The HEAD & The Body - ARTICLE
“Until Christ is fully formed in you”
Every body needs a head! And every head needs a body. It is impossible for the body to function without a head, and it is impossible for a head, no brilliant it may be, to accomplish anything without a body through which to do so.
This is the beautiful analogy that the Holy Spirit strikes through the pen of Paul, capturing the very essence of the Revelation of His Message received from Heaven, the Revelation that it is “Christ in you” who does the works, and that it is “Christ in you” that is the very reason that there is any hope of salvation!
In this new Revelation, the Holy Spirit uses the practical, but also very real, example of the human body to explain to us as believers, that it is in essence impossible for us to function or to live the “Christian Life” apart from being vitally United with Christ Himself.
“We are”, He says, “His very flesh and bones”!
What a tremendous thought! Have you ever considered the reality of such a statement? That you are in reality, not in principle, but in reality, the very body of Christ on earth! That implies that Christ Himself in the very Life of His Being is Personally dwelling in you!
This of course is beautifully underlined and confirmed by a magnitude of Inspired Scriptures throughout the Bible, that we have read many times and even know by heart.
But what does it all mean? What is the practical meaning of all of this and how should it affect our every day lives on earth. Knowing Christ automatically dwells in me, and that I am His body on earth, is wonderful, but how should that change anything in my life?
A wonderful question! The answer is equally wonderful – It should transform your entire life in on earth, from the inside out! It should change the way you think, the way you reason, and the way you choose to live. It should change your behaviour, your action and your words. It should change the direction of your life and your plans also!
Quite simply because no body can function without a head! And if you do have a Head, that is not your own, that Head should be in total control of your entire life and being. You see, no body can function on its own. It cannot think for itself, it cannot move by itself and it cannot respond by itself. Without a head, a body becomes completely useless and functions in a disorderly manner. The body needs the Head to control it, to instruct it and to direct its members as to where they must go and hat they must do.
Think of your own body for a moment, wave your hand for a second. Now what caused your hand to move in the way that it did? What was required from your hand to make that motion? Did it need a little mind of its own, or was it as a result of the fact that it responded to a head (A person who willed and instructed it to do so). Well of course we know that the hand made the motion because it was instructed to do so.
Here the thing – The Holy Spirit explains to you and me, that without Christ, the Head, Whose body we are on earth, we really can do nothing in harmony with Heaven! Do you remember that Jesus also told His disciples, “Remember, without Me, you can do nothing”?
If we choose to live by our own terms and rules and follow our own mind, we will live disorderly lives and will be out of sync with the Mind of Christ and His will to guide us, lead us and instruct us in the way we should go.
So by implication this means that being the body of Christ, is to be yielded to the Head, Who is Christ, and allowing the Mind of Christ to direct us as His body on earth to function and to do that which He wills for us to do. It also means that we are to be controlled by His Spirit inside us. That we are not to choose what we want and when we want it, but rather, that we would allow Him to lead us into what He has chosen for us, following Him as He leads us in His time. Do you recall the Holy Spirit instructing us not to say, “Tomorrow I will do this and that”, bur rather to say, “If the Lord wills, I will do so and so”. Can you see how this principle is carried forward?
When we become Christ’s body on earth, we have sold ourselves to become His Love-slaves. We have chosen to lose our lives, our will and our desire. No longer living our lives on earth, directed by the passions of our flesh, but we have become totality obedient to Him, and to His Spirit-Life inside of us. Seeking Him to guide us and to direct us into His perfect will for us to follow, and for Him to fulfil in and through us, by the Power of His Spirit within us.
When we understand this as a principle of the New Life of “Christ in us”, we will also begin to understand why the Holy Spirit comes to “renew” our minds in order to have the “mind of Christ”. We will understand that we “are not our own”, but that we “belong to Another”, and that it is “no longer you and I that live, but Christ Who (wants to) live in us” just as He could in Paul, and that “the life you and I now live, we no longer live unto ourselves, but unto God”.
In essence we no longer live at all – But Christ comes to live His Life in us and through us, and for that reason we no longer lead, but follow! For that reason the old man, with his old corrupted nature, no longer leads us but we have crucified him and have taken on and being clothed in the new man, who is controlled by the Mind of Christ (by all the faculties, expressions and the full personality of His Being)!
This new Christ-Life is the expression of all of Christ in and through us! It is His Life now being put on display in us and through us, for the entire world to see. He has become the Head and we the body, walking, talking and moving in harmony according to the rhythms of His Spirit-Life within!
What a testimony to a New Life! What a testimony to a Living Christ! What Power to present! What Glory to behold! What a Saviour! What a Master! What a Friend! He does not only come to save us, but to embrace us, to live within us and to make Himself the essence of our lives!
