1 Corinthians 12:12–13 (KJV )
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
In reading this text over the last week a portion stood out that I had not considered in depth before from this text's view point. Paul is making the comparison of the church and her head that is Christ. Anyone who has spent any time in the church knows you will find all kinds of people there. People from all kinds of backgrounds, experiences, temperaments, likes, and dislikes. However, when you gather with them during worship they find their way to unity in seeking the Lord. Or at least that is how it should be. Paul uses our literal bodies and how they are made up to show how the church should work. When you consider our bodies I doubt anyone would say that your lungs and your heart look, work, or react the same. Either one of them if you reversed them could not operate. If you fill your heart with air death will occur, and so goes if you fill your lungs with blood. The two could not be more different from each other. Yet in God's design they work together to provide the oxygen that is needed in the blood and the blood that is needed in the lungs, and they do it together to the betterment of the body. So goes the body of Christ in the church. Paul tells us no matter if you are Jew or Gentile (This comparison in scripture is major. The two could not be more different. So much so that it took the work of Christ to bring them together.) bond or free we are all made to work together in the body of Christ. This teaches us that everyone is needed in the house of God and the work of the body could not be performed without each one of coming together to do our part.
This is not the part that caught my attention though. The thing that caused me to slow down and look at was the statement "so also is Christ". In considering our Lord and Savior I strain to see and divisions in Him. I know that he was flesh and blood even as we are but I don't believe that is what Paul is writing of here. The differing parts of the body are individuals that come together for the purpose of worship. In comparing Christ to that he is saying there are different parts coming together for the work of Christ. Jesus Christ is an amazingly complex individual. There are those that make Him all God and He is. There are those that want to make Him all man and he is. Jesus is a perfect picture and reality of the trinity. John 1 tells us that Jesus, the Word, was with God from the beginning. He has always existed and was not born of a virgin. He is completely God in power, in mind, and in authority. This is why we are told He was born King of the Jews. This is why John the Baptist even though he was 6 months older than Jesus says Jesus came before him. This is how he is the root and seed of David. That is one part of our head that is Christ. There is another by the name Jesus that was born of a virgin. That has a beginning of about 2000 years ago. This is the man Jesus of Nazareth. He is all man and is how we explain a Jesus that tires out and takes naps, thirsts and askes for drink, and even how we have a Savior that dies on the cross. These two came together for the purpose of our salvation. The two could not be more different. One is spirit without beginning or end, omnipresent and omni powerful. The other conceived and born, and in need of growth and learning. Yet they worked together for us. There is a third part involved and that is the Spirit. We are told here in the text that even as it is the Spirit that works in us to bring us together for the purpose of worship. It is the Spirit that worked with Christ to bring them together for our Salvation.
Now where the Spirit is working in us to overcome our differences, with Christ he was working in unison with the two parts of Christ. He is indeed our perfect example of How we should be in our daily lives and in the church. It is amazing to see how perfectly He is our example in all things. We too have this Spirit working in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. We have this Spirit in us crying out Abba Father. We can work together in the worship of God. May God bless us to come together and learn to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
When I created this page for the church two years ago, I wanted to start this process. As a whole, I tend to be very quiet; a man of few words. On top of that, I tend to write even less. However, I am reminded over and over again in the back of my mind of the words of a wise father in the ministry: I was told a congregation will rarely, if ever, exceed the temperament of the pastor. I want to, in the coming year, begin writing on this page on a weekly basis. I want to share with you all some of my musings, thoughts, and comments on what I'm reading. I want you all to be comfortable commenting and joining in on these discussions.
This last year has been a lot of things. We have all experienced and, I trust, learned so much. I am, however, amazed that looking back over the last year I can see God's hand in so much. I am reminded of all the times in the days of Israel that, on a worldly view point, things were falling apart at the seams; yet, as we look at it today, we can see how God was truly in the matter. Possibly no greater example of this would be the 70 year captivity. The nation was in shambles and His people were dragged into foreign lands. Many at this time would easily say it has never been this bad. Possibly even thought this is the end and we may as well just give up. Thankfully though, for those of faith, they could remember the words sent by His prophet. For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). The process and the time frame were painful, yet God promised a good end for His people. Those that continued to live and to seek Him came out on the other side better and came out of that darkness. Many times that God leads us through may be the valley of the shadow of death, yet He promises to never leave or forsake us. God is not finished with us, God is not finished with His church, and God is not finished with you. Things may look dark as we stand in the here and now, but God is still on His throne. This was a promise repeated over and over again in the book of Daniel, the prophet through the 70 years. We need to be those reminding everyone around us of the same truth. May God bless you all as we close out 2020 and as we boldly go into that which God already knows in 2021.
Thank you for reading and I ask for your prayers in the year ahead.
Elder John Staten