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The Way of the Church – Volume Two: Understanding the Eight Aspects of the Church from the Biblical Point of View
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   Colossians 2:19 says, “And not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God,” (NKJV). Believers are nourished and grow spiritually when they are joined together and are in fellowship with one another. When believers are in constant fellowship with one another, the church grows; when the church is growing, every member grows. The growth of the members tightly knit the believers together as brothers, yes, even more than fleshly brothers. However, the growth of isolated individuals does not add anything to the church (Proverbs 18:1). As we have seen in chapter 3, the only ground a believer has to separate himself from contacting other believers and is pardonable is to strictly spend time with the Lord and seek His face for a while. Afterwards, he must again associate and freely  communicate with other believers, especially the church in his locality. 

   Every believer must remain in constant fellowship with the saints wherever he is inasmuch as the Lord is building the church as one body and has no interest in individuals who have isolated themselves. Our ability to knit together with the brethren is our spiritual survival.

   Now, how do the members of the church conduct themselves to reflect the reality of the body of Christ in the various localities? Is it all about fellowship – meeting and sharing the word or there is something more? Fellowship is doubtlessly the basis for living the practicality of the body life, however, we will only realise how complicated the body life is when we are in constant fellowship with the saints in our various localities. In other words, we will know that living to reflect the reality of the body of Christ has more requirements than fellowship if we are not isolated. Those who are isolated justify themselves, thinking they are perfect so they often conclude that they are better off than those who take part in the regular fellowship. The truth of the matter is once a brother gets into regular fellowship with the saints; he begins to see how pitiable his spiritual life is and cries to the Lord for an amendment. In this way, the Lord will correct him, deal with his nature, and prepare him for the kingdom. Indeed, it is by living the body life that we identify our true nature and work on ourselves towards perfection.

   Dear saints, though fellowship is the basis for living the body life, the body life is more than merely attending meetings. A few illustrations of our physical bodies will help us to understand what it really means to practically live the body life.  The human body is made up of different parts that relate with one another in a special way for the success of our day-to-day activities. The failure of one part to cooperate and make its contribution will certainly frustrate the activities of the body. Here are some eight things I have found about the human body after I have carefully observed how its parts cooperate for the success of our everyday activities: 1, the totality of all the parts forms the body. 2, all the parts have their respective function. 3, love, unity, and oneness exist among all the parts of the human body. 4, they care for each other without demanding anything in return. 5, they do not harm each other. 6, they cooperate to fulfil a specific task. 7, they feel for one another. And 8, they help to cover the shame of one part. These are the eight major ways the human body operates to enable us to live a well-balanced [human] life. Just as we live a human life, so we live the body life as well. Just as the parts of the human body cooperate and make their various contributions for the success of the natural body, the same way members of the spiritual body also cooperate and make contributions for the growth and the upbuilding of the body.

   Now, my brethren, let us consider the eight ways the human body lives successfully in connection with the spiritual body.


The Totality of All the Parts Forms the Body:

As the totality of all the parts of the body forms the human body, similarly, the body of Christ is made up of the totality of all believers. “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit,” First Corinthians 12:12 to 13.


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