UNDERSTANDING THE BODY MINISTRY
“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” Eph. 4:16
Body ministry is the ministering of believers one to another that is both directed by, and exalting of, Jesus Christ, everybody within the body have a ministry, a rewarding function in the Church and a rich walk in the spirit and with the Lord. All of us are valued and needed by the Lord and have interdependent reality not just a leader ministering to all but all ministering to one another and building up one another in love. This is patterned after the likeness of a human body, with Christ as the head and all believers as the body. Neurotic signals are sent from vitals parts of the body to Christ the head from where directives are released for action and for the smooth running of the body.
Christian service is your contributing to the fullness of Christ, all of us have our peculiar calling and office such that we respond to the demands of service from the head by supplying that which we have been gifted to do, for example no other part of the body could provide the rich red blood corpuscles from the bone marrows except the bones. The body cannot move except the legs move it from one spot to another. It is in the measure of each several part ministering to that end of doing its special works and providing for the need of the complete body that which it has been graced to produce so that all things shall be summed up in Christ, and that He shall be the fullness of all things. That great Divine goal has many ways and many means of attainment, and it is not a matter of whether you or I are serving the Lord in the same way as someone else.
“For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teaches, on teaching; Or he that exhorts, on exhortation: he that gives, let him do it with simplicity; he that rules, with diligence; he that shows mercy, with cheerfulness” Rom 12:4-8
Many who have ministered to the Lord and by whom He has been wonderfully ministered are those of whom the world has heard and read nothing of. All they care about is to fulfill kingdom mandate, that part of the body service that they specialize in. This, you see, is a ‘Body’ matter, and a body is not all hands, not all major members and faculties. A body is comprised of numerous, almost countless, functions, many of them remote and hidden, but they all minister in a related way to the whole purpose for which the body exists, and that is a true picture of the service of God.
In a community, you cannot do without carpenters to build houses, fire men to put out hazardous fires, sheriff to take care of the law while doctors see to the maintenance of good health and dealing with sickness and diseases. Everybody equally important to the smooth running of the community. It takes the ministry of the choir in worship to bring down the glory of God so that the pastor can ministry under the influence of the Holy Ghost.
“Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another” 1Co 12:22-25
“The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part, the parts we mention and the parts we don’t, the parts we see and the parts we don’t. If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything. 1 Cor. 12:25-27 MSSG
The work of the Lord is, and can be, no more than contributing our part according to our grace gifts to the fullness of Christ and ministering of that fullness to Christ and from Him. So it comes back to us as a question – What am I ministering of Christ, what am I contributing to that ultimate fullness? If it be by leading the unsaved to Him, I am adding to Christ, so to speak; if it be commanding demons to leave tortured souls, I will be creating an environment for the Prince of Peace to rule and the Spirit of God to quicken and make alive such that the people of God are set free from the encroachment of demons. That is all it means, but that is what it means. I am building up Christ. If I am encouraging the saints, I am ministering to Christ and of Christ. That is “my servant… in whom my soul delights.” [Isaiah 42:1]. In whom does God delight as His servant? Those who minister to His Son and on behalf of the Son, and that is the beginning and the end, however that may be done only by divine appointment.
The Lord is going to require that He shall be able to say, “Behold, my servant,” and the servant to whom He will call attention will be the servant who is the impression or image of Christ. Yes, Christ is registered in him, Christ is present, Christ is apparent and Christ is working through the servant. He must be a willing instrument of righteousness! The beginning of all service, I repeat, is the servant himself. God is far more concerned with having His servants in a right state than He is with having them furnished with all kinds of academic qualifications and titles. It is the man, it is the woman, that God is concerned with.
Barnes commentary said … “The sense here is, that the body might be united, and be one harmonious whole; that there should be no separate interests; and that all the parts should be equally necessary, and truly dependent on each other; and that no member should be regarded as separated from the others, or as needless to the welfare of all. The sense to be illustrated by this is, that no member of the church, however feeble, or illiterate, or obscure, should be despised or regarded as unnecessary or valueless; that all are needful in their places; and that it should not be supposed that they belonged to different bodies, or that they could not associate together, any more than the less honorable and comely parts of the body should be regarded as unworthy or unfit to be united to the parts that were deemed to be more beautiful or honorable”
“It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endures forever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God” 2 Chronicles 5:13-14
It is only when the body of Christ operates harmoniously like a Symphony that the glory of God will be revealed within the body of Christ and there will be smooth operation and godly result also. The Church should care for the same thing having the same mind to serve the Lord in humility and lowliness of heart. We should equally regard the interests of all and that of Christ first. It is as we feel an equal interest in all the members and parts of the body, and desire the preservation, the healthy action, and the harmonious and regular movement of the whole that there will be perfection in running as one body. Whatever part of the body is affected with disease or pain, we feel a deep interest in its preservation and cure. The idea is, that no member of the church should be overlooked or despised; but that the whole church should feel a deep interest for, and exercise a constant solicitude over, all its members.
“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” Phil. 2:1-8
Unfortunately, the Church of today are segregationist, disjointed, worldly, selfishly care for its own alone, noise about the ill in the Church and bastardize its image when the principle should have been “tell it not in Gath” the falling of others but to nurse them back to spiritual health so they can get back to their calling and fulfill kingdom mandate. We must understand the workings of Satan that “an enemy has done this” and refuse to cause division among the brethren. Carnality, envying, strife and divisions [1 Cor. 3:3] are instruments of disunity in the hand of Satan. We must see our faults in the light of the perfection found in Christ instead of our self-righteous acts. We must remove the log in our eyes including our errors, defects and follies, and the depravity of our own hearts.
Jesus came to do away with religion and establish the kingdom of God and He spoke so much about the unity, oneness and agreement between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. That was the whole essence of His priestly prayer [John 17]. That we might be one even as He and the Father are one. Unity cannot be achieved without being matured in Christ [Ephesians 4:1-29]. Please note that the fullness of the blessings of God within His body can only be released in the place of unity, peace and harmony.
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore” Psalms 133:1-3
We must be unified in and earnestly contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints [Jude 1:3] by reflecting the grace, mercy, faith and the love of the Master Jesus Christ unto one another.