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1 Corinthians 9:11
"If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we should reap material things from you?"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationship With Jesus
The Key To Effective Ministry

Section 7, Chapter 4

The Cross Related
to Body Ministry

Study Questions:
  1. What does Paul say about a person who judges another personís spirituality by his own? Why?
  2. What is the first step toward successful body relatedness?
  3. What is the second and third steps toward successful body relatedness?
  4. When we are helping Jesusí Lordship be fulfilled in a brother or sisterís life, why does this also help Jesusí Lordship over our lives to be fulfilled?
  5. When we have a critical judgmental attitude toward a brother or sister, normally what does this indicate about ourselves? Why?
  6. What is Jesusí attitude toward us concerning our lives?
  7. What is the only attitude that will cause unity in the Church to be realized?
  8. What is fulfilling the Law of Christ, which is loving our neighbor as ourselves according to Galatians 5:14, according to the Apostle Paul in Galatians 6:2?
  9. If Jesus is greater than Satan, then why is evil in this respect seemingly becoming more dominate in the world than good?
  10. Why is unity in the Church not being realized?

horizontal rule

If what we are doing is not out of Jesusí revealed will for our lives, no matter how spiritual what we are doing appears to be, we are less spiritual than the individual we are condemning who is doing what we consider less spiritual by our standards; that is, if what he is doing is motivated out of Jesusí revealed will for his life. How does this relate to our relationship to the body in body ministry? First, lets consider how we do relate to people in the body of Christ. Normally, we look at ourselves and compare our spirituality with others. When others do not meet up to our either self- imposed or Jesusí given restraints, we immediately assume that they are not spiritual and not submitting to Jesusí Lordship over their lives. The Apostle Paul said about this kind of attitude,

"For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves; but when they measure themselves by themselves, and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding." (2 Cor 10:12).

They are without understanding, because the basis of Christianity is not what we are, but the Lord and source of what we are. Paul said in another passage,

"Therefore do not go on judging anything before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of menís hearts; and then each manís praise will come to him from God." (1 Cor 4:5).

Spirituality is not based on what we possess or in how spiritual we appear, but by the degree that Jesus is truly Lord over our lives, and since Jesusí plan for our lives is different in every case, only Jesus knows for certain those who are truly spiritual. For this reason Paul says, ". . . do not go on judging anything. . . .", by appearance alone unless the Lord Himself shows you otherwise through your seeking Him. This is what Jesus was talking about in the Gospel of John when He said, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment." (John 7:24).

The first step to successful body relatedness is to find out what Jesusí will is over a personís life through getting to know that person objectively, and then taking that objective information to Jesus in prayer through worship and praise and in Spirit and truth for subjective confirmation in submission to the Word of God (The first three principles of counseling discussed in Section 2). Once Jesusí will over the personís life is clearly known, the second step is to then seek the Lord through worship and praise as to what is hindering the fulfillment of His will in the personís life. Once Jesus shows you clearly what these hindrances are, the third step would then be to seek Jesus to show you what part He wants you to play in the personís life to see those obstacles removed.

What are the abilities and talents Jesus wants to develop in the individualís life? What is hindering this development in the personís life? how would Jesus have you to help this person financially or otherwise to see Jesusí will for the personís life fulfilled. When we are approaching our brotherís and sisterís needs and problems in this way, we are delighting ourselves in Jesus. We are delighting ourselves in Jesus because we are helping our brother or sister become all Jesus intended and and helping them fulfill Jesusí will and plan for their lives. When we help our brothers and sisters fulfill Jesusí will and plan for their lives, we are helping Jesus fulfill His will over our lives as well. This is because then Jesusí will for the Church as a whole is being realized.

When a person is only looking for what is wrong in a personís life it is evidence that they are not submitting to the will and plan Jesus has for their lives. The fruit of the Spirit is love, not a critical judgmental spirit. There are exceptions like when we have been wrongly hurt by someone we may have battles with these kinds of thoughts toward that person instead of a forgiving attitude. But if we are simply looking for fault in others, not motivated out of any wrong doing toward ourself by that individual, it is a sure indicator from the Lord that it is ourself that is some how not in line with His will and plan for our life. What delights Jesus is our helping our brother and sister become all He intended, not looking for a reason to criticize them, which is only destructive to their person, not constructive.

Jesus said, "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world; but that the world should be saved through Him." (John 3:17). When some of the apostles wanted to pray and have fire sent down from heaven to destroy a village because they would not receive Jesus, Jesus reply to this suggestion was, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy menís lives, but to save them." (Luke 9:55-56).

If a person is not submitted to Jesusí Lordship, in order to justify himself, he must look for supposed greater wrong in others. Finding supposed greater unrighteousness in others makes one feel that he is not so bad.

If a person is not submitting to Jesusí Lordship over his life and he knows you are, not only is he going to strain at a gnat and swallow a camel to find fault with you, but if he is knowingly rebelling against Jesusí will in His life, he is going to seek to destroy you by finding a reason to get you out of circulation or by gathering others to agree with him about why your life should not succeed and be aided to succeed. This is because your life is a constant reminder to that person that he is not submitting to and obeying Jesusí will in his life.

This is why the Pharisees and Scribes looked for reasons to destroy Jesus and then in the end did. It was because Jesus, who was obeying the will of His Father by His life and witness, exposed the heart of the Scribes and Pharisees who were not submitted to the will of the Father over their lives.

