BOOK: Who We Are In Christ
Chapter 6: A Member of Christ

6    A Member of Christ

We, who are in Christ, make up the Body of Christ.  We are held together by one Spirit, the Holy Spirit, as a spiritual house or dwelling place, in which the Godhead dwells and communes with us.  The life, the love, the power, the very essence of the Trinity lives and moves thru our spiritual being in this house.

We are the members of the Body of Christ.  Individually, each one of us is a member or part of that Body.  Yet as the finger cannot live nor function without the rest of the body, so are we in the Body of Christ.  We need each other and are given to each other for help and support.

                I Cor     12:13-14,18-20
                For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one
                body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we
                be bond or free; and have been all made to drink
                into one Spirit. For the body is not one member,
                but many...  But now hath God set the members
                every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased
                him.  And if they were all one member, where were
                the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body.

We must remember to love one another, strengthen one another, and help one another grow.  For we receive our nourishment from other parts, and we hear and see from other parts.  Only together are we whole.

If any one member of your physical body is not functioning properly, lets say a wrist is broken, the rest of the body suffers, due to the lack of the normal use of that part.  Moreover, the rest of the body modifies its normal functions to compensate for the injured one.  For example, the body would use more of the legs and back to pick up heavy loads, compensating and protecting the broken wrist.  The body further extends itself to protect the injured member, by acting and reacting abnormally to danger, purposely placing health members in harms way, to keep the damaged wrist safe.  This continues until the wrist is healed and restored.

So we should act in love toward each other, to nourish, protect, and restore the damaged, hurt, or underdeveloped members of Christ.  We who are strong should bear them up until they can stand with us again, for we have need of them.  So love one another, for you are one Body.

                I Cor     12:24-26
                For our comely parts have no need: but God hath
                tempered the body together, having given more
                abundant honour to that part which lacked:
                That there should be no schism in the body; but
                that the members should have the same care one
                for another.  And whether one member suffer,
                all the members suffer with it; or one member
                be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

                I Cor     12:27-28
                Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in
                particular.  And God hath set some in the church,
                first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly
                teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of
                healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

We need all the functions of the Body.  We need the five-fold ministry1 to nourish us.  We need the gifts of the Spirit operating as our eyes, ears, tongue, and strength.2  And we need the motivational gifts3 to encourage every member to be doing the work wherein their called. 

If the Body of Christ is going to be completely effective in accomplishing the purpose its called to on the earth, we are going to have to work as one, in love and sincerity.  We must have the Body strong and mature in the love of God, in the Word of God, and in the power of His might, going forth declaring salvation unto the lost with signs and wonders following, confirming the Word of God as truth4.

We must grow in the character of Jesus5 and in the charisma of Jesus6.  We are a part of Jesus.  We have been given His divine nature7 for character, and have been given the Holy Spirit, who dwells "in" us at rebirth, but who must be received "upon" us for the anointing of power8.  Christ in Greek and Messiah in Hebrew mean the anointed one.  Jesus was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power9.  Jesus was as much Jesus, the Son of God, before He went into the Jordan River to be baptized by John, as He was when He came out.  But the difference was He came out anointed.  He did not have the power to perform signs and wonders before this.  God required Jesus of Nazareth to be anointed before starting His ministry.  God required it so that the Word of Truth would be confirmed to man by power, in signs and wonders, and not by mere enticing words.  God required the same of the disciples, who were commanded to wait in Jerusalem for the anointing before going forth to preach10.  And also of Paul:

                I Cor      2:4-5
                And my speech and my preaching was not with
                enticing words of man's wisdom, but in
                demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
                That your faith should not stand in the wisdom
                of men, but in the power of God.

It is equally required of us today.  Without signs and wonders to confirm the truth, how will a moslem or a hindu be persuaded?

The character of Jesus can be developed by studying the Fruit of the Spirit11, and then doing it!  You must be a doer of the Word12.  Notice that in Gal 5:22 it says "the fruit of the Spirit is...".  Fruit is singular, and is is singular; it does not say "the fruits of the Spirit are".  This is because the nine items listed are traits or attributes of Jesus' character.  The Fruit, or work, of the Spirit on the earth comes down to one thing, transforming men into the image of Jesus Christ.  This includes initial rebirth, sanctification, and growth into the complete and mature character of Him.

The power of and gifts of the Holy Spirit are used to (1) confirm the Word of God to the lost, (2) to aid in the building up or edifying of the Body of Christ, and (3) to help enforce our victory over Satan and his forces13.  We are redeemed from the curse of the law14.  If you don't know what you are redeemed from and to, how can you know whether you are getting the good stuff or the bad?  Read Deut 28:1-68 to see the blessings of the old testament, which you have and more in a better covenant, and the cursings of the old testament, which you are redeemed from!

The whole Body is known by one name, Jesus, and has been given authority to use that name over all circumstances and forces.  Some of those uses are: to bind and loose, to cast out devils, to pray, and to heal the sick.15  Binding and loosing in the Greek actually mean not permitting and permitting.  You can bind Satan, or demand in the name of Jesus, that he stop his attacks against you and your family.  You can loose the Spirit of God to move freely in their lives.  In casting demons out, you are functioning as the feet of Jesus, putting Satan underfoot, making him a footstool for Jesus.  In healing the sick by laying on of hands, those hands are Jesus' hands, part of His Body.  Jesus never laid hands on the sick and they not recover; so then any believer who lays hands on the sick is operating as the hands of Jesus at that time and healing will occur.

