Monday 19 November 2012

Members of Christ's Body

Glory to God!

Looking at 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, the Lord showed us yesterday that every believer is baptised into Christ and into His Body, the Church. Through faith in Christ the believer becomes part of God ("vertical" relationship) and part of His people ("horizontal" relationship). The cross symbolises both aspects of what Christ has accomplished through His death and resurrection: reconciliation with God (2 Cor. 5:18) and reconciliation with man (Eph. 2:16). In this portion of his letter to the Corinthian church, Paul explains that:

  • Every believer is baptised into the Church. 1 Cor. 12:12,13
  • Every believer is part of the Church regardless of whether s/he thinks s/he is part of it.1 Cor. 12:14-16
  • Every believer is divinely placed in the Church. 1 Cor. 12:17-20; Rom. 12:4-8
  • Every believer is significant in the Church. 1 Cor. 12:21-27
Following God's Word to us, we celebrated new life in Christ as we baptised 2 new believers in Christ. Baptism symbolises the believer's death to self - a life lived independently and separated from God and His people - and becoming a new creation in Christ - a life lived in union with Christ and His Body, the Church. Hallelujah!

Quote of the week:

"Now you are the body of Christ and every one of you is part of it." 1 Cor. 12:27


Wednesday 14 November 2012

We are the Church!

Glory to God!

The Lord is speaking to us about our identity as the Body of Christ and last Sunday the Lord showed us what it means to recognise the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 11:29). God's purpose in Christ is to create one new man, the people of God, through whom He desires to reveal His holiness (see Ezekiel 36:23-38; Eph. 2:11-22). Through faith in Christ the believer is not only reconciled to God but also to His people so that in Christ the believer is made one with Christ (vertical relationship - 1 John 4:15) and one with His Body (horizontal relationship - Eph. 2:15,16). The believer must realise his new identity by faith by living according to his new relationship to God, the Church and His people (Israel - Eph. 2:12,13; Rom. 11:17,18). Consequently to recognise the Body of Christ is to honour and distinguish the Body of Christ (Jesus and the Church) as holy. To not recognise the Body of Christ is to profane the Lord's body and blood and the Church (see 1 Cor. 10:14-22; 11:17-33). The believer must understand that s/he has been baptised into Christ's Body, which is the Church and that s/he therefore has a new identity and responsibility. The people of God are called to "make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3), the unity purchased by the blood and body of Christ. Being unforgiving, divisive and being inconsiderate of other believers is to "despise" the Church (1 Cor. 11:22) and is to not recognise the Body of Christ. The Lord's Supper is both the proclamation of what Christ has done for us as well as the recognition of the believers' unity in Christ as His Body, the Church (1 Cor. 11:26-29). 

We praise God for His revelation to us!

This Sunday at 3pm we will be meeting for a baptism service at the Baptist Church in Eschersheim (Haeberlinstr.3, F-Eschersheim).

Quote of the week

"A man ought to examine himself before he eats the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognising the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself." 1 Cor. 11:28,29


Monday 5 November 2012

A People Belonging to God

Glory to God!

God has been speaking to us about relationships and last Sunday, the Lord spoke through David Rowe about the uniqueness of our personalities. Looking at the four essential temperaments - choleric/dominant (ambitious and leader-like), sanguine/influencial (pleasure-seeking and sociable), melancholic/steady (introverted and thoughtful), and phlegmatic/conscientious (relaxed and quiet) we saw how understanding our personalities and the personalities of others helps us deal with each other's strengths and weaknesses as we follow Christ's example of humility (Phil. 2:1-11).

Yesterday the Lord spoke to us about what it means to belong to God and to His people. He revealed the nature and the glory of the Church to us and showed us that as believers we are, a people who belong to Him (1 Peter 2:9,10), a people filled with His fullness (Eph. 1:22,23; 2:19-22), and a people who reveal Him (Eph. 3:10,11). As the Bride of Christ, we are called to live by faith in what God has purposed and accomplished in Christ for the Church. Consequently the people of God are called to live as those who belong to God and belong to His Body! Those who do not believe the truth about their identity in Christ as individuals and as the people of God walk in unbelief and disobedience (see Hebrew 4).

The Lord showed us that there are 3 kinds of sheep/ believers. Those who unconditionally follow Christ and live as those who belong to Him and His Body (followers); those who live conditionally (wanderers) and those who go their own way independently of God and His people (strays). God wants His people to understand that the root of all sin and the Fall of all creation is man's living independently of God. The iniquity that Christ took upon himself was man's straying from God and going his own way (Isaiah 53:6). The Lord wants His people to move from a straying mindset, attitude and behaviour to a follower's mindset, attitude and behaviour that demonstrates belonging to God and belonging to His people. Those who wander between the two mindsets or attitudes commit their lives to God and His people conditionally. They are happy to follow God and be part of His Body as long as it suits them. Once conflict or disagreement arises, the wanderer leaves the local church instead of working through the difficulties in love. Those who truly follow Christ and live as members of Christ and His Body, are committed to loving one another and living at peace with one another unconditionally. Followers behave as those who belong!

We praise God for revealing the glory of the Church to us, for reminding us of what Christ has accomplished for the Church and for challenging us to realise the truth of our identity in Christ as individuals and as His people.

Upcoming events

10.11 - Finance Seminar 
18.11 - Baptismal service at 15:00 at the EFG in F- Eschersheim (Haeberlinstr.3)
24.12 - Heiligabend outreach service for the homeless and needy

Quote of the week

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." 1 Peter 2:9,10