On average in this country, before COVID, about 8,000 people die everyday. The overall majority do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, these are your… They will burn in hell with no hope of salvation, separated from God for eternity as we are told in 2 Thessalonians 1. Where is the church? Why are we not fulfilling our purpose? Is it because we have left our God given gifts in their packaging, unwrapped, but shelved?
Last week we looked at how spiritual gifts are given for the common good of God’s Church, for the common good of our congregation or yours. Vs. 7 told us that, “A manifestation of the Spirit is given to each person for the common good.” And in 1 Peter God’s Word tells us that, “Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve others, as good stewards of the varied grace of God” (4:10) So, we know just from those 2 verses that each and every member of God’s Church has spiritual gifting and is to use it to serve others for the common good of the congregation you are a part of.
Sin: a willful transgression of the known will of God. Sin is a failure to lord, but what does sin do? It separates; sin is a disruptive force, it always divides, separates, and splinters. It divides us within and against ourselves. It is and has produced the constant fight and struggle which we are all aware of in our own lives, in the lives of those around us, and in the life of the church.
In Romans, we find that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and that “the wages of Sin is death” (3:23, 6:23). Sin is spiritual death and it has separated us from God, each other, and even from ourselves. But, “God so loved world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
What are the requirements for salvation? Repentance: a turning away from sin and a turning to God. The moment you repent, you are given new life & His spirit to guide and enable you and you are made a part of His Church, His Body.
Since sin separates and divides, salvation then, consequently, brings us back into relationship first and foremost with God. At the same time, make us a part of His family, His Kingdom, His Church. Salvation re-unites, brings together again, reconciles, and restores the unity that God created before sin. So, salvation brings healing between God and mankind, amongst mankind, and within the individual. The enemy of our souls seeks to bring division to divide and overcome us so that we cannot be the Church, “He goes about like a roaring lion” and “he seeks to steal, kill, and destroy” (1 Peter 5:8, John 10:10).
So the gift of unity that we have in Christ is part of the grand design to help protect and grow us in grace and knowledge. Thus, one of the peculiar marks of the Christian calling, is to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. This gift we have as the Church must be unwrapped and used!
Members of this congregation come into this building where we meet. But this congregation, this church, is never the building. We are not a denomination, we are members of the Body of Christ, and we are called to be in unity as a physical body with Jesus Christ alone as the head. So back to last week’s question: Are you going to be the Church or are we just going to have a worship center?
Vs.13 – We were all baptized – spiritual baptism, spiritual cleansing, spiritual resurrection! The Church is the Spiritual Body of Christ. If you are a Christian then you are to be a part of His Church in a local congregation!
The church does not belong to any denomination, organization, or movement, or any other manmade construction. Nor does the church belong to any man, no matter their name or the size of the congregation. And despite popular opinion, it does not belong to the people, it is not your church, nor is it anyone else’s; it belongs to Jesus Christ and it is His Body!!!
The Church is the living Body of Christ and we cannot allow the enemy to use our weaknesses, mistakes, or our ignorance (lack of knowledge) to bring division –to separate us form one another.
This new life you have in Christ, as a part of the Body of Christ, His Church is to be unwrapped, unpackaged, taken out of the box and lived! As a blood bought, born again, Christian you must set aside your old habits. Wrap them up, box them up, place THEM on the shelf. For you, brothers and sisters, should have died to them. IF you chose to walk in the Spirit, you are empowered, enabled, and gifted to fulfill your purpose. The purpose for which you were created as part of the body.
Vs. 18. – God has arranged each part of the body as He wants. We were brought together to be the body of Christ right where we are and right at this time. Either we come together as the Church in unity, as a body, or we fall to our own selfish desires, drift away because of other priorities, or through temptation, fall to the enemy.
Listen to what God’s Word says to the Church: Ephesians 2:1-10.
The one anothers…
New Start, today you will witness new beginnings, new lives. May it remind you of what God has called you to, your purpose, in His plan, as part of His Church: to be one with Him as the body of Christ!
- Are you a part of the body of Christ?
- Have you repented and taken that first act of obedience: Baptism?
- Are you walking in God’s plan and purpose?