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We should enjoy fellowship because we are the body of Christ

We should enjoy fellowship because we are the body of Christ

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Published by: Grace Church Modesto on Apr 23, 2013
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12/19/2013

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We should enjoy fellowship because we are the body of Christ
Ephesians 1:22–23 — And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. We have spoken about true fellowship arising from our union with Christ. We have seen what fellowship is and what it isn't, and we have observed that we are commanded to enjoy fellowship, and that the early church gave us an example of diligence and persistence in fellowship. In the next few posts, we are going to delve a little deeper into the basis for fellowship and the forms in which it may be expressed. In our text, we are confronted with the staggering truth that Christ has so united Himself with the church that she is the body of which He is the Head. How closely joined is an arm or a leg to the head? Can they be easily separated from one another? No. The body dies when the head is removed and suffers significantly when any of the members is removed. See, though, that the verse expounds another mystery in regard to the union of Christ with His body. Remember how we saw from the figure of the church as His bride that He had become one flesh with her? In our text today, Paul tells us that in some way the church is the fullness of Christ. We gain the distinct impression that there is something very special and precious concerning the union that Christ has entered into with His body. But now as believers, we are members of this body. We will spend a lot of time in coming weeks working out what this means by considering a human body but surely this much is obvious: we cannot exist in isolation from our brothers ans sisters who are also parts of the same body. A thumb has no separate existence - it only has life and function while it is a part of the whole. And just as our hand will rub our arm if it gets knocked, or our fingers will carefully remove objects from our eyes, we must all work for the benefit of the whole body since we are all joined to it and to the head. We live in a society that places a premium on independence and isolation. The teaching of Scripture in relation to the church refutes such notions entirely, but we may persist in views that prevent us from functioning as we should and from enjoying the benefits that there are of being one in Christ Jesus - joined to each other in Him. If we entered a mortuary during an autopsy, we might see a dismembered body laid out on a table. Hands are here, the feet are severed and are at the other end, and the same for the other parts. It is laid out on the table in the appropriate configuration so that it looks like a body, but all the parts are separate. Perhaps this is a picture of a church in which we lose sight of what it means to have been united with Christ - to be His body, and in which we are determined to keep ourselves to ourselves. The church cannot truly function that way - we are meant to be joined together if there is to be life and function. We are reminded of the church at Sardis, to which Jesus wrote to tell them they had a reputation for being alive, whereas they were in fact dead (Revelation 3:1). So this week let's start to think of ourselves and our union with Christ, in which we are somehow His fullness. Let's look at our brothers and sisters and realize that we are tied to them more closely than we are to blood-relations. Let's not hold ourselves aloof - and if we are tempted to do so, let's take a mental tour of that mortuary again and note that if we are

not truly expressing the fact that we are joined together in Christ, we cannot be truly functioning as His body.

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