Being Part of the Body
All of us make up the body of Christ. We are to be one body, working for one Lord and building His kingdom His way.
The Bible says, all of you together are Christ's body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it. (1 Corinthians 12:27)
It also informs us that we are all parts of his one body, and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other, and each of us needs all the others. (Romans 12:5)
We are to be one body working together, growing together, worshiping together, and fulfilling the purposes together. That’s what it means to be one. We do things together.
How would it be if you were trying to walk up a flight of stairs, and one leg decided it would rather not? What if you wanted to go bowling, but your fingers refused to go inside the holes of the ball? What if you were trying to have a conversation with someone while your tongue decided to cling to the roof of your mouth?
Our bodies only function as they should when all the parts are working together. Similarly, you cannot fulfill your purpose in solitude. You are part of the body of Christ. This means you must work in conjunction with others in the context of the church.
Many Christians believe the church primarily exists to feed them spiritually. That, however, is not the primary function of the church. If you only ate one big meal a week, you would be in very poor physical health. Likewise, if you are counting on one great spiritual feeding a week, you will be in very poor spiritual health. You are the one who primarily exists to feed you. You must daily feed yourself spiritually, just as you must daily feed yourself physically. That is not the church’s primary purpose.
Ephesians 4:11-13 plainly gives us the church’s main role. [Christ] is the one who gave these gifts to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God's people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.
What is the primary responsibility of the church? It is to equip you to do God’s work. The church exists to prepare you to do what God created you to do, so that you can work with others to build up the church and move us all toward Christlikeness.
When that happens, Ephesians 4 goes on to say, then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth (verse 14).
So many Christians are influenced by things other than Christ. I’ve heard people, in church, say, “Well, I heard on Oprah…” Or, “I read this magazine article in Women’s Day, and it said...”
God’s will for you is to be planted in His body and grounded in His truth. When you fulfill this purpose, you deepen in wisdom and knowledge. As this process unfolds, you find that, over time, you are not led astray by emails that say, “Teach your children to follow your dreams” nor are you misdirected by commercials that tell you to live for self.
You have planted yourself in the body. You are grounded in the truth, so you cannot be blown about by this new trend or that latest quote from so-and-so. Instead, you are becoming more and more like Christ. You are discovering your special calling within the body of Christ, and you are impacting the world for God’s glory and the benefit of desperately searching people.
A life like that, my friends, is one great life!
That’s why the true you was created.