Following from my post yesterday about the importance of living in Community, I want to share that being part of that community, God requires us to be the body. A living, breathing, active member that contributes to increasing God’s Kingdom here on earth.
My inspiration and thoughts have come from a quite brilliant book that I highly recommend from American author and prison campaigner Charles Colson called ‘Being the Body.’ How does the Church (You and I) live out the Christian gospel message that makes an impact in the lives of people around us. Jesus informs us “All men will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another.” Being the Body requires an unconditional love amongst all believers before we have a say in the world.
Martin Luther said this, “Apart from the Church salvation is impossible.” Strong words indeed, but the very important point is that the Church has to be the living, loving body that Jesus requires. Without this body each one of us is lost and not truly following Jesus. We need to realise that the very mixed bag of individuals that make up the body has been created by the ultimate designer, God himself.
The lonely, lost and broken hearted in our communities must not only hear about Jesus, but see Jesus lived out in the lives of believers. When we look at someone within our Body, do we have that deep, sacrificial and unconditional love that Jesus has for each one of us? Or if we are honest do we just tolerate people and take them for granted? Tolerance and love must be the natural endowment of true convictions.
The body of Christ should bear the image of Christ himself.
Conviction must always precede Conversion. Jesus does not want the Body to remain static, living and stuck in the life of past sin. You cannot present the gospel truth until you have also presented the fact of sin. This is because if we truly believe the gospel, then there is no doubt that it transforms character. Each one of us has a responsibility on behalf of Jesus to ensure that the Body continues to change into the likeness of Christ, through our deeds and the way we live.
Every thought must be captive to the obedience of Christ
Father Jerzy a Catholic priest who helped the Polish nation escape from the prison of Communism gives us these powerful words about our responsibility. “A Christian is one who all his life chooses between good and evil, lies and truth, love and hatred, God and Satan. Today more than ever is a need for our light to shine, so that through us, through our deeds, through our choices, people can see the father who is in heaven.”
The body, the Church, the Community of believers must be the embodiment of Jesus Christ here on earth, here right now. Do we live our lives that reflects the love of Jesus to the world? The local Church must always be the hope of the world. Being the Body gives us the amazing privilege to carry out the mandate of God.
Being the Body: Are you up for the challenge?