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  • Eugene Adkins 3:14 pm on 2016-09-30 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body of Christ, ,   

    Every living part of the body is important 

    Every living part of the body is important right down to the big-toe. Don’t think so? Just ask this woman!

    Some in the church may feel like they’re not important to the church because they’re not the preacher, or one of the elders or deacons, or the song-leader, or one of the many Bible-class teachers that have touched so many lives – but every member of the church (which is the body of Christ) is important because you never know what kind of an effect you may have on the life of the body.

    If you’re a living member of the body of Christ you are important!

    When it comes to the life you bring to the body: your attendance at the services matter, your visits matter, your cards of encouragement matter, your financial contributions matter, your Bible-class input matters, your personal example at work and with your own family members matter, your prayers matter, and your evangelistic efforts with family, friends and strangers matter.

    No matter how you may feel about your role in the church, if you’re a living member of the body – you matter to God.

    If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be?” (1 Corinthians 12:15-19 – NKJV)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 6:15 am on 2016-04-19 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body of Christ, ,   

    The life we share in the body of Christ 

    The apostle Paul practiced what he urged the Roman saints to do in Rom 12.15, to “rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep:”

    Christians are joined in the body of Christ. What happens to one affects the other. “Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation?” 2 Cor 11.29. —QBT

    In English we use the figure of speech about being joined at the hip. (Is that phrase still politically correct?) It means that people are very closely connected. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 5:33 am on 2016-04-09 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body of Christ, ,   

    Speak to save 

    God saves people when the gospel is taught to them.

    Only through speaking the gospel can people be saved. Without speaking, no salvation occurs. A good example is not sufficient. Others must be taught, Ac 11.14; 1Th 2.16. —QBT

    Much talk, ironically, is given to how useless words are. (More …)

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 7:51 am on 2015-12-22 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body of Christ, gifts of service,   

    Pursue, Invest, Discover 

    Pursue your gifts, use freely
    for the good of all what God
    has given you. Put thought and time
    and energy at the service
    of people. No greater good
    can you do than to build up others.
    Do not invest in things,
    but in relationships,
    in discovering who we are
    as a community, as a family.
    And in that process, God
    reveals himself, and we
    come to know the liberating truth.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:41 am on 2013-05-07 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body of Christ, , , , Solo Christianity   

    Church Membership an Option? 

    There are a lot of religious people in the world who consider themselves to be something akin to Lone Ranger Christians. By that I mean they believe they can avoid the church all together and still be pleasing to God. To those with that mentality I would ask if they could provide one single example of a person in the Bible (who was a Christian living under the days of the New Covenant) that intentionally avoided gathering with, participating with and identifying with the church who was still pleasing to God in his or her actions.

    I completely understand that various personalities and opinions create conflict within the church (think Paul and Barnabas and Mark), but when such happens the church herself is not meant to be the one who bears the brunt of the faults of others. In other words, when two (or more) brothers and sisters in Christ get into a personal spat they should not take it out on the church by withdrawing his or her support on multiple levels. Humility, support, seeking the interest of others and the squashing of one’s ego go a long way in these situations (Philippians 2:1-4; Romans 12:15-18). I also know that more often than not it’s the other person’s fault, but regardless of that matter if one withdraws their own fellowship from the church it’s now their own fault. Even when this is the case the church is encouraged to remember this one who has been overtaken in a fault lest the mentality spreads (Galatians 6:1-4).

    The simple fact of the matter is that church membership is not an option to the one who seeks to please God. The blood of Jesus was spilt to purchase the church (Acts 20:28), and Jesus is the Savior of His body which is His church (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; 5:23), and when one reads the scriptures they will see people who sought to be (or who were at least encouraged to be) active members of God’s church by being an active member of the collective body and her activities (1 Corinthians 12:18-20; Hebrews 10:24-25).

    One can find many options in life, but church membership is not one of them if one considers his or her salvation to be important.

    “…And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47)

     
    • Joseph Richardson 1:26 pm on 2013-05-07 Permalink | Reply

      Once again, brother, you are entirely on the same page as me and my church. We are not as far apart as you think.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:20 pm on 2013-05-07 Permalink | Reply

        Hello, Joseph,

        Nah, you’re right, we’re not that far apart, except for…the various and multiple aspects of Mariology, calling people father, holy father and most holy father, praying to and through dead saints, how one becomes a saint of God, the existence of purgatory, the headship of the church, the infallibility of the pope, the final authority for matters of the faith, baptizing babies, depravity of babies, the various and multiple aspects of what is acceptable worship, the priesthood of God, celibacy, birth-control, various modes of baptism, sacramental doctrines, holy water, confession booths and transubstantiation. Yeah, other than those things and a few others we’re not that far apart.

        I don’t mind discussing things that I have in common with other people, and there are quite a bit of things that I have/believe in common with people from the wide spectrum of denominationalism (catholicism included), but my friend there is a lot more distance between you and I doctrinally speaking than what you may be inferring. I am familiar with what the catholic church teaches concerning church membership (a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while – just joking) and there are many parts of the truth that it contains on the matter, but my definition of what the true universal church of God is and what the catholic church is are two different things.

