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Summary: Message 2 of 6 exploring the nature and health of the church.

“HEALTHY BODIES Part 2”

One of the most expressive analogies to express the nature and function of the church of Jesus Christ is the human body. The scriptures refer often to the followers of Jesus as the “Body of Christ”. My focus into the summer will be to explore the implications of the church functioning like a body and the specific commands related to how we are to interact with each other. Many of the passages we will explore include the words “one another” or “each other”. The emphasis is on reciprocal relationship. The followers of Jesus were to function in a give and take kind of way. God created humans to live in community with each other. Deeply instilled in the soul is the longing to live in community with others as a reflection of the community of the Trinity from all eternity.

The rebellion changed all that.

Selflessness turned to selfishness.

Interdependence turned to independence.

Giving turned to taking.

Ever since the time mankind rebelled God has been unfolding His plan of reconciliation. Chritianity is not so much how to avoid hell and acquire heaven but how do we restore a dynamic relationship with God for which we were created in the first place.

Paul clarified our core message as ambassadors for Christ.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21

Restored community with the Trinity. It was the topic of Jesus prayer before He suffered and died on our behalf.

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. John 17:20-21

It is all about restored relationship with God. Not about cowering under an unapproachable God.

Not what we can get from God. (Materialism)

Not even what we can do for God. (Activism)

It is about the privilege of being WITH God in soul-satisfying relationship.

Someone said that if we would be happy in heaven without Jesus, we probably won’t be there.

I would add that if we are happy without a vital relationship with Jesus here we most likely would be happy without Him in heaven. The glory of life hereafter is the wonder life with the Trinity. Many of the Bible verses dealing with relationship between the members of the body appeal to the example of Jesus’ relational life. Love like Jesus. Forgive like Jesus. Forbear like Jesus. Live like Jesus. Pray like Jesus.

Jesus made the defining proofs of true discipleship clear.

Abiding in His word

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Embracing His call

Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27

So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33

Demonstrating His life

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:7-8

Representing His Love

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

These things draw attention to our connection to God. Christ is the head. We are His body.

The body dies when disconnected from the head. The body cannot function to its full potential when direction from the head is disregarded. Paul appealed to the body to teach three essential principles that make a healthy body.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

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