Well, we are off to starting a new series all about what it is to be a Healthy Body (i.e. Christ & the Church in the World). It’s a pretty wide topic, but a good one. The goal is to explore some question like: Why a Body? What does God want to express via you (as a part)? What does God want to express via us (as a whole)? How do we do this practically? (always a hard part!) And lastly, what is God’s “Big plan” for this Body?
Right from the start it would be good to simply ask – why do we need to be connected? why do we need church? Did God really set us up to be a Body? And if so, why?
The simplest answer would be that we are called to be relational because God is relational. We are part of a community of faith (sometimes called the “Church”) because God Himself is in Community. So, how do we know this?
Just take a quick look at Gen 1:26-27. Notice that when God cooked up the great idea of creating us that He said “let US make man in OUR image.” Now who is all this US & OUR? It’s God the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They are in community, in relationship with one another. And somehow that Divine “US” is stamped upon you and me. We were pre-wired for being in intimate communion with others.
Thousands of years later one of Jesus’ best friends John writes about how true community is formed between people. Check out 1Jn 1:1-4. Simply put – We have community, fellowship, commonality with one another, because we have it with God. If we aren’t connected with God we will untimely never be properly connected with those around us. This is true both in the Church and the outside world.
So how does this really work? What does it look like? How does a “Community of Faith” relate to one another?
The Apostle Paul gives us some clues when he describes the Church as a BODY & a BRIDE.
In Romans 12:3-8 we are told to get a right perspective of our self (v3) – i.e. get a balance between Individual & Community. We are also instructed that we are all a part of something bigger then ourselves (v5). Lastly, we have a special part (gift) in this Body, so use it! (v4)
Q: What is the point of this Body?
Read: Eph 4:15-16 We are told that the Body (Church) is joined together by Jesus and should be building itself up in love, as each part functions well (see: 1Jn 4:11-12; Jn 13:34-35)
Paul also compares the Church to the Bride. Now, at a wedding who is the focus? The Bride. All eyes are on her. Read: Eph. 5:22-32. Paul tells us that the Bride (us) have a intimate relationship with Jesus, Jesus preparing us for Himself, and we are precious to Him. God loves you, and He loves when we come together in his name as the Bride, the Church.
What do the Body & Bride have in common? They are cared for by Jesus: (Eph 5:28-32) and they submit (yield their wills, rights, opinions) to Jesus (Eph 5:24)
Remember: You were created to be in fellowship with Father, Son, Holy Spirit. You were created to build others up in love. You were created to yield to Jesus. Remember and respond.