        Thanks for the “like” and for commenting (seriously).

        • John Henson 10:19 am on 2013-05-08 Permalink | Reply

          Hear, hear!

        • Joseph Richardson 11:30 am on 2013-05-08 Permalink | Reply

          I tend to think that those other things are small potatoes compared to what really matters, which is Christ and His grace and His salvation.

          • Eugene Adkins 12:29 pm on 2013-05-08 Permalink | Reply

            Small potatoes? So then you wouldn’t mind changing your belief and teaching concerning those little spuds?

            • Joseph Richardson 12:31 pm on 2013-05-08 Permalink

              If we did, the Gospel would still be the Gospel.

            • Eugene Adkins 6:28 am on 2013-05-09 Permalink

              The gospel will always be the gospel regardless of what men or women try to do to it, but a person can mess with the message to a point to where it’s no longer the message; and in fact the gospel warns people about others who have and who will try to change it. So at the end of day when the issues mentioned above are altered by the commandments and traditions of men not only does the gospel get altered but so does one’s relationship with God. The truth matters.

              But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.” (Galatians 1:8-9)

              Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” (1 Timothy 4:1-3)

              I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” (2 Timothy 4:1-4)

              Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” (1 Corinthians 1:10)

              The catholic church doesn’t believe these “items” are small potatoes due to the fact that they teach that several of them affects a person’s salvation, and judging by the articles on your blog and I don’t think you do either.

            • Joseph Richardson 7:25 pm on 2013-05-09 Permalink

              They are important, but in comparison to core of the Gospel message — Christ’s coming to earth and dying for our sins that we might be reconciled to God and have eternal life with Him — they are marginal.

    • Don Ruhl 10:13 am on 2013-05-08 Permalink | Reply

      Great article. I will use it as part of a sermon that I will be doing some time this month on the same subject.

      • Eugene Adkins 5:33 pm on 2013-05-08 Permalink | Reply

        Glad I could be useful. All of you guys/fellows have been helpful to me in multiple ways so I’m glad I can return the favor!

        • Don Ruhl 6:04 pm on 2013-05-08 Permalink | Reply

          That is what living in Christ means, isn’t it?, helping one another.

        • Don Ruhl 7:11 pm on 2013-05-31 Permalink | Reply

          Eugene, I preached on it this past Lord’s Day, and I want to see you either the sound file or the sermon notes, but I do not have your e-mail address.

          • Eugene Adkins 8:35 pm on 2013-05-31 Permalink | Reply

            Check out your inbox when you get a chance and keep an eye out for the subject line.

      • Eugene Adkins 8:03 pm on 2013-06-02 Permalink | Reply

        Did you ever get anything?

  • J. Randal Matheny 12:12 pm on 2012-09-14 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body of Christ, ,   

    Life is in the body of Christ 

    Question for our Fellows and guests: How do you show the truth from Scripture that outside the body of Christ there is no life? I’m always interested in learning more and apply Scripture in a better way.

     
    • Don Ruhl 1:43 pm on 2012-09-14 Permalink | Reply

      The first text that jumped into my mind was Colossians 3.4, and then Romans 6.

    • Eugene Adkins 3:28 pm on 2012-09-14 Permalink | Reply

      Randal, are you looking for an answer for body=spiritual body/church or body=actual body/life of Jesus?

      • J. Randal Matheny 3:30 pm on 2012-09-14 Permalink | Reply

        Eugene, sorry my question wasn’t clear. I’m referring to the body of Christ as the church. We often connect, rightly so, being in Christ and being in the body, then connecting the blessings in Christ with blessings being in the body, the church. I’m just looking for ways to strengthen the connection, that we can’t be saved without being in, and an active part of, the church.

        • Eugene Adkins 3:44 pm on 2012-09-14 Permalink | Reply

          That’s why I figured; just wanted to double check.

          Without a doubt, Ephesians 5:25 (numerous places in Ephesians actually) is one the first places I think of. Also 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 comes to mind to show how a person gets into the body and how important the body is to Christ.

          I would say the whole “bride of Christ relationship” and the marriage comparison Paul uses while also talking about the “body of Christ” is about as plain as it gets to me. A person is united with Jesus in his spiritual body…no union means no personal relationship, hence no salvation (Matthew 7:21-23).

          What do you think?