Within this Revelation we discover the very reason for the success of the early church and disciples. Like Jesus, they did nothing “without seeing Him do it first” and they said nothing “unless they heard Him say it” – They lived a completely Unified life in Him and in the Spirit-Life of His Presence within – They were One with Christ, just as He prayed His Father it would be!
That they may be one ….
They had become His body, His living members on earth through whom He was living His Spirit-Life on earth! They were not in control, but gave themselves to be controlled and led of the Spirit, and the results was that Christ was seen, Christ was heard and Christ was experienced in and through them wherever they went!
They lived miraculous lives and did miraculous works, because He, Christ was living in them and working through them!
Today we “try” so hard to catch a glimpse of what they had. We read it and our flesh desires to be the “heroes” they were. We want to feature and to be seen, the new young and bright “stars” of the Kingdom. The modern day Paul’s and Peter’s, raising the dead and demonstrating the “Power” – Proudly being acclaimed as the “anointed”, the special boys and girls, who carries a hallow and who have been hand-picked by the Lord to be “favoured above our brethren”
How shameful! When we do not even have the spiritual capacity to understand a word these men said and wrote about their own personal walk and encounter with God! When we pay no attention to them when they clearly exclaim “It is no longer I, but Christ”, “It is no longer my life, but His Life in me”, “I am the least of the least”, “I am weak, so that He may be strong”, “I have been crucified with Christ”, “Who is Paul? Who is Apollos …?”
They gave themselves, so that they may gain Christ! They gave their lives, so that His Life may be lived in them! They lived in harmony with Him and He worked through them. It was never about them, this they knew and fully understood, they had sold themselves and they were no longer their own. From that time and for eternity, it was only Christ that would be known, seen and honoured.
The miracles recorded in the first church did not come from the apostles who had received “power” on Pentecost, they came because they had been in-filled with the God of Power, because He “Breathed the Breath of Life in them”, and they “became living beings” filled and Fired with His Spirit-Life, Alive in them. They had received the in-filling of the HOLY SPIRIT, the very SPIRIT OF GOD HIMSELF was now dwelling and controlling them – GOD HAD COME TO INDWELL HIS BODY – They were filled with ALL OF HIM AND HIS LIFE – They had become the body of Christ on earth – HE WAS THE HEAD!
This was the “POWER” Jesus promised they would receive! It was the same POWER that He had received – THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD BODILY DWELLING IN HIM, GUIDING AND DIRECTING HIM SND OING THE WORKS IN AND THROUGH HIM.
This would now become the disciple’s role – They would become the “body” of Christ (the Anointing, or the HOLY SPIRIT) on earth. They would now fulfil His role and function in becoming available to the Holy Spirit to be indwelled and to be directed in the will of the Father to perform His works earth.
Well, I can hear some protest right now, saying, “Yes! That was for the apostles of the Lord, those “called” into His service, not for me as a normal disciple, right?”
May I remind you of how many “ordinary disciples” were directed and used of the Lord to complete His work on earth, along with the apostles?
Just think of plain old Ananias, he was just one of those “ordinary disciples”, yet God could direct him to the house where Paul was staying to lay his hands on Paul so that he may be filled with the Spirit-Life of God also! We never hear of Ananias again after this happening. He was just a disciple who was the “body” of Christ, controlled by the Head!
This is just one example among many others. In fact there were so many who sacrificed and who were willing to lay their lives down in obedience to Christ, being willing to become the body to be controlled by the Head and to have His will done, over their own, that it may be an impossible list to compile!
May I also remind you that the apostles, prophets, evangelists, teachers and pastors were not special celebrities who walked among the people, but that they were in fact servants of all men! May I remind you that they did not possess special gifts that were exclusive to them, but that they were tasked to impart these gifts into others and that their only purpose and reason for being entrusted with the ministry functions they were given, was to PREPARE THE SAINT FOR THEIR SERVICE! They were called to help others to reach their full potential in being used by God. They were to elevate the body to come to a place of yielding to the government of the Head, so that Christ may work and live His Life in and through the lives of His disciples!
Their work was not to parade their gifts, but to impart them into others – To gibe them away and to develop others to come into the place of service. Their task was to prepare you and me to become the body of Christ on earth!
Dear friends, how will Christ find you on earth when He comes, or how will your life record read before His throne, when you stand before Him in eternity – Will it read that you lived your life the way most people on earth do, unto yourself? Or will it be an exemplary life, an outstanding life, a life worthy of eternal rewards – Because of being a life that was given to God so that He could live His eternal purposes through you?
This question remains with you and with me every day until Jesus will return, or until we will return to Him.
His answer to us is clear and so is His commitment to us, it is now all up to whether we are prepared to allow Him to make it a reality in us …
“I will not lave you as orphans”, “I will be with you until the very end” - Jesus.
- Johann van der Hoven