June 3, 2007
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
by Jack Northart
To understand the big picture of how our God and Father has called us, we must look at the “structure” of the Church which He established in Christ.
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
To have the “eyes of our understanding enlightened,” means to have our mind and heart flooded with light to the end of knowing and understanding all of the things following that statement. Yet, how many believers really feel a complete understanding of this great work which God wrought in Christ, to the end of acting upon it? Not enough of them.
Furthermore, it says that the Church is “his body,” and that all things are under his feet. If we are members of this one body, then it means that all things are under our feet. This one body is very unique. There is ONE head of this one body and that is Christ Jesus. It is not to be divided into various denominational parts, or sections that can be scrutinized or criticized. One body means ONE BODY.
The Church, the one body, is the great mystery which God kept secret and did not reveal it until He showed it to the Apostle Paul. Paul then reveals it to the Church in Ephesians 3.
Ephesians 3:3, 5-6
How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; as I wrote afore in few words, Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.
There is ONE BODY. The breaking up of the ONE BODY into various sects and denominations is all man’s doing, not our heavenly Father’s. In God’s eyes, we are all members of this one body. Why then are there various divisions and schisms? It is simply a matter of not adhering to the order given to us in God’s Word.
I Corinthians 1:10
Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
We are to be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what we say, and there is to be no dissensions or factions or divisions among us. We are to be perfectly united in common understanding and in our opinions and judgments. Back in Corinth, the believers were dividing themselves into Paul’s group, and Apollo’s group and Peter’s group. This was not God’s design, nor did it help build the one body. It was destructive and ill conceived, and continues to be in our day and age. To be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same opinion is the charge we are to heed. How do we do that?
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Will there be quarrels and disagreements? Yes there will be. Is the solution division and strife? No, the answer is “…forbearing one another and forgiving one another.” And above all, we are to put on charity; the love of God. The love of God is the cohesive element that keeps us together.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Strife is a selfish, conceited, self-centered action that results in self-promotion. It has no attachment to the truth of God’s Word at all. It is an emotion of arrogance. Vain glory is strife’s companion. It is the opposite of humility. God implores us to esteem each other’s interests ahead of our own. This is our privilege and honor to do in the one body. We forbear, we forgive, we esteem and we love other members; no matter what they may have done that is contrary to what we think. We are all members of the one body and we all function differently, but not independently. All members of the Body of Christ must act together as a unit.
I Corinthians 12:12
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
There are many members in the Body of Christ just like there are many members in our own physical body. They must all function as a complete package.
For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
We are all members of the Body of Christ. We are to continue to edify and love each other in this one body. When Christ returns to gather us together, the one body will be complete. Until that time, we are to be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same love one toward another.
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