Dear Fellow Believers in Christ, (The Body functions and Ministers best together in unity)
How does the Body become one in the Spirit? In reality, Who is the Gifted One in the Body to minister? What are the significant differences between lust and love? How does the body ministry function to build and edify one another? What is the expression of the body ministry to the world? What part does the body ministry have in producing the fullness of Christ? What part does a renewed mind play in the body ministry? Holy Spirit show renew our mind to know the fullness of the truth concerning Christ and our function and role in the body ministry.
THE BODY MINISTRY
"Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually" (I Cor. 12:27).
First, We are Birthed of the Spirit to Become One in the Body of Christ
Paul tells us that you (plural) are the Body of Christ and members individually. Paul's use of the word you in his teaching epistles related to the Body of Christ is always in the plural. We are born again and saved as individual members of the body. "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit" (I Cor 12:13). We came from diverse cultures and backgrounds as individuals to be rebirthed by the Spirit. However, the rebirthing by the Spirit placed us into one body, the Body of Christ. We now have a common one Spirit - the Spirit of Christ and one hope of our calling (Eph. 4:4). Through the "incorruptible seed" placed in us (I Pet. 1:23), we have received His "Divine Nature" (II Pet. 1:4), to become everything that He has purposed us to be through the "unity" of His Spirit (Eph. 4:3,13).
Second, We are Placed in the Body with Various Functions and Gifts
It takes all of us together to make up the Body of Christ. Some of us have various functions in the body. Some are feet, to carry the gospel. Some are eyes to see in the Spirit for His direction and purpose. Some are ears to hear the voice of the spirit for His way and timing I Cor. 12:15-19). However each individual member does not have the same function (Rom. 12:4). We have gifts differing according to the grace that is given us (Rom. 12:6). Paul shares a list of ministry gifts and shows practical outworking for them (Rom. 12:6-18). Also, Paul discusses the various Spiritual Gifts (I Cor. 12:4-10). Paul even shares two lists on God's appointed office gifts (I Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11). "Now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased'" (I Cor. 12:18). We all don't do the same function, gift, or office or where would the whole body be? (I Cor. 12:19). However, Christ is the Gifted One. We function and minister according to the measure of Christ's gift within us (Eph. 4:7). The truth is – it is Christ in us, who is the function, gift, and/or office within us. We cannot function properly without or aside from Him. It is important to know that every member has Christ in fullness living within them. Every member can truly function in any ministry, gift, and/or office whether it be one time or for a season; should the Spirit empower us, lead us, and direct us to fulfil some need in the Body for His will, purpose, and glory. Even if man tells you that certain things are impossible, I tell you with God "nothing" is impossible (Luke 1:37). I trust God (Rom. 3:4).
Third, The Body Members Should Empathize and Encourage One Another
Christ should flow in each member to another within the body with the fruit of His Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25). Every member was placed in the body by God as it pleased Him (I Cor. 12:18). Those that seem to be weaker members are necessary, so we love and we care for them (I Cor. 12:22-25). We empathize and encourage every member (I Cor. 12:26). Why? This is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Fourth, The Body is to Come to the Unity and Fullness of Christ
As we love and care for each member of the Body of Christ, we build up and edify the body in love (Eph. 4:16). It is through love we serve one another (Gal. 5:13). With this walk of love, and the fruit of His Spirit flowing toward each other, we build each other up into the unity of the faith and keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:13,3). This is what Christ is doing through His appointed offices (Eph. 4:11). Christ is flowing through these offices, "for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God to a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:12b,13). The Holy Spirit in us is renewing our mind and heart to fully reveal to us that Christ is our life, our new nature and our all in all of the Father to be expressed through us (Gal. 2:20). The Body of Christ must come together in the unity of His Spirit and give a renewed mind to Christ to fully express Himself through us collectively. This just begins the complete Body of Christ to function and to fully express the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13).
Fifth, The Body Ministry is the Expression of Christ Loving the Father
It is all about Christ. We are the hope of His calling. We are the riches of His inheritance (Eph. 1:18). Christ is to be head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph. 1:22b,23). The Body of Christ is the expression that Christ has in this earth today. It is an expression of love to the Father. It is all about Christ! The more we focus and yield ourselves as vessels of Christ (II Cor. 4:7) – the more love we will have expressed for the Son and His Body. When we love Christ the more He will manifest Himself to us (John 14:21). When we love Christ, the Son that the Father loves – the Father loves us (John. 14:21). The Body Ministry is the expression of Christ loving the Father and focusing to do the Father's will in and through us (John 4:34).
Sixth, The Body Ministry is the Expression of Christ Loving Each Other
"Truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ" (I John 1:3). The way to have fellowship with His Son is through the many membered Body of Christ. Certainly, we first have fellowship with the Son in His Spirit. The second area of fellowship we have with His Son in soul is through the expression of Christ loving each member of the body through us. We speak truth to one another in love to edify one another (Eph. 4:15). The "whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying itself in love" (Eph. 4:16). Christ loves each and every member through another.
Seventh, The Body Ministry is the Shining Light to the Lost in the World
Paul declares to the body, "But if our gospel ever is already completely veiled in those continually perishing, in whom the god of this age has once then blinded the minds of the ones unbelieving, lest the illuminating purity of the gospel of the glory and radiance of Christ, who ever is the image of God, should once then give them life. For we do not ever preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondmen through Christ. For it is God, who once then spoke absolute purity to hereafter illuminate out of darkness, who once then illuminated in our hearts to give the illuminating purity of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (II Cor. 4:3-6, author's transl.). This is the body ministry.