Please understand that Jesus has no sickness in his Body!  Jesus is not sick!  Nor should any part of his Body be!  Jesus bore the sicknesses and sins of the world in his body on the cross16.  But when He was raised from the dead, He no longer had sin reigning over Him.  Nor could the result of sin, the curse of the law, reign over Him.  That is, sickness17 could not reign over Him, because all sickness carries death in it and is part of the curse.  But He is alive!  He has paid the price for you, that you can go free and victorious in this life, free from sin, sickness, disease, poverty, and oppression.  You need only receive it!  Keep Satan cast out away from you, your children, and your household.  Use your authority in Christ Jesus, and let not sickness nor sin reign in His Body thru you.  How can sickness, which has death in it, reign in you when the same Spirit that raised Jesus up from the dead dwells in you?

                Romans     8:11
                But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus
                from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up
                Christ from the dead shall also quicken your
                mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

You don't have to get sick and die to go home to the Lord.  Aaron was not sick when God told him to go up on a mountain and come home18.  Neither was Moses19.  God simply said, "You have finished your work, come on home."  Our Father does not leave us out in the field after the labor is done, but calls us home to Himself.  It is not a grievous situation, or a punishment as some seem to think, but a joyful occasion, a homecoming!  A son and servant being called out of the field of labor and the battlefield of war, unto the presence of the eternal King, unto His Holy City, His home and yours.  Praise God forever more!

E. W. Kenyon pastored a church in the U.S. in the early 1900's.  No one in that congregation was ever sick!  Why?  They know who they were in Christ Jesus, what their God given rights were in the new covenant, their power and their authority in the name of Jesus.  I don't mean to say that sickness never tried to come "upon" them.  But when it did, they cast it off in the name of Jesus.  After Kenyon retired and being about 80 years old, he got up one morning and told his daughter that Jesus had told him that at such and such a time that day he was going home.  Kenyon had finished his work and it was time to go home.  He was not sick nor weak.  He merely sat down in his rocking chair and waited on the King.  At that exact time, just as he told his daughter, Kenyon went home to be with the Lord!  Praise God you don't have to be sick and die!  You can complete your function as a member of Jesus Christ, and go on home victorious in the name of Jesus!  Hallelujah!

Have you never read:

                Hebrews   11:5
                By faith Enoch was translated that he should not
                see death; and was not found, because God had
                translated him: for before his translation he had
                this testimony, that he pleased God.
Enoch was not sick!  Why he did not even see physical death!  Why?  Because he believed God!  Have faith in God!

Did you ever notice that Jesus was not killed, but had power20 to lay down His life and take it up again21.  Jesus released His spirit22; it was not driven out of its dwelling, the body, because the dwelling could no longer support it.  Pilate was surprised that Jesus was already dead23.  The other two thieves had to have their legs broken to accelerate their deaths.24 

Stephen was not "stoned" to death, but he released his spirit willfully, while they were yet stoning him25

Paul's thorn in the flesh was persecution26, sent from Satan27 to buffet him.  The Greek translated buffet means to push against or strike.  Remember that 2 Corinthians was a hand written letter, and did not have chapter and verse in it28.  Read the portion of the letter from 2 Cor 11:1 to 2 Cor 12:12, and you will see clearly that Paul was boasting of his apostleship in the Lord, including persecutions and beatings, that is being buffeted, continually wherever he went.  Notice the list there includes three times beaten with rods, the purpose was to break the bones and cause death, and once stoned, which was also to cause death.  Yet the other members of the Body of Christ rallied around Paul, praying.  And God raised him from the dead29!  God also delivered Paul out of them all30.  When Paul had completed his course, then and only then was he ready to allow31 his physical death, to be offered up, and to go home to the Lord32.

They tried to boil the apostle John alive in oil, but he refused to died.  So they exiled him to Patmos, where he received the Revelation.  Praise God!  You can continue on in the Lord Jesus Christ, until you have completed the fullness of His glorious assignment for your life.  Then go on home to Him, gloriously, in Jesus' mighty name!  So be it!

1. Eph 4:11
2. 1 Cor 12:8-10
3. Rom 12:6-8
4. Matt 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-20
5. the personality of Jesus
6. the power of Jesus
7. 2 Pet 1:4
8. Acts 1:8
9. John 1:32-34, Acts 10:38
10. Acts 1:8
11. Gal 5:22-23
12. Jam 1:22
13. poverty, sickness,...
14. Gal 3:13
15. Matt 18:18, Mark 16:17, John 16:23-24, Mark 16:18
16. Isa 53:4-5, Matt 8:16-17, 1 Pet 2:24
17. Deut 28:58-61
18. Num 33:38
19. Num 27:12-13, Deut 34:1-5
20. authority
21. John 10:18
22. John 19:30
23. Mark 15:44
24. The cross was a death by suffocation due to the chest cavity cutting off the wind pipe, but was extreme torture by allowing the condemned to push with his legs, which were nailed, thus lifting the body to allow breathing and prolonged death.
25. Acts 7:58-59
26. Acts 9:16, Acts 20:23-24, 2 Cor 1:7-10, 2 Cor 4:8-12
27. 2 Cor 12:7
28. a monk added these to the bible in the 1200's A.D.
29. 2 Cor 1:9, Acts 14:19-20
30. 2 Tim 3:11
31. permit as in binding and loosing
32. 2 Tim 4:6-8