Jesusí attitude toward us is always salvation, not condemnation; one of redemption, not destruction; how He can move us into His will for our lives and what bondages we need to be freed of so that we can, not for reasons why He should not move us into His will and plan for our lives. Jesusí desired way to free us of genuine rebellion in our hearts is through kindness and love. The Apostle Paul said,

"Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance." (Rom 2:4).

"For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2 Cor 5:14-15).

No one is in hell by Jesusí choice. Men are in hell by their own free will choice because they rejected Jesus and His will over their lives, not because Jesus did not go out of His way to divert the person from the way of destruction. No one is in hell by surprise. They knew they were going there before they died physically because they knew they were living for themselves and not for Jesus.

We ourselves never have the right to decide that a person is beyond redemption. Our attitude is to be one of seeking Jesus as to how we can help the individual, regardless of his seeming present faults, fulfill Jesusí will and plan for his life. In doing this we will be delighting ourselves in Jesus and fulfilling His will over our own lives. Peopleís seeming faults and weaknesses are Jesusí problems, not ours. Jesus does not want us focusing on our problems, so why do we place a different standard on our brothers and sisters of which neither they nor ourselves can carry or live out in our own strength. This kind of attitude is simply self-righteous justification for the lack of submission of our own lives to what we know to be the clear will of Jesus over our lives.

Unity in the Church will only be realized when we approach each other with the attitude of looking for ways to help each other fulfill Jesusí clearly revealed will over our lives individually, not for reasons to push us away from it. Unity in the Church will never be realized through comparing ourselves with others, moralizing our brothers or sisters over weaknesses which only Jesus can deliver them from, or through doctrinal argumentation. Paul the Apostle states plainly in the book of Galatians 6:2, "Bear one anotherís burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ." Bearing one anotherís burdens is simply fulfilling Jesusí command for us to love one another.

The Apostle John said in the first Epistle of John, ". . greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4). The Bible is true yet do we see this reality in the world today? I must confess that we do not. Is it because Jesus is not greater than atheism, humanism, or Satan? No. It is because the Church has failed to bear one anotherís burdens in certain parts of the world in this way and instead have focused on their religious and non- profit speculative conversations. As a result, they have left a spiritual vacuum that communism, the Moslem faith and other non Christian philosophies have come in and filled. If evil seems more dominate in the world than good, it is not because Jesus has failed, it is because the Church has failed. It is because the Church is not taking Galatians 6:2 seriously, "Bear one anotherís burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ."

The lack of unity in the Church today centers in one problem only: We are not fulfilling this command of Scripture. We are not bearing one anotherís burdens, because if we were, Paul says we would be fulfilling the law of Christ. The law and desire of Jesus is unity in the Church because Jesus knows that when unity in the Church is realized the world will stop and look and millions more will be saved. Millions more will be saved because they will see Jesusí love between believers being manifested and practiced which is the cause of their unity. Bearing one anotherís burdens according to Jesusí individual will over our lives is fulfilling the law of Jesus which is loving one another and causing unity in the Church to be realized. This is because Jesusí Lordship does not work against itself, but is itself unified because the source is the same: Jesus!

WORLD EVANGELISM REALIZED

If body relatedness is approached in this manner, why will millions and maybe even billions more people be saved? When Jesus calls a man to a certain field of interest, it is because Jesus recognizes, since He created him in the first place, that that individual can best serve Jesus and be a light for Him in that area. When a person is working in the field Jesus called him to, he is fulfilled and happy. When a person is fulfilled and happy, the associates he works with want to know why. If he got to where he is aided by the Church, then not only can he share positively about Jesus, but the Church as well. The end result will be that his associates will receive Jesus because they will want his sense of fulfillment and joy; and since the Church aided him in getting to this place, they will have a positive attitude toward the Church and become a member of it.

To look for reasons of why a person is not succeeding and then to condemn them for their supposed lack of spirituality does not help the commission of the Church, "to seek and to save the lost," to be realized, but instead literally hinders that reality. The person who takes this kind of attitude toward any believer, regardless of how ugly they may appear in our eyes, quite literally becomes a tool of Satan to hinder the spread of the Gospel in that personís life and the Church as a whole. Let us stop judging one another and comparing ourselves with one another and instead began seeking Jesus as to how we can help one another become all that He intended so that the commission of the Church can be realized.

"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ĎAll authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.í" (Matt 28:18-20).

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, let us review the three basic steps of how to fulfill Jesusí command to bear each otherís burdens and thus fulfill the Law of Christ: First, when Jesus by the Holy Spirit brings you into friendship with another brother or sister in the body of Christ, or makes you aware of problems in their lives, after having considered the objective facts about their lives, ask Jesus to clearly reveal to you what His will and plan for their life is. Second, once this is clearly known, then ask Jesus to show you what the hindrances or obstacles are that are keeping this brother or sister from being able to fulfill the plan and purpose that He has for their lives. Third, once these hindrances and obstacles are clearly understood, then ask Jesus to show you what part He would have you to play personally in seeing these hindrances and obstacles removed so that His will in their lives can be fulfilled. If you approach your brothers and sisters in the body of Christ in this way, you will be delighting yourself in Jesus because you will be bringing about His will in the Church which will result in your bringing about His will in your life. The end result will be that Jesus will be glorified and your own desires will be fulfilled.

"Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Ps 37:4).

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