I enjoy rising early each morning to awaken the dawn with God's presence. The tools I usually use are Praise & Worship music and God's incredible Word. Nothing gets the day started like an appointment with Jesus. He's always there waiting for me!
This morning as I was meditating on God's Word some questions came to my mind: "How is God on the earth while in heaven at the same time?" The obvious answer is through and by His Spirit. Add to that the truthful fact that God is really, really big...so big He's everywhere! Actually the presence of God has always been here on the earth and God has always been really, really big. Another question popped up in my mind: "How is it possible for Jesus to be here on the earth as Savior while at the same time being at the right hand of God in heaven?" You are probably thinking what you think is the obvious (if you can understand what I just said). By the Spirit of God. Of course this is true. But actually something else came to my mind. Something you and I need to ponder deeply.
Yes, Jesus is here by His Spirit. But since the outpouring of the Holy Spirit 2000 years ago, Jesus is here through His body, the church. The church was born by the outpouring of the Spirit. The church is also empowered and led by the Holy Spirit. The church is the body of Christ. Jesus is the head. The church is HIS body. Listen to Ephesians 1: 22 - 23, "And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all." Did you catch that? Paul said Jesus is the "fullness of Him who fills all in all." Those who have Jesus are filled with the fullness of all He is. Think about millions upon millions of folks filled with His fullness on this planet!
Jesus made the church His body for a reason. I am about to give a really weird analogy but I believe you will remember this one. Let's say your head and body were detached from one another. Or would you rather use me as an example? OK, let's use me. Let's say my head and body were detached. Let's say my head was in the car, but my body was in the supermarket. All I would be able to see and sense would be what was in the car or in the immediate vicinity. On the other hand my body would be pretty useless, hence very insignificant if it were walking around in the supermarket without a head. Not to mention a little scary. A body without a head would be banging in to the produce, tripping over carts, and falling into the dairy cooler. All the while having no purpose and thus accomplishing nothing. But when my head and body are reattached (great technology), I would then be in the supermarket having regained all of my faculties as well as my senses. I could now move about with purpose. I could now be effective. Of course, if you're like me you'd still need a grocery list.
Jesus is the head of His body the church Paul said. We're not talking about a vast ocean of believers here such as a body of water. We're talking about a body, just like yours with hands, feet, legs, and yes...a head. Paul further reiterates this in Ephesians chapter 5. Jesus, by His Spirit indwells those who are his on the earth. And those whom He indwells can by faith be empowered by this same Spirit through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Through the finished work of the cross, Jesus is now at the right hand of the Father as the head of His church on the earth. Through the finished work of the cross His church, which is His body is empowered to do the same things Jesus did when He walked on the earth over 2000 years ago. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." (John 14: 12) Jesus went back to the Father, sent the Spirit He promised, and established His church, the body of Christ in the earth. And His body is just as powerful as His head!
If you are a follower of Jesus, you are not insignificant. You are not alone. You have extreme purpose just as Jesus did when he walked the planet long ago. The Creator of the universe lives in and through you. You are part of the hands that healed in Jesus ministry. They still heal today. You are part of the feet that walked the shores of the sea of Galilee. They walk the entire planet today through His body, the church. You are the voice of the One who proclaimed the good news to whosoever would listen.
Jesus is here more today than He was 2000 years ago. How is that? He is here through His church. Don't forget, you are full of God's fullness because Jesus lives NOW in you. So get out there and live out loud for Jesus!
|Ephesians: The Mystery of the Body of Christ (Preaching the Word)
By R. Kent Hughes