Summary: Text: Ephesians 4:1-6 In the Messianic Psalm 22 we read of the description of Christ on the cross feeling all his bones out of joint. Could this be a picture of the church today? We are one body and we should speak and act toward one another in love reg
The Disjointed Body 9-2-01
The burden I have from the Lord this week is something I really need the inspiration, the breathing in, of Holy Spirit to communicate clearly to you. It came as sudden thought when I was asked if I had any insight about the bones of Christ. The Scripture prophesied: Psalms 34:20 (KJV)20 He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken. They also predict that on the cross He would look upon his bones and see them all out of joint. Psalms 22:14a (NIV)14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. Psalms 22:17a (NIV)17 I can count all my bones…
The first thing that came to mind was the prayer of Christ in John 17:12 (KJV) While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. He keeps all his bones. He keeps all that are His. Since we are the body of Christ I would think the spiritual picture of the bones has something to do with us as his body.
The bones are the framework of the body, the structure which all the rest of the body conforms to. My arm muscles and hands conform to the foundation upon which they function – the bones. So what is the framework of the spiritual body of Christ? Is it not the organization man has placed upon Christianity? The vast majority of Christians are connected to some organizational structure, regardless of how good or error prone or loose knit it may be. I think we are in essence conformed to the structure we have chosen. We have endeavored to choose one we feel to be most Scriptural, the most liberating for ministry, and the least confining in regards to activity that is of a maintenance nature. I like this bone! But is it in joint? Most Christians like their bone – their organization. That is on reason they have chosen to stay with that group. But again the question is, are they in joint?
The true body of Christ has many parts and various functions. It is not bound by time or location. It is Christ working and living in His own. His command to us was to love one another. The extent to which we obey or disobey that command has a great deal to do with how the body functions. As with Christ upon the cross many bones are out of joint, extended. They are readily visible and a cause of great pain. The pain comes from the lack of unity with the other bones.
This group complains about that group. One group will not fellowship with another because of some doctrine that has nothing to do with who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us. Isn’t that the focus of our worship and fellowship? I’m afraid we are so interested in intellectual Christianity that we have lost sight of Spiritual Christianity. If we are so focussed on the right interpretation and mental understanding of side issues that our hearts are not captivated by Christ, we are certain to end up in arguments with other groups, in arguments amongst ourselves, and so become a disjointed bone.
As I began to realize what this picture meant I became sensitive to the expressions that came from my lips and the lips of those I came in contact with. The little innuendoes and snide remarks about different fellowships or styles of worship, divisions between individuals in the body over unessential doctrine cause such pain to my Savior. I hope this sensitivity I feel continues because I don’t want to become callous to anything that would grieve the Holy Spirit. On the cross Jesus was suffering for the sins of the world. Those bones out of joint are the suffering of the sins of the world in the church. Right in his own people there is worldliness, the darkness we talked about last week, unyielded areas of our hearts that would allow us to compare ourselves among ourselves and claim superiority. We wouldn’t dare say, “We are better than that group”, because it is too blatantly prideful. Still, that can be an accurate reflection of our attitude.
If we would only compare ourselves with Christ instead of our brothers and sisters in the Lord, then we would see how much work remains in transforming our life into His likeness. The reason we prefer to compare ourselves with others is we are not as convicted. We can feel a sense of pride and superiority that our flesh enjoys. When I am trying hard to be the best I have forgotten that Christ is my rest. He has done for me what I could never do. So I rest in His accomplished work. My focus is on what He did for me and not on my superior works of my flesh. How can I boast about that? So the Apostle says if he is going to boast it is in the cross of Jesus. Through that cross he has become dead to the world, which includes comparisons.