members of that body are those who are partakers of the Holy Spirit. In short, the church is the spiritual body of Christ composed of spiritual members/people, not a building or physical organization of people.
Heidelberg Catechism Lordâs Day 21, Q. 54
54.) Tanong: Ano ang iyong pinaniniwalaan tungkol sa âbanal na iglesiyang katolikoâ ?
Sumasampalataya ako na ang Anak ng Diyos, sa pamamagitan ng Kanyang Espiritu at Salita, mula sa buong lahi ng mga tao, at mula pa noong simula ng sanlibutan hanggang sa katapusan nitoay Siyang nagtitipon, nag-iingat, at nagpapanatili para sa Kanyang sarili ng isang komunidad na hinirang para sa buhay na walang hanggan at pinagkaisa sa tunay na pananampalataya.At sa komunidad na ito, ako ngayon at magpakailanman ay mananatiling isang buhay na miyembro nito.
Now this calling into the church, into the kingdom of God, is two-fold. It is both external and internal. External/outward calling involves both the elect and the hypocrites . Inward calling involves only the elect .
Icipating In The Body Of Christ: Christology And The Sacraments
Multiplying five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000 people instantly made Jesus a star in first-century Palestine. The satiated crowd endeavored to seize him to be the king of Israel and serve as the rallying point for a national rebellion against the Roman Empire. Word of this miracle spread swiftly throughout the region and the next day Jesus was being sought out in Capernaum on the opposite side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus immediately recognized that the crowds came searching for him, not because they understood who he was or embraced the truth toward which his signs pointed, but because they desired more free bread. Jesus used this occasion to teach the curious inquirers in Capernaum about the true bread of life. It was Jesus Christ himself who was the bread they truly needed, that which would satisfy their deepest longings. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. When questioned and challenged on these hard sayings, Jesus refused to qualify or explain away his statements in any way even though it cost him the vast majority of his following.
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Is The Church The Body Of Christ
A live, healthy human body has a head. Every part of the body has a purpose and performs different tasks, but all submit to the head. You cannot have a functioning body without a head. Paul uses this comparison to explain what the church is in Ephesians 5:23-24. Jesus Christ is compared to the head the part of the body to which the rest of the body submits. We who are Christians, church members, believers, are compared to the body.
Who Is In The Church
Just as the word church cannot be tied down to a specific building, so also is the church not specifically restricted to those of a certain denomination. One specific Christian group or denomination cannot claim they are the one true church.
The one and only qualification in the Bible for being a member of the Body of Christ is to place trust in Jesus. Ephesians 2:8-9 is clear that no work is required for salvation: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast .
Faith in Jesus is the only requirement for becoming a part of the Body of Christ, which means the church includes all believers since the day of Pentecost.
Pentecost greatly affects ones view of the church since the giving of the Holy Spirit plays a major part in the believers membership in the church. One of the aspects of being a member of the Body of Christ is being baptized by the Spirit .
Yet again, this argues for the view that the church did not exist in Old Testament times, since no one before Jesus giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was baptized by the Spirit. Baptism by the Spirit happens at salvation and is permanent .
Believers are baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ . Their identity, therefore, is permanently related to Jesus as a member of his church.
These gifts help to build up the rest of the Body of Christ and are used by the Lord for his purposes .
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Five Lessons From This Analogy
1. Christ is the head of the church.
The church belongs to Christ, not because weve decided to make Him the head, but because He is the head and Hes decided to make us the body. The body serves at the direction of the head. Our calling is to be responsive to Him.
2. Every member of the body needs to be connected to the Head.
John Stott speaks about the grotesque anomaly, an un-churched Christian. We must be careful not to press any analogy too far. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ. The thief on the cross arrived in heaven without ever being part of a local church, but thats an anomaly.
The film 127 Hours tells the story of Aron Ralston, an adventurer from Indiana who got trapped in a canyon in Utah. Nobody knew where Aron was, and he waited 127 hours with his dying arm trapped behind an unmovable rock. In the end there was only one solution. With a dull knife, Aron cut off his own arm. It was the only way to survive. Aaron can get along without his right arm, but he would surely be glad if there was a way for him to get it back. Thats how it is with the church.
Have you committed yourself as a member of a local church? If not, why do you stay detached? If youre an amputated Christian, a Christian disconnected from the body, youve been a lone ranger for far too long. Im praying that through the Scriptures you will hear the Holy Spirit saying to you, The church is where you belong, and I am placing you here to do my will.
The Church Is The Body Of Christ The Fullness Of Christ The Head To Be His Expression
Eph. 1:22-23 reveal that the church is the Body of Christ, the fulness of the One who fills all in all.
