If we really see that we are members of the Body of Christ, we will spontaneously consider the Body in everything that we do. We will realize that even though we love and treasure the local churches, we are for the Body of Christ, and we will honor the Body, doing what is best for the Body (1 Cor. 12:12-27).
For the Lord’s move today in His recovery – both locally and universally – we all need to take the lead to be Body-conscious in one accord (see Acts 1:14; 2:46; 4:24; 15:25; Rom. 15:6). We need to be Body-conscious in one accord and we need to be Body-centered in oneness.
We keep the oneness of the Body having the Body as our center, and we are in one accord for the Body.
we are in the local church for the Body
It is the Lord’s mercy and His grace that we would be today in the local churches in the Lord’s recovery. Today the Lord is recovering in city after city the genuine ground of oneness and He is raising up lampstands to shine for Him everywhere on the earth, one church in one city!
But we need to realize that we are in the local church for the Body! We are not local-church-centered but Body-centered. A local church is not autonomous and is not separate from the Body – it is not “the local Body of Christ”.
A local church is one of the many churches all around the world as a local expression of the One Unique Body of Christ!
All the local churches are together the one unique Body of Christ, together with all the believers in Christ as the many members. If a local church declares its autonomy from the other local churches they become a sect, dividing themselves from the Body of Christ.
According to the Bible, all the local churches are the Body of Christ universally, doctrinally, and even practically. We practice the church life with the view of the Body, and we learn not only to live in the church life but also to blend with other churches.
As soon as we return to the truth in the Bible and we care for the Body, taking care of the proper order in the Body, the Body of Christ will become stronger!
All the problems are due to one thing: not seeing, not knowing, and not caring for the Body. We have to honor the Body.
there can be no independence in the Body
Just as in our physical body there are no “independent members” but all the members work together, are related to one another, care for one another, and are under the same head listening to the commands from the head, so are we in the Body of Christ.
In everything that we do, as members of the Body, we should consider the Body and ask, Lord, is what I am about to do something beneficial for the Body? Will the saints be OK with this – is this for building up?
We can’t say, Oh, I know how to do this, and even if this may not be that good for the Body, “no one else knows about it” so no one is affected. In the Body of Christ, whatever a member does impacts all the other members!
In the Body of Christ there cannot be independence or individualism! Rather, we all are members of the Body, members one of another, and we cannot live in detachment from the Body (see 1 Cor. 12:27; Rom. 12:5; Eph. 5:30).
On the one hand we need to learn to take the feeling of the Head, Christ, as our own feeling, just as Paul did in Phil. 1:8 where he said, I long for you all in the inward parts of Christ Jesus. We need to take the inward parts of Christ as our inward parts and care for the saints according to them.
On the other hand, we need to care for the Body, treasure the Body, honor the other members of the Body, and realize that every member is important and indispensable (1 Cor. 12:15; Phil. 2:29; 1 Cor. 16:18).
being full of feeling for the Body
How real and how practical is to be members in the Body of Christ! When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; when one member is praised, all the members rejoice with it (1 Cor. 12:25-26).
We need to be full of feeling for the Body by caring for the members of the Body and honoring them for their function in the Body. We do this by taking Christ as our Head and denying ourselves to take His feeling for the Body as our feeling.
We as members of the Body need to have the feeling of the Head in everything, and the result is that we will care for the Body and take the Body as the rule in our mind, thoughts, words, and actions.
There is no “I” or “myself” in the Body; here, we all are members. If one member lacks honor, the Head of the Body gives it even more abundant honor – He blends the Body together that there would be no division in the Body, but that the members would have the same care for one another (1 Cor. 12:24-25).
How much we need to see this! When we really see the Body and when we see that we are members of the Body, we will deny ourselves and we will identify ourselves with the Body. The life we live under such a vision is the Body life, and the Lord will fully gain what He’s after, the Body of Christ as His expression.
Thank You Lord for making us members of the Body of Christ. We are here not for our local church only but we want to have the view of the Body. We are for the Body and we want to care for the Body. Lord, may the feeling and the thoughts of the Head would be our feeling and our thoughts. Grant us such a vision, Lord, of the Body, that will cause us to spontaneously care for the Body, honor the Body, and do what is best for the Body!
References and Further Reading
- Sharing inspired from, The Oneness and the One Accord according to the Lord’s Aspiration and the Body Life and Service according to His Pleasure (by Witness Lee, chs. 3-4), as quoted in, the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, Taking the Lead as Elders and Responsible Ones, week 7.
- Buy the morning revival book online via LSM.
- Hymns on this topic:
# Not the individual Christians, / but a corporate entity— / God must have it for His full expression now; / Not just individual churches but the Body corporately!
# Serve and work within the Body, / Never independently; / As the members of the Body, / Functioning relatedly.
# As members of the Body / Christ we would manifest, / Each learning how to function / His fulness to express;
- Picture source: 1 Cor. 12:4-27 here and here.
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