Monday, January 19, 2009
The Local Church
In the Bible the Church of Jesus Christ is described as "His body." Every local assembly is made up of believers who display various gifts and ministries. Each person is vital to the function of the whole church. God knows exactly who to place in each local assembly, so His body will function as He has ordained. Some parts of the body are more visible, but all are of equal importance. The foot is dependent on the eye (to see where it is going) and the eye is dependent on the foot (without the foot the eye is not going anywhere). The parts function together, are dependent on each other and are of mutual benefit to each other. In the human body disease causes members to malfunction or not function at all. We as members of Christ's body need to stay healthy and function in the role in which God has placed us. The Bible tells us “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”- Romans 12:4-5. In the last 30 years much has been written about what "Body life," the functioning of the body, the members of the local church. The church as an organism, rather than a simple organization has been expressed. Body life, is Biblical truth that needs to be emphasized. Perhaps a simple way to put it is "We all need each other." In a self absorbed world, we as believers need each other more than ever. There are a dozen one another passages in the Bible. Here are a few examples of "One another commands." "We are to "love one another." We are to "bear with one another." We are to "exhort one another." How important is all of this. When I pastored in Minnesota a young woman came to church three Sundays in a row, a couple days after her last visit she was found dead. She left a note that said "Nobody cares if I live or die." This led each of us to do some real soul searching. Did we as a body really minister to her, did we pray for her, did anyone visit her, invite her to lunch, sit down and listen to her? Did we drop the ball? I don't know. But I do know, we really took notice of one another after that tragedy. The church began to grow in an unique way, with new members commenting about the way the body ministered to the body. Here are a couple of questions. Who is the Lord prompting you to minister to at this time? How well are you ministering to those you belong to in the Body of Christ? Dr. Ken Copley is available for counseling, conferences, and local church meetings.