Summary: First in a 4 part series concerning how we all work together as one body under Jesus Christ as our head.
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Pastor James May
WORKING TOGETHER AS ONE BODY – Part 1
A teaching series for the ministry and members of the Body of Christ, both universally and in the local church.
By Rev. James May
Read I Corinthians 12:4-31; 13:1-13
Let us begin by recognizing that there is a double meaning or inference to the term “Body of Christ” as pertains to this series. The first entity that is called the Body of Christ is the universal Church. This does not pertain to any one church organization or to any single religious organization but this refers to every born again Child of God regardless of race, religion, creed or nationality. Every true Christian who believes in, serves, loves and accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, and whose lives bear the fruit and mark of the presence of God in their lives, is a part of this universal Body of Christ.
In the universal body of Christ there are those who place upon themselves the titles of Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Baptist, Methodist or any one of a multitude of Organizational titles. These titles often become more of a division or a hindrance to the working of the body because of doctrinal differences. Indeed, some of those divisions are the result of man’s efforts to interpret the Word of God in his own intelligence and without the mind of Christ to give the wisdom necessary for that interpretation.
As a result of these man-made divisions in doctrine and interpretation, there has entered into the church damnable heresies that are not only contrary to the Word of God as it should be correctly interpreted, they are deadly if adhered to without carefully examining their impact according to the Word of God and how they apply to our spiritual life.
Here are a few examples:
The doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security
While the Bible does teach eternal security in Christ it does not teach that such security is “unconditional”. Every facet of the Christian life and every blessing of God are based upon conditions of obedience to his Word in holiness and sanctification, dependence upon his deliverance and power to provide our every need through faith, and continued faithfulness to the calling and election of God upon our lives.
A few of the verses that are incorrectly interpreted to teach this doctrine are:
John 10:27-29, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand."
According to some, the interpretation of this would mean that once we are saved, we cannot lose that salvation because the scripture says that “they shall never perish” and that no man can “pluck them out of my hand”, meaning the hand of the Father in Heaven.
Who can argue that the Father in Heaven does not have the power to keep that which we have committed to him? Paul stated this in his letter to Timothy.
2 Timothy 1:12, "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."
Yes, the Father in Heaven is able, willing and ready to keep our souls in his hand and no man can reach into his hand and steal our souls from his grip.
But there is another view to this scene that we must consider. God the Father will never overstep the bounds of our own will. He does not create us to be obedient robots that can never fail, never sin, and never decide to stop serving him. God gives us the new birth and grafts us into his family as adopted children because he desires to have those who will serve him of their own free will.