July 12, 2013
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
The Church is pictured in the Bible in several different ways: the bride of Christ – II Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:22-32; the foundation and temple – I Corinthians 3:10; Ephesians 2:20, 21; I Peter 2:5; the habitation of God – Ephesians 2:22; the union of Jew and Gentile – Ephesians 2:11-22. But the one analogy upon which we will concentrate for the next few blogs is The Body of Christ – Romans 12:4, 5; I Corinthians 12:12-27. The reference on which I want to concentrate for this study is Colossians 1:18:
And He [Jesus] is the Head of the Body, the Church, who is the beginning, the
firstborn from the dead; that in all things He may have the preeminence.
Let’s consider the head first. It sits atop the body in a prominent place. And it contains the brain, which is home to the mind, which controls all the members of the body. If Jesus is the Head of the Body – which is the Church, made up of individual members, you and me – then He should be in ultimate control over all the members of the Body!
There is a sad condition of disease that afflicts some people. It’s called multiple sclerosis, or “many scars”. I know, sclerosis means “hardening”, but according to my medical dictionary,
It is “sclerotic” because it leaves sclera or scars at the point where demyelination,
the loss of the protective covering of the nerves, takes place.
This allows short circuiting of impulses from the brain to other parts of the body. The brain may send a signal to the right foot to take a step forward, but the signal – short circuited – goes instead to the left arm, and the arm flails upward.
In a town where I pastored several years ago, there lived a woman who had advanced multiple sclerosis. She was often seen slowly progressing down the sidewalk, staggering, arms flailing, hardly making any headway, her hair and clothes unkempt. She eventually had to be institutionalized for her own benefit.
The Body of Christ is too often like one afflicted with this disease. Jesus, Who is the Head of the Body – the Mind who is to be in control of all Bodily actions – directs the feet to go to a certain place, a certain person, in order that the mouth may share the gospel with that one whom the Holy Spirit has prepared to receive the Good News. But the body has a mind of its own, and the body says, “No, I think I will move my hand to buy an ice cream and eat it!” Hence, the Body is out of control of the Mind of Christ! And the will of God is negated!
God has allowed this possibility to happen by giving us free choice. We can choose to do what we want, even if that choice goes against what the Lord wants us to do. So The Body of Christ, in essence, acts as if it is afflicted with multiple sclerosis, effectively disconnected from the Head, and acting on its own!
And the will and work of God suffers and goes unfulfilled!
If we are to be obedient followers of Jesus Christ – if we are to be fulfilling His will, His mind – then we must make the constant choice that we will submit to His direction. And to do that, we are to follow our Lord’s example and prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane – “…nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42). Go back and reread the April 29 blog, The Most Important Prayer A Christian Can Pray. If we, in every situation, make that choice to defer to Jesus’ mind and will, then the Body will function as God intends it to function, and the will of our Lord will be accomplished!
Remember, He is the Head! We are the Body! He is the One who is to be in control, not us!