Ministry of the Body of Christ
1Jn:4:16: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us.
God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jn:1:3: That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1Jn:1:5: This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jn:1:6: If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness,
we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn:3:14: We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
15. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
John was writing to Christians, not the world, He is saying that if you don't walk in love toward your brother you are walking in death. Christians can step out of the light and walk in death. You can get on shaky ground.
Jealousy, strife, envying, bitterness, or have pettiness of any kind, or talk about your brother, then you are not walking in love toward one another. If we do these things we can get in a place of darkness.
IICo.6:14. Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship
has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? .
The answer to that is none. Light and darkness are separate from one another.
There is no sharing, none!!
Because God is total light, and there is no darkness in Him at all, He can not have communion with darkness in any way shape or form, there is no sharing of life and death.
If we get out of fellowship we step off into darkness or death, in other words if we step out of Love, and get into sin, we break fellowship, not our relationship, we can repent of these things and restore our fellowship, and be put back in right standing with the Father.
Many times it is the little things that go undealt with, that can build up and cause the problems. Jesus said a little leaven, leavens the whole lump, another saying, little foxes spoil the vine. Sin is a spiritual matter and has to be dealt with, it will not go away until
you do. Spiritual things donít dissipate with time.
1Jn.1:9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,
and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn:1:7: But, if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin
-- New Jerusalem Bible
1 John 1:7 But if we live in light, as he is in light, we have a share in another's life,
and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
fellowship ---Gk.- zoopoieo
make alive, or to give life, quicken.
We have the ability to give life and share life, and in that sharing,
receive cleansing and forgiveness.
Do you see the close relationship between forgiveness of sin and fellowship, you canít separate them, they go hand in hand. We share in each others life and then the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.
We share life with one another.
The body of Christ shares life between one another. We are sharers of the very life of God! Itís easy to gloss over these scriptures and miss the true importance of them.
There is a very important truth here, and we as the body need to be aware of it. This is what keeps the protective hedge up around us. Walking in love.
He commands us as Peter said.
1 Peter 4:8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for "love will cover a multitude of sins.''
Walking in love keeps us out of trouble.
It puts us in a place where God can work in our behalf, and Satan canít touch you. But weíre the ones that have to walk in Gods love,
He canít and wonít do it for us. Heís commanded us to do it.
Rom:5:5: Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Then we must walk in it.
Jude:1:21: Keep yourselves in the love of God,
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
When you keep yourselves, you also are able to help others keep themselves.
Because then you are sharing that life or Zoë of God.
Eph:5:21: Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
Eph:5:30: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
This doesnít mean we are supposed to be in some kind of a legalistic bondage to one another, but as an act of love, to submit ourselves one to another, in the fear of God.
Col:2:2: That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
You notice It didnít say, it is Godís power that is holding us together. Love is the binding agent or the spiritual glue that holds the body of Christ together. Unto understanding and acknowledgement, this is talking about having confidence in who you are in Christ, and God the Father. you become assured by your understanding.
1Cor:12:25: That there should be no schism (division or discord) in the body;
but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Cor:12:27: Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
Ja.4:11: Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.
Phil:2:3: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
He.13:1 [New English Bible] Never cease to love your fellow-Christians
It doesnít say you can cease once in a while. No, NEVER!!!! Not even for a little while when they act ugly. No, no, no.
This is commanded of us. That means we have to follow it or else!
Doesnít it? Or else what? Or else there are consequences, you might say serious consequences, thatís what!
Rom:12:4-5: For as we have many members in one body, and all members
have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
WE ARE CO MINGLERS OF THE BODY, WE SHARE THE SAME LIFE!!!
Rom:7:4: Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the
body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, (even to him) who is raised from
the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
This is how we bring forth fruit! If you want fruit in your life, if you truly want a closer walk with God, then this is where you start! Heís the vine we are the branches, and love is the sap. And you donít produce fruit without sap. Nothing else can replace it.
1Jn:2:9. He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now.
10. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him.
11. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
So basically if you are not walking in love toward fellow believers, Ö
See where this is going, light or darkness, there is no in between. You are either walking in light or darkness. Life or death.
Jesus takes it personally if you are not allowing that love to flow to one another. You stifle the love of God! You are walking in darkness, Iím not saying this to create fear,
but just to make aware of the down side.
Remember Saul on the road to Damascus.
Acts 9:1. But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord,
went to the high priest
2. and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
3. Now as he journeyed he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed about him.
4. And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
5. And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting;
He didnít say why are you persecuting my body, He said why are you persecuting me.
I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting
Jesus took it very personally, didnít He? Thatís because we are His body.
How much more do you think it hurts Him when His own body turns on one other?
Thereís no life in that kind of behavior. None. God doesnít associate with it. EVER!
So if you are not walking in life, you are walking in death.
We can walk in the life of God, that Zoë life! And thatís the upside.
But praise God!!!
Ro:8:1: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,
who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
2. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
There is a spiritual law called the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
Then another Law, is the law of sin and death. These are 2 spiritual laws,
or 2 spiritual forces that canít be negated. Theyíre there in force.
On one side, sin and death. On the other side, you have the life of God.
The Spirit of Life is the Holy Spirit. That Life giving ZOE of God was imparted by God when you made Jesus the lord of your life.
We have been made free from the law of sin and death.
We can see that life and Gods love are tied very closely together, almost like a tightly woven fabric.
We have a very active part to play.
We have to actively participate in the law of the Spirit of life if we want to see the benefits of it. When you walk in the love of God you override the law of sin and death! And, you enforce the spiritual law of the Spirit of life. We are free from the law of sin and death.
These spiritual laws are set in motion by our decisions, and by our words,
and by our actions.
