This may come as a shock to some, but Jesus did not come to fill buildings; He came to change men. A religious spirit causes a person to complain they have yet to find the perfect church. Their “church” is spelled with a lowercase “c,” and refers to a building full of people. But when folks immerse themselves in a relationship with Jesus, they instead begin seeking to become a perfect part of the Church. This type “Church” is spelled with a capitol “C,” and refers to the Body of Jesus Christ!
How a congregation spells “CHURCH” is mostly up to how they hear it explained from the pulpit. The lower case “c” is a place where men and their ministry can reign over other men. These congregations often find men consumed with promoting their own ministry and seeking to receive self-serving rewards. But those ‘Churches’ who do not have ministers acclimatized to such behavior, will have ministry whose main purpose is to serve both another man’s ministry and another man’s needs. This latter type congregation spells “CHURCH” with an upper case “C,” since they see it as the Body of Christ gathering together under its true headship, Jesus.
A RADICAL RETURN TO THE ROOT
To build correctly upon the foundations of a fallen religious system, the Church must do some radical changing. Webster’s defines “radical” as: “of or going to the root or original.” To know what this root foundation is, we need only to look to our Bibles.
(PLEASE NOTE: any Bolds, UPPERCASES, Underlines, or [bracketed area comments] are added by me.)
(20) And are built upon THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF BEING THE CHIEF CORNER STONE;
(21) In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord:
(22) In whom YE ALSO are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit.
Notice that this cornerstone and its foundation allow ALL BELIEVERS to be built into a PLACE OF MINISTRY, and into the dwelling place of God. Such positioning necessitates every member of the Church to similarly operate in the same capacity of a branch, and not as a vine. Jesus said:
(5) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Jesus indicated that when we allow the fat of the root to flow through the true vine it will affect what we do and how we do it. Such total reliance means we must see Jesus as the true head of His Church, and not us; and to allow that Truth, and not our will, to thereby dictate how His body, the Church, is to operate.
JESUS IS THE HEAD OF HIS BODY
We are not Christ’s BODIES; we are Christ’s BODY! The Bible shows we do not have multiple heads, but one head, which is Jesus! Look now at the included scriptural witnesses that confirm Jesus is the Head of His body, the Church:
(22) And hath put all things under his feet, and GAVE HIM TO BE THE HEAD OVER ALL THINGS TO THE CHURCH,
(23) Which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.
Ephesians 1:22-23 AMP
(22) And He has put all things under His feet and has APPOINTED HIM THE UNIVERSAL AND SUPREME HEAD OF THE CHURCH [A HEADSHIP EXERCISED THROUGHOUT THE CHURCH], [Ps. 8:6.]
(23) Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].
He is OVER (“far above”) all things; in contrast to the words, “TO the Church,” namely, for her advantage. The former are subject; the latter is joined with Him in His dominion over them. “HEAD” IMPLIES NOT ONLY HIS DOMINION, BUT OUR UNION; therefore, while we look upon Him at the right hand of God, we see ourselves in heaven (Rev 3:21). For the Head and body are not severed by anything intervening, else the body would cease to be the body, and the Head cease to be the Head [Pearson from Chrysostom]. —A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson
(15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, WHICH IS THE HEAD, even Christ:
(16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
(17) Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.
(18) Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshiping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
(19) And not HOLDING THE HEAD, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.
“From whom the whole body – The church, compared with the human body. The idea is that as the head in the human frame conveys vital influence, rigor, motion, etc., to every part of the body; so Christ is the source of life, and rigor, and energy, and increase to the church. The sense is, “The whole human body is admirably arranged for growth and rigor. Every member and joint contribute to its healthful and harmonious action. One part lends vigor and beauty to another, so that the whole is finely proportioned and admirably sustained. ALL DEPEND ON THE HEAD with reference to the most important functions of life, and ALL DERIVE THEIR VIGOR FROM THAT. So it is in the church. It is as well arranged for growth and vigor as the body is. It is as beautifully organized in its various members and officers as the body is. Everything is designed to be in its proper place, and nothing by the divine arrangement is lacking in its organization, to its perfection. Its officers and its members are, in their places, what the various parts of the body are with reference to the human frame. THE CHURCH DEPENDS ON CHRIST, AS THE HEAD, TO SUSTAIN, INVIGORATE, AND GUIDE IT, AS THE BODY IS DEPENDENT ON THE HEAD” —Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
THE CHURCH IS CHRIST’S BODY
The Bible declares ALL believers—not just one or a few—are ministers and priests before God. (See 1 Peter 2:5, 9, and Revelation 1:6) The partition between pulpit and pew is not found in the pages of the Bible. Because so, it cannot be used as the pattern by which the Church is to be led. The Temple in which Jesus entered was operated by the Old Testament’s physical priesthood. In His New Covenant, the priesthood is replaced by Jesus, the true high priest, and Him working through His priests—His Body—the Church. Look now at the following passages:
2 Corinthians 13:5
(5) Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. KNOW YE NOT YOUR OWN SELVES, HOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU, except ye be reprobates?
(27) To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY:
1 John 4:4
(4) Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, than he that is in the world.
1 Corinthians 12:12-13
(12) For AS THE BODY IS ONE, AND HATH MANY MEMBERS, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: SO ALSO IS CHRIST.
(13) For BY ONE SPIRIT ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:27
(27) NOW YE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST, and members in particular.
(30) For WE ARE MEMBERS OF HIS BODY, OF HIS FLESH, AND OF HIS BONES.
(31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and THEY TWO SHALL BE ONE FLESH.
(32) This is a great mystery: but I SPEAK CONCERNING CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.
(24) Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for HIS BODY’S SAKE, WHICH IS THE CHURCH:
1 Corinthians 6:19
(19) What? know ye not that YOUR BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST WHICH IS IN YOU, WHICH YE HAVE OF GOD, AND YE ARE NOT YOUR OWN?
2 Corinthians 6:16
(16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? FOR YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD; as God hath said, I WILL DWELL IN THEM, and WALK IN THEM; and I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.
MINISTRY, BY ITS TRUEST DEFINITION, IS NOT PREACHING OR TEACHING, BUT IS INSTEAD TOUCHING PEOPLE’S NEEDS IN JESUS’ NAME. When the Church reaches out in such a manner, they are reaching out with Jesus’ touch.
Copyright © 2006 TK Burk. All rights reserved