    • Daniel Stearsman 6:27 am on 2012-09-15 Permalink | Reply

      Great question! I suppose you could come at the question from a lot of angles and these are just some random thoughts. Hope they help. We could look at all the passages on death and contrast those with life. Also, we could look at all the positive aspects of being in Him (Eph and Col being loaded with in Him/Christ, by Him, through Him, etc.). There’s so many positive aspects of the life in Him contrasted against all the negatives of being outside of Him. In the body there’s newness of life (Rom. 6:4) and an abundant life (John 10:10). In the body our sufficiency is from God; outside we are ultimately insufficient (cf. 2 Cor. 3:7). In the body is a special measure of God’s glory (Eph. 1:12, 2 Cor. 37-10); outside the body there is an exchange of glory and truth (Rom. 1:23,25). Also, we could look at the fact that we are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27) and that God called this “very good” (Gen. 1:31). This goodness includes that all men are created with moral goodness. When we sin, we assault this image (Gen. 9:6, James 3:9). In Christ that image is renewed (Col. 3:10), a conforming to the image of God (Rom. 8:29), and “we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49). The hope in the body, rebirth in the body, walking in light, being sons of God, . . .. . so many rich blessings. . . to be sure, no better life . . .hope this helps!

    • robertebarger 5:19 pm on 2012-09-27 Permalink | Reply

      I have asked the same question and over time the Lord has showed me that it’s not I, but the Lord God, the Father that draws men to Christ. No man cometh to me unless the Father draws him, and no man is revealed the Father unless I reveal it to him. We must remember that God draws men to Christ. Now here is understanding. All things are by Him, through Him, and to Him, to God be the glory. Still,who is God? (Romans 11:36) God’s name is——–LOVE! His nature is also —–LOVE. Not as man knows love, but love according to His word! What does the Word (Jesus Christ’s heavenly name) say “Love”is? 2 John 1:6 And this is “LOVE” (God the Father, The GREAT “I AM” Our inheritance!) And this “IS LOVE” that we walk after His commandments. It tells us in 1 John 5:2 here’s how we know (by the Spirit) that we Love the children of God (How do we know?) When we Love God and keep His commandments! In 1 John 5:3 it tells us how we know (by the Spirit) that God Loves us! (How do we know God Loves us? ) When we Love God and keep His commandments. When we keep His commandments, we take on the Glory of God, and we go from faith to faith, and glory to glory. This glory is Jesus Christ Him self, and it’s no longer I that live, but it’s Christ in me, the “Hope of Glory”. When we get to the place that God wants us, we will know. We are to wait on our ministry (Romans 12:6&7) If we do not wait as we should, the devil is able to work the work that he has been appointed to do. We have presumed that we know what the Lord wants, but God has told us through Romans 12:6&7, and the parable of the sower that we are to wait that we might bring forth fruit with patience.

      • robertebarger 5:38 pm on 2012-09-27 Permalink | Reply

        Also on this subject. 1 Corinthians 12:3 No man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Ghost. As you research the Holy Ghost Jesus said in Mark 16 These signs shall follow them that “believe”! We are confronted here with a question from God, DO YOU BELIEVE THESE THINGS WILL HAPPEN IN YOUR LIFE? Most people do not believe that these things will happen in thier life. AS we study more we see that all the way through “THE BOOK OF ACTS” , OR, ‘The Acts Of The Apostles”, we see that when people recieved the Gift of the Holy Ghost, they spoke in tongues, and prophiced. The witness of the many places in the book of Acts of the gift of the Holy Ghost and how people recieved it is the witness of the truth of what is to take place when we believe. Also in the book of Acts is a person who did not repent and wanted to buy the gift of the Holy Ghost. Peter rebuked him and told him he needed to repent of his sin. (Acts 8:23) I preceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of inquity. The same goes for anyone wanying the Holy Ghost. Unbelief is sin, Hate is sin, unforgiveness is sin, witchcraft is sin, and on and on. God looks at the hear. We must ask Him to forgive us of our sin with a broken and contrite heart with a willingness to do “ANYTHING” that God asks us to do.

  • TFRStaff 7:05 am on 2012-09-04 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: body of Christ, church as body, ,   

    Sometimes destructively and sometimes beneficially 

    “Every act of self-discipline by a Christian is also a service to the community. Conversely, there is no sin in thought, word, or deed, no matter how personal or secret, that does not harm the whole community. When the cause of an illness gets into one’s body, whether or not anyone knows where it comes from, or in what member it has lodged, the body is made ill. This is the appropriate metaphor for the Christian community. Every member serves the whole body, contributing either to its health or to its ruin, for we are members of one body not only when we want to be, but in our whole existence. This is not a theory, but a spiritual reality that is often experienced in the Christian community with shocking clarity, sometimes destructively and sometimes beneficially.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    “For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” —Romans 12:4-5

     
  • J. Randal Matheny 4:30 am on 2011-02-08 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , body of Christ, , ,   

    Daily Nudge: talents wanted 

    If God were to give you another talent or ability, what would you want it to be? Did you ever feel the need or desire to have a gift that you lacked? Have you ever asked the Lord for a talent you didn’t have, or tried to develop this ability in yourself?

    Obviously, the Spirit gives gifts to whom he will, “distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things” (1 Cor. 12:11 NET). And we confess that “each has his own gift from God, one this way, another that” (1 Cor. 7: 7). And Paul says that “the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29).

    We ought not wish to be rid of one gift and desire another, for the sake of recognition or to impress, as did the Corinthians (see 1 Cor. 12-14). But surely we’ve had moments when we desired a different gift in order to be useful in the kingdom?

     
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