A participation in the body of Christ

From “Today’s thought” 2014, February 26

By The Christadelphian Magazine and Publishing Association

“A participation in the body of Christ

In Paul’s 1st letter to the Corinthians we have come to where he refers to the memorial emblems, he stresses that their participation in these should be in a way that illustrates their unity. Paul has made several points very strongly in earlier chapters addressing issues that were seriously undermining their unity in Christ: their lack of harmony worried him very much.

Their coming together to remember that Christ died for them needed to take place in an atmosphere of genuine unity – but it wasn’t. To start with some were influenced by the surrounding spirit of idol-worshipping, but “…. beloved fleefrom idolatry”(10:14). wrote Paul.

He appeals to them,

“I speak to sensible people, judge for yourselves what I say”(verse 5).

Do we ourselves make sensible judgements? The situation for us is not completely different. Paul says

“The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body…”(verses 15-17).

The verses which follow indicate some had a problem leaving behind the pagan practices they had previously enjoyed, Paul says to them,

“You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Shall we provoke the Lord to jealousy?”(verses 21,22).

In chapter 5 he made the point,

“Christ is our Passover …let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven …of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth”(7,8).

In chapter 11 we will read that

“anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself”(verse 29).

He does not mean – discerning his own body – but the body of Christ and their responsibility to his or her fellow believers. Paul told the Philippians he wanted to

“hear of you that you are standing firm in onespirit and onemind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel”(1:27).

This precious oneness is demonstrated each time we meet for fellowship. There have been the rare occasions when a member of another church has been present who has taken offence at not being offered the emblems! But this is an opportunity to lovingly point out that when the church was first established on the Day of Pentecost, those baptised “devoted themselves to the Apostles teaching and fellowship and the breaking of bread …”(Acts 2:42). What is the Apostles teaching? Do they (do we) properly “discern the Lord’s body”when we participate? If we are of one mind as to that teaching and are baptised –our participation in the body of Christ will a great spiritual joy. Let us make sure we ourselves are fully devoted to this teaching and the way of life it leads to.

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The Christadelphian is a monthly magazine published for the Christadelphian community worldwide. It was started in 1864 by Robert Roberts under the initial title of The Ambassador of the Coming Age. In 1869, its title was changed to The Christadelphian, and it has been continuously published ever since.

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IMG_9336 Ecclesia Gathering together

Christadelphians gathering in unity

Preceding article: Members of the ecclesia uniting and seeking God’s help in tribulation

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Additional reading:

  1. Reflect on how much idolizing happens
  2. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  3. Gaining Christ, trusting Jehovah
  4. One mediator
  5. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  6. Your struggles develop your strengths
  7. A Living Faith #5 Perseverance
  8. Disciple of Christ counting lives and friends dear to them
  9. Congregate, to gather, to meet
  10. Meeting – Vergadering
  11. Parish, local church community – Parochie, plaatselijke kerkgemeenschap
  12. Reasons to come to gether
  13. Fellowship
  14. Integrity of the fellowship
  15. Feeling-good, search for happiness and the church
  16. Making church
  17. What’s church for, anyway?
  18. The Church, Body of Christ and remnant Israel synonymous
  19. Many churches
  20. Synagogue, Church or Ecclesia for the Christian
  21. The Ecclesia
  22. Intentions of an Ecclesia
  23. Not words of any organisation should bind you, but the Word of God
  24. Manifests for believers #5 Christian Union
  25. Commitment to Christian unity
  26. Breathing and growing with no heir
  27. United people under Christ
  28. One Mind, One Accord
  29. Christianity is a love affair
  30. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  31. The task given to us to love each other
  32. Priority to form a loving brotherhood

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  • The Spirit, The Word, and Christ: Are Our Churches Spirit-Controlled? (ilyston.wordpress.com)
    There are a number of gifts that Paul mentions that relate to speech. There is the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, prophecy, and speaking in tongues. These are all connected with supernatural activity.  And Paul wants to know that we may know if God is working or if the demons are working. He says, “Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.”

    This criterion concerns what is said of the person and work of Christ. When a person is speaking under the influence of the Spirit of God, they are never moved by God’s Spirit to depreciate the Lord Jesus Christ’s claim to the Messiah. This is the idea behind the accursed.

