The Body of Christ - Hope

The Body of Christ – Our Hope.

                Belonging is essential to being human and being part of the Body of Christ, the Church community. Membership has often been formalized, but it is rooted in the teaching of the Apostle Paul who gave the image of the church as “A body with many parts.”
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free —and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.  (I Corinthians 12:12-14)
         We are the Body of Christ, in our diversity and in our unity.  The unity is that we are made in the image of God and baptized by the Spirit of God within our souls when we have faith to believe in Jesus Christ and receive the gift of God’s grace that forgives us our sins and gives us each new life born of God’s Holy  Spirit within our souls.  We enter the covenant of God by faith in Jesus, who then indwells our hearts and leads us as Lord and Savior. No matter our ethnicity, our social condition, we are all given “one Spirit to drink” as Paul says. The living water of God’s truth and grace.
          The Church is, therefore, the “body” of believers who have all been “baptized” within and have expressed this baptism outwardly through a testimony of faith and obedience (confession, communion, baptism by water, and the use of spiritual gifts). Fellowship exists because God has ordained our unity through His Son Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit within us and shared through us as community.  The Church was developed by Jesus, and why we long for renewed fellowship and community sharing during this COVID 19 pandemic.  We are called to faithful, patient, and persistent steps of precaution.  God is calling us to a deeper faith and hope. Lately, in the series of messages about “Extreme Faith in Hebrews 11” we continue to learn of the ways the ancients acquired deeper faith amid adversity. We learn from Hebrews 12:1-2 that God is with us in this journey of life. 
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
         Our hope is rooted in the perfect love of God in Jesus Christ, who forgave us on the cross, leads us from day to day as the Good Shepherd, and redeems us by God’s plan of saving grace for His eternal Kingdom.  There are hindrances that we must throw off, and sin can easily entangle us if we allow it to. Instead, may we overcome by growing, caring, and serving together.  Focusing our eyes on Jesus, is the key to persevering, overcoming, and finishing the race.  We look to Jesus, for true hope is found in none other. 
    Pastor Scott Arnold

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