Among all the writers of the New Testament, Paul was the unique one that God used to reveal to us the wonderful aspect of the church as the Body of Christ, and in particular in Romans, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and Colossians he opened up this matter.
In Ephesians we see the highest revelation of the church in the Bible. In Eph. 1 Paul revealed how the Triune God dispenses Himself into His chosen people the Father dispenses His nature and life, the Son dispenses His element, and the Spirit dispenses His essence through His sealing and pledging leading to a kind of power operating, transmitting to us.
This power raised Christ from the dead, seated Him in the heavenlies, submitted all things under His feet, and made Him Head over all things to the church, which is His Body. What a revelation!
If we see that the Triune God is doing many things in His Trinity to dispense Himself into His people, we will realize that He is the ascended Head over all things to the church, which is His Body!
We should never consider the body of Christ as an allegory, a type of the church rather, the Body of Christ is actually the body of Christ the church is Christs body, His organism. For us to know the church as the Body of Christ, we need to know Him as the Head over all things.
Seeing how the Church was Formed to be the Body of Christ, the Mingling of God and Man
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Connect With Fellow Christians
so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
The church is a body of believers with many parts and Jesus Christ as Head. Locally we have buildings for Christians to come together to worship, to help each member grow in Christ and prepared for the ministry of spreading the gospel of Christ.
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth and he marked out their appointed times in history and boundaries of their lands. God did this so they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, We are his offspring .
Christ gave the church gifts of office for the perfecting of the saints and edifying the church.
We Are Responsible For Each Other
When a part of the human body is suffering, hurting or has a problem, the whole of the body is affected. Have you ever fractured a leg or arm, hit your thumb with a hammer? Have you ever been ill? Did it affect the whole of your body and the whole of your life? It did if you break a leg or arm, or are sick in some other way, it often hurts and all you can think about is the pain, or you have to find different ways of getting around or performing all the tasks you need to do.
You will be kind to your arm or leg if it is broken, and would guard it against more pain or injury. This is how it is with the church: if one member of the church is suffering, the whole of the church will suffer too and we need to help, protect, or take steps to bring about healing in order that the church will not become disabled, or lacking in any of the vital tasks of the body.
The body is made up of many parts as is the church, and we have a responsibility to each member of the church, just as we have a responsibility to our body to care for it and keep it as healthy as possible.
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The Church: The Body Of Christ
I. The Church Called the Body of Christ: 1. Clearly emphasizing our relationship to Christ and to Fellow Christians. a. Church is His Body . b. Body is the Church .
II. The New Testament Teaches That There is One Body. This Figure Emphasizes the Singularity of the Church: 1. Many members — one body But one body . 2. Jew and Gentile reconciled in one body . 3. One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, ONE BODY .
: If there is but one Spiritual Body of Christ and that is the Church — How many Churches of Christ are there?
III. Christ is the Head of His Spiritual Body — The Church : 1. His dominion over the Church is complete — “Head over all things to the Church which is His Body” . 2. Just as the members of one’s physical body must be subject to his mind — so we must be subject to Christ in everything as members of his body . a. What the head commands we can and must do. b. What He does not command and teach we must not do . 3. From the head comes the impulses that strengthen and move the members of the Body in the performance of their work .
V. Importance of Being Members of Body: 1. The Body made up of the saved . 2. Called unto peace of Christ in one body . 3. Cannot be subject to head and united with Christ without being member of Body — compare with physical body. 4. Reconciled to God in Body . 5. Fullness of Christ in Body . 6. Become members of Body by obeying the commands of Christ.
How Can We Be A Functioning Helpful Member Of The Body Of Christ
As members of the body of Christ, we have been given spiritual gifts. Using these spiritual gifts is a key part of how we go about being a faithful member of the church. Christians have different skills and personalities, and have been designed by God in a purposeful way, so that we can love God, love others, and share the Gospel.
As the body of Christ, we should embrace the diversity within, affirming and celebrating the spiritual gifts each contributes, rather than ranking spiritual gifts. We know that all are equally important according to Gods word. As a member of the body of Christ, we are called to serve, to take care of each other, and bear the fruit of the Spirit.
To be part of the body of Christ is to have found hope and salvation in Jesus. It is an honor to receive the gift of salvation, which we cannot earn ourselves, but that was freely given to us when Jesus died on the cross for the world. This term, body of Christ, helps us understand what it means to be part of the church. Jesus is the head of the church, and we as believers make up the church, and therefore, are deeply connected to the work and mission of Jesus. Every believer has been given certain spiritual gifts and skills to contribute to the church and is valuable and important to furthering Gods kingdom.
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