  • Body is as Body Does… (alienrighteousness.org)
    Being in Jesus and believing in Jesus now must take on a fleshly tone, because God’s Word says it is so. No longer are we separated from God as the heavens are from the earth, but we are joined to Him, bodily. As our own flesh is close to us, so are we to God, in Jesus.
  • Galatians 1: Christ Alone (t2pneuma.net)
    Paul’s introduction as an apostle is surprising because in the Greek apostle (ἀποστολικός BDAG1010) means messenger, envoy.  For most of the apostles, the term referred to disciples who were specifically appointed by Jesus and had served Jesus for three years (Mark 3:16-19).  By contrast, Paul never knew Jesus during this ministry and never followed him.  Quite the contrary, Paul persecuted the church (Acts 8:3). Paul’s commissioning as an apostle came through a vision of the risen Christ (Acts 9:4-19).  Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus led him to a dramatic change in faith and calling much like the prophet Ezekiel (2:1-3).  We might expect that Paul would brag, not about his call, but about his education under Gamaliel (Acts 22:3).
  • The Scandal of Division (jessicahof.wordpress.com)
    The homily given by the Pope on 25 January echoed the words of Paul here. How weak we are in the face of the wiles of the enemy. Moments in time after Paul had preached there, and with the Apostles available, the men and women of Corinth had managed to set up factions in which they made claims for Paul, or another Christian leader, Apollos, or for Peter (Cehpas); worst of all some claimed alone to be ‘of Christ’. As St John Chrysostom pointed out, this was a great scandal since they made baptism, the point of unity, the cause of division.
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    Can there really be unity? We have Paul’s letters to the Corinthians, but we know from Clement’s letter to them, written probably before the end of the first century, that they had once more lapsed into quarrelling with each other; jealousy and envy had even led to the deaths of the Apostles, Peter and Paul. What happened to the church in Corinth is lost in the mists of history, but where it could have been a noble example of Christians pulling together in the cause of Christ, it disappears from the scene; the answer is not far to seek.We have not been good at learning the lessons of history, and no impartial historian can absolve ‘The Church of God which sojourneth in Rome’ from its part in the scandal of division. Pope Francis, like his immediate predecessors is determined to do what he can in the cause of unity. Are such hopes doomed? Not if we believe St Paul:

     Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

  • Review: Life in Christ (activedidactic.wordpress.com)
    the teachings of the apostle Paul to explain the Christian’s position “in Christ” and the Christian’s nature as a “new creation.” (pp. 22–27) The author continues by rightfully expounding upon 2 Corinthians 5:17. He explains that for the Christian, “the old has gone and is gone for good; the new has come and keeps on coming.” (p. 28) Walker then closes out the chapter with an evangelistic appeal: “Whoever comes to Christ in faith–repenting of his sins, seeing his misery without Christ, seeking grace to be in Christ–and earnestly desiring that one day he might see and be with Christ–will find Christ to be his Savior and Lord and will enter into the blessed realities of the new creation in himself now and look forward to a life in a new heaven and new earth with Christ in days to come, the very heaven of heaven.” (p. 34)
  • The Unsearchable Riches of Christ (lessonsfromkoza.wordpress.com)
    How does a man go from hating, even killing, Christian believers, to becoming one himself and then urging others to do the same? By the power of Christ, that’s how.
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    It’s unlikely that our conversion experiences were as dramatic as Paul’s, but they were similar in the sense that we also were traveling along a path that we had chosen, yet because God had a plan for us, he stopped us in our tracks and redirected us. Don’t ever think that your decision to become a Christian was fully orchestrated by yourself; God placed people and circumstances in your life to draw you near to Him and by His grace, you responded to His call.
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    In our own lifetimes we too will inevitably face situations which might cause us to waver in our faith, but Paul’s words should encourage us to keep witnessing and sharing God’s word, remembering that there is a divine purpose at work, and that purpose is to draw as many people to Christ as possible.
  • The Things Jesus Began to Do and Teach (theorthodoxlife.wordpress.com)
    when we read the book of Acts, we are not just reading about what Jesus’ people do; we are reading about what Jesus himself does. The apostles even testified of this. They say, “Do you think it is in our own power that we did this? That we healed this man? No, this man was healed by . . .” And they give the glory to Christ. They give the glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 3:11-16)
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    Anything you do to hurt anybody in the body of Christ, you have just done to hurt Jesus himself. You have attacked the Lord and Savior. And He might say to you the same thing that he said to Saul: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”

    “Oh! I wasn’t persecuting you, Lord! I was just picking on one of your people. I was just picking on somebody in the body of Christ.”

    That’s like saying, “I wasn’t hurting you, Russ, I was just yanking on your ear.” “I wasn’t hurting you, Ben, I wasn’t attacking you personally. I was just punching you in the arm.”

    In the same way, if you serve–in love and humility–one of your brothers, one of your sisters in the body of Christ, guess what?

    You just served Jesus personally. Himself.

  • How Jesus became Christ-like (dougrowse.wordpress.com)
    It’s a funny question, I know.  Did Jesus wake up one morning, look at Himself in the mirror and say, “Hey, you’re Jesus, the Christ”?  Or, did Jesus grow into it?  He was born of a virgin and laid in a manger as a baby. That can only mean He went through the terrible two’s, and other notable stages of development.  Was He a Christ-like toddler?  Was He a Christ-like adolescent?
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15 thoughts on “A participation in the body of Christ

  1. Reblogged this on Christadelphians : Belgian Ecclesia Brussel – Leuven and commented:

    Those who say they love Christ, should undertake all efforts to get together with others which have the same aspirations to Follow Christ and to be part of the Body of Christ.

    Those who are called by God and became baptised should find it an honour to be allowed to become partakers of that Body of Christ. Therefore they should make themselves worthy of being a member of that one great family which crosses borders and cultures and should be all over the world, united under their one leader, Jesus Christ, the Messiah.

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