Saturday, August 4, 2012

The World-wide Body of Christ

"One Year Bible" New Testament Passage
I Corinthians 1:1-17

To the church of God which is in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:  I Corinthians 1:2 (NKJV)

There is a WORLD-WIDE FELLOWSHIP in the gospel of Jesus Christ. It reaches across all races, all languages, all ethnicities, all man-made boundaries - whether that be Mexico or Mauritania, Los Angeles or Lagos.  It reaches to "all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord." We must be reminded of this.

It has come to my attention that there are a number who read these daily posts from many different nations - from Russia, from India, from the UK and the Ukraine. Over 25 different nations! To you, I say, "WE ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST."

The world-wide communion of believers has been called the INVISIBLE CHURCH because it is a fellowship IN THE HOLY SPIRIT than binds together all true followers of Christ. It is invisible because we cannot at any time find a singular visible representation of this great BODY OF CHRIST. No one group or denomination can claim to be the entire Church.

This is another way of saying that all true believers are my brothers and sisters. We are family - the family of God. Even though we are very different, yet we are bound together in the invisible bond of the love of God. The Baptist and the Methodist are really a part of one true Church! The Presbyterian and the Lutheran, the Catholic and the Orthodox - in that they believe in the power of the Cross wherein the only begotten Son of the Father died to forgive our sins - WE ARE ONE PEOPLE. Whether we worship in Cuba or Canada, in Jamaica or Jerusalem - we are one people.

As mankind erects huge and imposing boundaries that build hatred and animosity, there is also a force that unites. BUT, it unites IN JESUS. He teaches me how to love those who are different from me. He teaches me how to become a true peace-maker.

Bill Hybels has famously said, "The church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world." When we look at the mistakes, sins, and dividedness of the church, we might wonder how this can be. So, LET THE CHURCH BE THE CHURCH. May we rise above our petty differences, our sinful ways, our prideful distrust and dislikes.

May we shine like a city set on a hill. May we display before a watching world what the love and power of God looks like. So, today, love a fellow believer. Reach across the barriers and affirm your kinship to "all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours."

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