Christian Universe ™
The Purposeful Body Of Christ
December 23, 2012
When we are baptized into into the body of Jesus Christ. He is the head of the church -- the ekklesia, the called out -- and the church is His body. As His body, we do the work required by our head, which is Jesus Christ. And we do have work to do. We function to do the will of God toward our fellow man.
The Purposeful Body Of Christ
by Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 12-23-2012
The church – the ekklesia, the body of Christ – does the work that is commanded by Christ, as its head. It is a purposeful body, charged with some important and serious responsibilities. The apostle Paul wrote that we, as members, are to build each other up so that the body grows. The intention is that we, as the body of Christ, do the work that God has planned for us.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
Jesus came to do His father’s bidding, and as His body, we are to do the same.
Matthew 5:13 "Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."
It was intended that the body of Christ be influential on the world at large. Just as a city on a hill, and the candle on a candlestick – or an electric bulb in a lamp or ceiling fixture, is noticeable, so is the body of Christ to be noticed as a source of light for a world of sin and ignorance.
Luke 12:2 "For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops."
The words of Jesus were to be broadcast far, wide, and loudly.
Mark 16:15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature."
The gospel was to be preached to the entire world. Peter and the other apostles preached to men of all nations at Pentecost.
Acts 2:4 "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language."
Later, under the persecution by the Roman Emperor, Christian men went throughout Judaea and Samaria, preaching the gospel.
Acts 8:1 "And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles."
The goal was not to hide from the public, but to take the word of God wherever they went. The goal is not just to preach the word, but to live it in the love that we have toward others.
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
John 15:16 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another."
We are the sign to others that God is alive and well, and so is His son, Jesus Christ. They live in us as the body of Christ, and we do the things that show that they live in us.
This is manifested in the way that we treat one another, forgiving those who mistreat us.
Colossians 3:12 "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."
In how we build each other up.
Ephesians 4:29 "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
In the way that take care of our own families, close members, and others.
1 Timothy 5:8 "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
1 Timothy 5:4 "But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God."
In the way that we help those who cannot help themselves.
Acts 20:34 "Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
1 Thessalonians 5:14 "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men."
1 Timothy 5:3 "Honour widows that are widows indeed."
Acts 6:1 "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration."
Kindness, courtesy, respect, feeding our families, feeding the poor, helping the helpless, assisting those in trouble, and loving those around us are all signs that the body of Christ is in good health and working purposefully as God has directed. We preach the gospel of Christ, the gospel of the kingdom of God, and then we show what it means to be a child of God through the lives that we live.