Saturday, November 12, 2011

Christians, Members of the Body of Christ

"Since Christ is the head of the body of which Christians are members, he has a right to expect the same services from them, which we expect from our members. Now what we expect from our members is, that everyone, in its proper place, should perform the services allotted it; executing the purposes, and obeying the commands of the head. We do not expect that each member should have a separate will, or pursue a separate interest, or act in any respect as if it were independent. If any part of our bodies does not fulfill these expectations, and yield prompt and implicit obedience to our will, we conclude it to be diseased; and if the acts of the will produce no effect upon it, we conclude it to be dead, and remove it, if possible, as a useless encumbrance. We further expect that our members, instead of attempting to provide, each one, for its own wants, will depend upon the wisdom and foresight of the head, for all necessary supplies. In a word, we know that it is the part of the head to plan, direct and provide, and the part of the members to obey and execute. Precisely similar are the duties of Christians, considered as the members of Christ. No Christian must have a separate will, or a separate interest of his own, or act, in any respect, as if he were an insulated, independent individual. As there is but one head, so there must be but one governing, guiding will, and that must be the will of Christ. If any neglect to execute his will, they are spiritually dead. and were never really united to Christ, for his real members never die. It is also their duty to depend on him for everything, for the supply of all their temporal and spiritual necessities; and never to attempt any thing but in reliance on his wisdom, grace and strength. As well may our feet walk safely, or our hands work skillfully, without assistance and guidance from the head, as Christians can perform any service without the grace of Christ their head, in whom are laid up all the treasures of wisdom, and knowledge, and grace."

Legacy of a Legend, Christians, Members of the Body of Christ. by Edward Payson

1 comment:

  1. This is a great reminder of things I need to be thinking about daily, but especially on Sundays as I sit in church services with members of this body. I have no problem bringing up what I think members should be doing, how we should NOT be looking solely to our own individual interests, feeding our self-obsessed (or even "our own family"-obsessed) natures -and I am guilty of this more than I'd like to admit - but I forget sometimes that Christ is the head of the body - local and universal - and that the ability and grace to "behave" in the ways that encourage, edify, and build the body best only comes from Him. I get really hung up on how the body doesn't act "unified," which sadly is a focal point - it sort of sticks out like an eyesore for me when it's occuring, or not occuring, as the case may be - when I'm at various churches. So now I can remember this and have a new focal point... Christ as the head. Thanks for posting this.