For years a fitness craze has swept across our nation. For a small sum you can purchase a little gadget that will help you get a tonier tummy. Or, you can be aerobicized with the latest cross-country ski fitness video. You can still Sweat with the Oldies if that is your cup of tea. Everyone has heard the news: fitness pays! There are great benefits in a well-thought-out and properly executed plan for body building.
Did you realize that God wants every Christian to be in the body building business? Building up the body of Christ, the church, should be a priority in our lives! This is what being the body is all about! Consider that Ephesians 4:16 says that the whole body is joined and held together by every supporting ligament and it grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Collectively, members of the body of Christ enjoy the benefit of relationships which help us grow in the Lord. Individually, each member has the responsibility to function as an industrious builder in God’s spiritual house, being careful how he builds (1 Corinthians 3:10b). Because, we are all in the body building business, we must give careful attention to becoming more effective builders. Where does this begin?
First, the church is built on the rock solid foundation of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). There is no other suitable underpinning. Jesus is our firm foundation, upon this Rock we can build with confidence. In fact, if we are not putting Christ first we are building on shifting sand.
Second, Paul indicates that the building process involves both planting and watering the seed, that is, God’s Word (1 Corinthians 3:6). Inherent in the preceding is both message and method. The seed needs to be sown in human hearts. We must be truly convicted that the Word of God, when implanted in human hearts, can save (James 1:21). Even as Paul was willing to become all things to all men that he might by all possible means save some (1Corinthians 9:22), we must also be committed to engaging in every permissible method to broadcast this message to the world.
Third, we must realize that God has designed the church to work together as an interdependent unit. Members of Christ’s body aren’t to have a “maverick mentality.” While we are all required to do our part, we don’t “go it alone.” Romans 12:5 states, “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” God’s plan requires us to function as a body, working together as a living organism to bring about spiritual growth. The body builds itself up in love as each part does its work. We who need one another.
Because each member has been blessed by God with special talents and abilities, every member should be resolved to be involved. This what being the body is all about!
© Bill Williams
|God’s Glorious Church: The Mystery and Mission of the Body of Christ – eBook
By Tony Evans / Moody Publishers
Do you see the church as a building? You’re not looking high enough. As a denomination? You’re not looking wide enough. As the sum total of all Christians? You’re not looking deep enough. Dr. Tony Evans shows how the church is nothing less than the ongoing incarnation of Christ on earth–a living body with a mission, a purpose, and an ultimate call to disciple the whole world. Verse by verse, Tony Evans explores what Jesus really meant when He said, “On this rock I will build my church.” And why you, no less than the apostle Peter, are one of the living stones that make up the mysterious structure that is the church today. You’ll discover the church’s mandate in the Great Commission and come to definitive conclusions about how it should be organized and what it should be trying to achieve.
|Body Building Creating a Ministry Team Through Spiritual Gifts
By Brian Bauknight / Abingdon Press
Body Building gives advise on how to identify and employ the right people as leaders from within a congregation. This book is about creating a networked ministry team from within a congregation by identifying and matching spiritual gifts with the core purposes of the church. Bauknight describes the process for accomplishing this, and he has tested it in his own church. Body Building shows how any church can accomplish its mission without adding to the overhead with full-time ministers who are hired “to do the ministry.”
|Creating Community: 5 Keys to Building a Small-Group Culture
By Andy Stanley & Bill Willits / Multnomah Publishers, Inc.
Tag along on the amazing journey of Stanley and Willits, as they develop a thriving small-group culture at Georgia’s 16,000-member North Point Community Church. You’ll share in five key discoveries that help them connect almost 8,000 people through small groups. Learn why 21st-century folks crave relationships—and how the body of Christ can respond! 224 pages, hardcover from Multnomah.
|Building Up One Another, One Another Series
By Gene Getz, ed. / David C. Cook
Explore, with Dr. Getz, twelve significant “one another” commands of the New Testament and follow the practical steps for developing them in your own life and in the life of your church. It’s a long-term building process, but one that pleases God and reaps rewards not just in this lifetime but in the next. The body of Christ can’t be all that it should be unless we mature in our interpersonal relationships as the Bible commands. Building Up One Another has been helping believers do just that since 1976, when this best seller was first published. This book, the cornerstone of his well known “One Another Series” has now been thoroughly updated and rewritten and for the first time includes a personal and group study guide.