About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
If we are ever to
experience church as it should be experienced, we must have the proper
understanding of 1 Corinthians 12 burned into our brains and secured into
our hearts where it becomes the conviction whereby we live.
This passage is foundational to what church is all about.
In 1 Corinthians 12:27
Paul wrote that Christians are the Body of Christ.
Just prior to verse 27 he compared Christ's present-day earthly
body, the church, to a human body. A
human body consists of individual body parts that are literally supported
by a few other parts as all parts work together for the health of the
body. As it is with a human
body, so it is with the earthly body of Jesus.
Now read 1 Corinthians 12:12 and 13.
as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one
body, so it is with Christ.
For we were all baptized by one
Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or
free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even
so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
We cannot equate the
word "baptized" with water baptism in the above passage.
Since the context of the word "baptized" concerns us
being baptized, or immersed into the Body of Christ, the church.
I conclude that when the Holy Spirit entered my life, I was not
only immersed into the life of Jesus, but also immersed into the lives of
those to whom Jesus has placed me alongside in His earthly body, the
Consider the bones in my
finger. They are joined
together by supporting ligaments so my finger can function as it should.
In like manner, I, as an individual Christian am joined to a few
others in supportive relationships to function with them for the health of
Jesus' body, the church.
This baptism is not
merely in reference to an immersion into the organizational structure of
church as a whole. It is an
immersion into the lives of other individual Christians.
This is the case because in metamorphic terms Paul compared you and
I to individual human body parts, like an eye or an ear.
An eye, for example, is joined to specific body parts in close
proximity in order to function properly with them.
An eye is not physically joined to a foot.
So it is with my placement in the Body of Christ.
The bottom line to this
is that we must understand what it means to be baptized into the Body of
Christ. We must know who Jesus
has placed us alongside in church so we can give and receive support as we
function together for the health of the church.
This is a fundamental Biblical aspect of church that I believe is
missing in much of what we call church in the western world.
It is this lack of communal experience in church that is hindering
us from being the church we are called to be.
Are you experiencing
this immersion into the lives of those to whom Jesus has placed you in
supportive and functional relationships in His present-day earthly body?
This is an important question that requires an important answer.