The Bible, which means the book, is a single narrative that points to one person. 66 books written over the span of human history, and they all stay consistent; Christ, the Word of God, who never changes.
The Body of Christ
Some denominations think the body of Christ is composed of only their sect. What is the body of Christ? Why call us His body? What does it mean?
Let me paint a picture for you of the body of Christ:
– Jesus is the head of the body.
– We are the parts of the body.
– The Spirit is the power of the body: the Spirit is the communication system of the body; the neurons, or synapses.
When you, a part of the body, are hurting, you pray! The Spirit inside of you sends the message to Jesus, who asks God; God then gives the answer to Jesus (the mind), who gives it to the Spirit (the neurons), who gives it to you (the body part).
So, imagine again that we are the body of Christ. We make up different parts, but we are all joined together by the Spirit of God. We pray and we listen. I can send a prayer request to the mind (Jesus), and Jesus can tell another part of the body, who is listening, to come help me. I didn’t have to know how, or who, could help. I just need to know that Jesus can help. Jesus can send whoever is needed, but He can only use the parts of the body who are listening to the Spirit (functioning in the Body). So, also, I can pray for what I know I need, but then I can pray in tongues, by the gift of the Spirit, so that God is praying for me. The Spirit knows everything, and He can activate the right part of the body to come to my aid, where I couldn’t know the who, what, when, and wheres.
Let’s look at the verses for this painting:
– 1 Cor. 12:13-14 – For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
– Col. 1:18 – Jesus is the head of the body, the church.
– Matt. 10:20 – For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
– 1 Cor. 14:2,14,39 – For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God… For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays.. I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding… Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
– Rom. 8:26-27 – the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
– 1 Cor.2:10-11 – for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man who is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.
To function as part of the body of Christ, we need to be able to function under the power of the Spirit. Any part of the body that does not respond to the signals, transmitted from the mind to that part, is broken.
Now let’s paint a picture of teamwork:
One horse can pull 700 pounds and another horse can pull 800 pounds, but together they can pull 3000 pounds! Here are just 3 ways we can use this concept:
1. Teamwork (exponential power) in Marriage: Taking this concept we can begin to understand why God said not to marry someone who is unequally yoked. You need to be healthy & whole when you marry, and choose someone just as strong as you are. You don’t put two damaged, injured oxen under a yoke and expect them to carry 3000 pounds with ease; the burden becomes heavy and hurts them even more. Likewise, you don’t take a donkey and yoke it to an ox. The ox overpowers the donkey, and it can hurt both animals. So don’t marry an unbeliever, or a believer who hasn’t been completely set free from the pains of sin yet. Someone who is not living in the fullness of the Spirit is dead weight. We cannot help those who are not trying to help them themselves or looking to God for help. Those who are trying, and looking, we can help like this:
2. Teamwork (exponential power) in Life: Jesus set this example for us…
– Matt. 27:32 – As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.
We don’t take the cross from people, we have our own, but we can help people carry their cross. Look how much it looks like a yoke.
We need people to help us through life. We were never meant to walk alone. In Jesus days people walked in groups to their destinations. We still walk in groups in life; we travel short and long periods beside each other, toward like destinations – one day with one person, and 20 years with another. God has a purpose for where He put you. He marked out the timing and location of your life. Get to know the people around you and help them carry the burden.
Acts 17:26 – From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. – Esther 4:14 – For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?
A decree had been made that all the Jews would die. No one knew Esther was a Jew. She could’ve kept living her cushy life as queen, but she saw God’s calling on her life; she put her life on the line to help someone else. She took on the burden. These are the good works God has destined for you since the beginning of time: Help those around you.
– Rom. 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
That guy didn’t want to help Jesus; he saw Jesus as a criminal with a death sentence. Helping others, helps us too though. We learn their struggles and pain; we learn of their good and bad decisions. We gain wisdom for our own lives, causing the power of exponential growth. Maybe what we learn from them helps us, or helps the next person we meet. Along with helping them, pray for God to help them:
3. Teamwork (exponential power) in Prayer:
– Matt. 18:19 – Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” – Jos. 23:10 – One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. – Is. 30:17 – A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill. – Ex. 17:15 – Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi.
Jehovah Nissi means ‘the Lord is my Banner’. The Lord is my victory! God fights for us when we remind Him of His promises in prayer. He is with us when we pray, but when we agree with other people in prayer HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT! Jesus found a man who was demon possessed; the demon called himself Legion, saying he was many. Jesus, one person, put 1,000 demons to flight. Imagine what we can do when we come together, in unity, as the body of Christ, to pray for our nations problems. Demons flee, situations change, and Jesus gives us the victory! For those who are praying in the Spirit (in tongues), there is exponential power available. Everyone in the Spirit is united by the Spirit:
– Earlier this week, I thought about a teaching I had borrowed. I felt like I had kept it too long, but I wanted to finish taking notes on it, so I ripped the cd’s and put the discs in my purse. While at work, yesterday, the lender called me; I couldn’t answer, but I put the disc in her mailbox. Just then she came through the doors, checked her mail, and said, ‘WOW! God is good! His timing always astounds me. In ten minutes I am going to a meeting, and the person I’m meeting needs this study!’ The Spirit of God knew her heart, mine, and the next persons – and provided for all of us. The lender never asked me to return the study, or asked when I would be done, but the Holy Spirit knew and gave us the tools we needed to keep seeking out His will and ways.
– One day, while living in habitual sin (wayward from God), I had a desire. Someone living in the same type of sin, or under the same demonic spirit, came to me and brought me the things I had desired. They didn’t know I wanted them, and they knew that I would not use those items with them, but the evil spirit dwelling in both of us knew both of our hearts. That demonic spirit saw that he sinfully wanted to give me the items, and that I wanted the items to help me keep sinning. These items where something strange, and I was not close to this person; even in my waywardness I knew that there was no way this could’ve happened without demonic influence. That demonic spirit provided for both of us the things that we needed to continue growing in our lives of sin. You have an enemy and he mimics God’s ways. Satan has a plan for your life too. God says, if you aren’t for me, you are against me. We might not even see it, but if we don’t have the Spirit of God, we have the spirit of something else.
– Phil. 2:2 – … by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
– 1 John 4 – Dear friends, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood… He has given us of his Spirit. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Simply acknowledging Jesus isn’t enough to be able to discern the Holy Spirit from a demonic spirit. We need the gift of discernment from God. We also need to realize that Satan knows who Jesus is, and he can quote scripture; he tempted Jesus in the desert with scriptures that he had perverted, twisted up, to use in the wrong context as lies. Demons, likewise, can acknowledge Jesus and know scripture, but they cannot produce God’s version of love. They can only give a perverse imitation of the things God creates. They are trying to deceive us.
– God’s version of love is respect and patience; saving sex for marriage and protecting others. True love heals.
– A demon’s version of love can be providing a feeling of love when you have sex outside of marriage; a false/imitation love that never holds true for long. You take what you want and after you have become one in spirit (and body) with your lover, you are ripped from them leaving both people broken. False love breaks.
– 1 Cor. 12:7-10 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit… distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues…
– Luke 4:33-34 – In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are– the Holy One of God!”
The gifts are for today! You need to be unified to the body of Christ, through the Spirit, to be able to pray, and to be able to discern. The gifts are necessary for this day and age, because there are many AntiChrist spirits running amuck. The only way to recognize Truth is through the Spirit of Truth (the Spirit of Jesus) and with the gifts/tools He gave us (1 Cor. 12).
– 1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit
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