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CHAPTER SEVEN: THE CHURCH, TEAMWORKING IN THE LORD’S WORK
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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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   The first requirement for living the practicality of the body life is acknowledging our need for one another, for no believer is totally self-sufficient. We need one another for living a victorious and prevailing Christian life; we need one another for our growth and upbuilding; we need one another for the accomplishment of our respective tasks and the Lord’s work as a whole. As Christians, we are expected to have the saints or the believers at wherever we reside for companionship. The day a believer will start thinking of himself to be self-sufficient and has no need for the body, on that very day, he will start sinking. The day he will totally cut off himself from the saints is the day the enemy has prevailed against his Christian life.

   There should never come a day in our life that we should think we do not need the body any longer. If anyone considers himself spiritual, then let him acknowledge the body and remain in constant fellowship with the saints. The closer the Lord draws someone to Himself, the more he gains consciousness of the need of the body. Self-sufficiency and individualism are signs of weakness. For there was not one spiritual giant in the Bible, giant in the sense of having a close walk with God who did not acknowledge the body and had the children of God as his companions. Even our Lord Jesus Christ, who was God manifested in the flesh acknowledge the body by taking His disciples as His friends and family, and Paul, who was also one of the most eminent Apostles regularly requested from the saints [the body] to pray for him – then why should we think of ourselves as being self-sufficient and have no need of the body? We ought to acknowledge the need of the body and have a good relationship with one another for our growth and perfection.

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All the Parts Have Their Respective Function

   The legs, hands, nose, eyes, hair, mouth, nails, fingers, etc. which are parts of the human body have their respective function. Likewise, the members of the church do not have the same function.

   First Corinthians 12:18 to 20 says, “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body,” (NKJV). The Lord has distributed gifts to every member of the church as He chose. Every member of the body has a peculiar gift and an area [of grace] he can function more effectively. For this reason, the function and the contribution of the saints differ from one another. One functions in this way while the other in that way, each making a different contribution so that there should be no lack in the church.

    Just as all the parts of the human body function for the success of each day’s activities, so do the saints need the contribution of every member for the growth of the church! A local church cannot say that she does not need the contribution of one member; likewise, the members of the church cannot reject the contributions of one another. Otherwise, the church will be deficient and so become unbalanced. As Paul said, those members who seem to make a less or indirect contribution to the growth of the church are very necessary. The previous verses unveil that the Lord set members in the church as He chose. Some to make profound contributions while others a little contributions; the contributions of some seem to have a direct impact on the growth of the church while the contributions of others do not seem to have any direct impact on the growth of the church. However, those whose contribution does not seem to have any impact add on to the growth of the church, and must not be underestimated.

   In Ephesians chapter 4, we have seen four or five members who make the most contribution for the building of the church. These are the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. (Their functions are discussed more vividly in chapter 7). The functions of these four or five members of the body have a lot to do in equipping the saints and edifying the church than the other members (Ephesians 4:12). Even so, the functions of the rest of the saints are very necessary. There will be a great deficiency that is liable of affecting the growth of the church if the contributions of the other members of the church are neglected. Ephesians 4:16 says, “From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love,” (NKJV). Here, it is obvious that the supply of the joints and the sharing of every part cause the growth and the edification of the church. The joints signify the four or five members I have mentioned earlier, whereas the parts signify the other members of the church.

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