Life and Love in the Body of Christ

It is refreshing to all who are in Christ, to remind ourselves of who we are. We are not our own, but belong to our Redeemer, we are His people, purchased by His blood. He has brought us into a community that is worth pondering.

The Church is Christ’s Body; the church is the people of God gathered, in spirit and in person.  We are the physical presence of Christ in this world–and to one another especially; we are His hands and feet.  Jesus told His disciples that one day He will declare to them:  when I was sick you cared for Me, when I was lonely you visited Me, when I was a stranger you invited Me in, when I was hungry you fed Me…they wonder “what?  When???”  And He said “when you did it to one of the least of these…”  We do it unto Him, through Him, to Him  (Romans 11:36).  


Love marked all that Jesus taught, but especially as He spoke with His disciples in the Upper Room (John 13-17), that His disciples would be known by how they love one another. We as a church will be known to be His people by our care for one another within our local church.  Our words and deeds align, coming from one source-His love for us; and these deeds are visible to those around us. Only when this love is shared among His body can we also extend that love and care (an invitation to join in) to all whom we might meet.  

So the Church is His Body, who live because of Him, who gather to worship Him, nurture one another, and are an extension of His love toward one another…His Body that is ever growing, growing up, not yet nor ever perfect while still here on earth.  We press on together (Phil 3:12-15); meet pressing needs to care for one another (Titus 3), and encourage one another daily (Hebrews 3:12-13).  

12 Take care, brothers and sisters, that there will not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another every day, as long as it is still called “today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:12-13

We have a responsibility, given to us by the Triune God, to care for one another’s whole-being, and we will care for one another on the soul level–making sure “there will not be in any [of us] an evil, unbelieving heart.”  Are you open to the conversations in which this can take place, or do you close yourself off to this? Do you allow others to ask “how is it with your soul this week?”

What if it doesn’t work perfectly?

I have enjoyed sweet fellowship, that came to an abrupt end, and wounded my heart deeply.  It has taken years to slowly shed these scars. God never meant for His people to pick and choose fellowship the way the world picks and chooses its mates, friends, pals, etc…  These relational pains are felt so acutely because they really do matter, because we were created for love–not for come and go companionship. Until we make it Home, we run the risk of facing relational pain; but the goodness of true fellowship is worth it!

God’s love endures, and our fellowship should reflect that quality.

Despite the pain caused by broken fellowship, relating to our church as Jesus taught His disciples is always worth it.  Lewis taught that the only place you are safe from the pains caused by loving well is hell–and he is not wrong!  To run from fellowship for fear of pain is to run straight into the miseries and isolation of hell.  We must not, beloved!  We must run to Him, and find strength to love His body, to engage in the fellowship of the Spirit, and be devoted to one another in His strength.

We are His Body, members of one another, with Christ as our Head (Col 1 and Eph 4:15-16)  and “held together” by what?

15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, that is, Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:15-16

We NEED each individual part working, being present, staying together; every joint supplies something that will hold us together, grow us together, and help us cling to our Head.  You are needed, always needed.  You supply something that would be lacking if you left, or if you came and slipped out repeatedly, or if you retreated from engaging in life together.

No Plan B, No other option…

This gathering of His people into His family, His Body, His Church, has been orchestrated by the Trinity, not “just” Jesus, or “just” the Spirit, etc.; and is certainly not some human innovation.  (Hebrews 3:1-7; 2 Cor 6:16-18)

The Church is His one people; He does not have many things going, many ways or many types of religion… He is the One Way to the Father, and we have confident access in Him; and He has drawn us together–not into some solo adventure.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who previously were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, 15 by abolishing in His flesh the hostility, which is the Law composed of commandments expressed in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two one new person, in this way establishing peace; 16 and that He might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the hostility. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:13-22

Together!  No “lone ranger” or “desert island” Christianity. We are called into His family; placed into His building; are being built together into His dwelling–given the family name, and now filled with His family’s purpose, Kingdom purpose.  Drawn into the community enjoyed by the Trinity. If you are His, in union with Christ, this is what God desires for you, that you would remain in this community. A community that gathers, worships God, nurtures and cares for one another, hopes, and sees one another safely home.

This is who you are.

Photo by Ingrid Hall on Unsplash.

2 thoughts on “Life and Love in the Body of Christ”

  1. I’ve struggled to make friends in the last several years and long for a close girlfriend or two. Work, illness, and family issues have created roadblocks and invitations into deeper relationships have gone unreturned. I’m grateful the Lord knows our needs, but your message strikes a chord.

  2. This is a powerful truth, Emily, “We are not our own, but belong to our Redeemer, we are His people, purchased by His blood.” I’m sad to hear of the wounding you have experienced, but as you stated, we all have experienced wounding at the hands of fallen humanity. I’m so thankful the Lord gives us the grace to love, forgive, and to extend grace to those around us – whether a new or old relationship.

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