The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. (I Corinthians 12:12, NIV)
One of my favorite children’s books is Swimmy by Leo Lionni, in which a little black fish called Swimmy finds a school of red fish and together they form what looks like a big fish with Swimmy as the eye. This way they kept the larger fish from eating them. I see that as an apt picture of the body of Christ as Paul describes us in I Corinthians 12.
I have seen the church lately as though we are deep sea fishing in the sea of humanity. Every person that we meet is a potential brother or sister in Christ –every child, every young person, every older person. The Lord is coming for His church, His family – and He wants to use us to bring them in and prepare them for His coming. I feel like the Lord is telling us to “Fall into formation” and be ready for the trumpet to sound. When Jesus comes, the Bible says in Matthew 24:31,
“… He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
About ‘Not Having Spot or Wrinkle’
Paul wrote that the Lord would come for a church “not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:27) Are we ready for His coming? Are we without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, holy and without blemish?
Those who have been born of the Spirit of God believe the Lord is coming soon and that our mission on this planet is to live and walk with Jesus as closely as possible so that we can complete God’s family before He comes. Are we living every day as though He could come at any moment? Are we in right relationship with our fellow believers, and are we always seeking the lost and desiring to lead them to Jesus?
Passed From Death to Life
If we have accepted Christ as our personal Savior, we love the brethren (and future brethren, those who have not yet trusted Christ). John 3:14 states that “He who does not love the brethren abides in death.” In other words, if we are still living a self-centered life, do not want to belong to a local fellowship and do not love our fellow believers, it is possible that we have not even really been saved.
John quoted Jesus as saying in John 13:35, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Let us be sure, then, that we have indeed passed from death into life by receiving Christ’s forgiveness through the atonement He purchased by dying on the cross for our sins, and then purpose to live every moment in the light of that reality.
We Need More of God
If we would be honest, many of us would have to confess, “Sometimes I still live my life as if God were ‘out there somewhere.’ But if we have been bought by the blood of Jesus and sealed by the Spirit of God (Ephesians 1:13, 14), then He lives His life through us (Galatians 2:20) and is delighted to give us more of Himself as we yield to Him more or ourselves (Luke 11:13).
Jesus said that when two or more are gathered in His name, there He is in the midst. This is why we need to be part of a local fellowship. When we gather together the power and presence of God is multiplied exponentially by the numbers in our assembly. Just think of it!
I Corinthians 12:12 Galatians 2:20
Matthew 24:31 Luke 11:13
Ephesians 5:27 Matthew 6:33
John 13:35 John 3:14
Ephesians 1:13, 14