About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
Over the decades
I've noticed that there are 2 ways in which we as Christians refer to
those to whom we are joined in the Body of Christ.
Some of us use the pronoun "they" while others use the
pronoun "we" in reference to our brothers and sisters in Jesus.
As an example, some say "they worship here" while others
say "we worship here." Which
pronoun you use speaks volumes to how you view church.
You might think I'm
making a big deal over a couple of little insignificant pronouns, but
Biblically speaking they are far from insignificant. Words do matter.
These pronouns speak to who we are and thus how you interact with
those you are joined to in the Body of Christ. Jesus
said it this way. "Out of
the abundance of your heart your mouth speaks" (Matthew 12:34).
"they worship here" suggests that one is distancing himself from
those in fellowship with him. The
phrase "we worship here" suggests that one is including himself
among those in fellowship with him. In
regard to church, the New Testament speaks in terms of "we," not
I believe 1
Corinthians 12:13 speaks to this issue when it says that we were all
baptized (Greek baptizo - immersed) by one Spirit into one body.
This sentence says more than most think about church.
When we received the Holy Spirit into our lives we were not only
united with Jesus but we were born into His family.
In context, Paul tells us that we were immersed into the lives of
real people to whom Jesus has placed us alongside.
We were not immersed into an organization, a denomination, or any
other hierarchical Christian system. Those
who possess this New Testament mindset will speak the pronoun
"we," as in, "we worship here."
It's impossible for them to say "they worship here"
because being immersed into the lives of people is what church is all
about for them.
When thinking in
this New Testament framework we realize that those to whom Jesus has
placed us alongside are more than acquaintances.
They are those we share our likes, dislikes, abilities,
inabilities, sorrows, joys, riches, poverty, and really, our lives.
I'm not talking about some kind of Christian socialism as has been
attempted many times throughout history.
I'm talking about being born into the family of God when we are
born again of the Holy Spirit. We
are Jesus' blood brothers and sisters.
You might say that
as we were enveloped with water in water baptism, we are enveloped with
people when we are baptized into the Body of Christ.
If we can think and live in terms of "we" and not
"they," church will not only be a joyous place to exist, it will
be the representative of Jesus it is meant to be.