By these, we choose life or death.
We walk in life or we walk in death. We walk in love or we walk in hate.
Ep.3:19: And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
That ( So knowing) ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20: Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all
that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
The power works in us. thatís what we want to know. How this power works in us. by love. Faith works by love. We know the love of Christ so we might be filled up with all the fullness of God.
Gk. dunamis Pronounced doo'-nam-is
miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):
1Co:1:10. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Jn:13:34: A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Mt.22:37: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38: This is the first and great commandment.
39: And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40: On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
The entire revelation of God is summed up in love.
Lets look at what Paul by the Holy Spirit says love is.
--Living Bible 1Co.13:4. Love is very patient and kind, never jealous
or envious, never boastful or proud,
5. never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
6. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out.
1Jn:2:7-8: Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.
2Jn:1:5: And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another.
And we just read what love is!!!
Rom:8:34: Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
1Tm:2:1: I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
Heb:7:25: Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come
unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
Eph:2:21: In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth
unto an holy temple in the Lord:
Eph:2:22: in whom you also are being built together for a habitation of God in the Spirit.
Eph:3:6: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,
Eph:4:12: for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Paraphrase [ For the equipping of the saints so that the saints can do the work of the ministry.] What is the work of the ministry? It goes on to explain in vs. 15
15. but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head Christ
16. from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
The body edifies itself. How? Only In love. No other way
Ro.8:26. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
helps -- 3 Gk. words Romanized sunantilambanomai
Strongís literal translation, joins in to help
. co-operate (assist):
Or to take hold with us together against our infirmities
The Word is saying, we ought to be against our infirmities, because the Holy Spirit is taking hold together with us against our weaknesses, ok. Not just waiting on God to move. Jesus has already moved. His next move is going to be when we move.
The Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered
It talks about our weaknesses here, I believe it is talking about our resisting the devil ,sin, sickness, the things we have been redeemed from, the things we have been legally delivered out of. Then it goes on to say---
28. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according toHis purpose.
29. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
31. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
37. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
The Word is telling us here we are called to a ministry of intercession, the whole body of Christ, when we are operating in love and walking according to the Word of God , then all things work together for the good to them that love God, to them who are the called according toHis purpose. What is His purpose?, His purpose is to have His will carried out on the earth, thatís what we all want isnít it. How do we get that? We get it with groanings which can not be uttered, we get it when we are making intercession for all the saints according to the WILL OF GOD. Which is what vs.27 is talking about. Bringing the will and purpose of God into the earth.
Then His purpose is fulfilled, through the Holy Spirit taking hold together with us against our weaknesses. We succeed. Then we know all things work together for those who love God who are called according to His purpose. All things, are the spiritual gifts in operation to help bring to pass the plans and purposes of God . thatís talking victory, not letting Satan run rough shod all over you, this is how the body of Christ Sustains itself.
And then we can go on to say as Paul did, we are more than conquerors through Him
who loved us. But if we are not working in conjunction with the Holy Spirit in this area, we arenít going to succeed.
Too many times we have failed and we have used this as a spiritual cop out,
We look at our failures, and because we fail we say, Oh well, all things work together for the good.. You know in your heart thatís not true, thatís not what that means.
If you look at what the Word is saying, it is talking about the saints interceding in cooperation with the Holy Spirit to over come every adversity In the body of Christ,
thatís the will of God!!!!! Glory to God. Can you see this?
If we fail, we need to realize what happened and correct it. Let the Holy Spirit work together with us against our weaknesses, and also the weaknesses of our brothers and sisters in Christ, then we can truly say as Paul did, if God be for us who can be against us.
And, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.
This portion of scripture has been the source of much prayer, consideration, and meditation, for me. I believe we as the body of Christ have largely missed it in this area. I think it is time for us to rise up and find out what the word of God is really telling us here, and not just sit back and let Satan kick our spiritual teeth in! All things can work out to our benefit when we are interceding with the help of the Holy Spirit to bring the purpose of God into being. Intercession is God's way to help us fulfill His will and His purpose, in our lives, and the lives of others as well. Another way of saying this is to say that intercession is processing the plan of God. It is thwarting the plan of Satan.
It is bringing to fulfillment, the will and purpose of God. Look back at vs. 27-28. and see this...
27. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
28. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
You see it is talking about God's will and Gods purpose.
We know that Gods will and Gods purpose for us is to succeed in all areas of life, and not fail. To be a blessing where ever we go. To be the salt of the earth. We truly are the preservative here. If we werenít here on the Earth I believe this planet would decay quickly. If we arenít blessed ourselves how will we ever be a blessing to others?
I have seen this work in my own life and the lives of others. When you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit and intercede with Him as His Word directs us, He will help us to intercede, and directs us to pray God's will into existence. We can't do this on our own, we need His help. Praise God we've got it. I believe we have to tune in and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I believe Paul was not just talking about normal prayer but praying in the spirit, praying in tongues. I know I don't have all the answers here, but I sincerely desire to see God's will fulfilled in my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters in Christ. I think this is the starting point for that to happen. I know that before every great revival that has ever taken place, you hear the stories of men and women who were called by the Holy Spirit of God into intercession. I truly think this is what this scripture is talking about, bringing to fulfillment the plan and purpose of God. His word declares, we have not because we ask not. We have got to ask, yet how are we going to ask when we don't know what to ask for? Praying in cooperation with the Holy Spirit is beneficial because it allows us to ask for the will of God when we don't know what the will of God is. The New Jerusalem Bible says it well I think.
-- New Jerusalem with Apocrypha
Romans 8:26 And as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words;
Read back through the eighth cheaper of Romans, without looking at the vs. #'s. with some of these thoughts in mind and see if it takes on some new light now.