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 Are we properly jointed? by Alan Martin


Paul exhorted the believers in Corinth with this concern - "Now I appeal to you brothers through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in order that you all speak the same and there not be divisions among you, but you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same purpose."

We should therefore ask ourselves - are we being "perfectly joined together" in the same mind and in the same purpose with other believers? This purpose of being perfectly joined together is the very reason why Jesus gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. In his letter to Ephesus, Paul explained that these various ministries are all for the "joining together" of the saints unto a work of ministry. The Greek word Paul used has come into our English language as "artisan". Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are the "artisans" given by the Lord Jesus to help "perfectly join" believers together with other believers. The Lord Jesus has called these men to the "joining together" of believers unto the work of the ministry so that the body of Christ will be built up together.

Are we involved in this precious work of helping believers be perfectly joined to other believers? Those who have been called to this ministry need to understand that not all personalities are a perfect fit together. There will always be a variety of joints that will comprise the body of Christ. Not all believers are joined together in the same way, nor can they be or should they be. A good artisan will recognize this and help to form the best fitting joints possible. It is a mistake to attempt to fit every joint together in the same way. The shoulder joint is not designed in the same way as the knee joint. Each joint has a specific function and purpose. Certain believers will relate much better to some than they would with others; experienced artisans will help sort this out for the benefit of the whole body.

This is why even in a local assembly some families will form a closer bond with those they are jointed with than with others they are not joined to. This is not a cause for concern as long as each joint shares the same love and appreciation for all the other joints. The shoulder joint is not directly connected to the ankle joint for a very good reason. Each joint is connected directly to the head and should contribute love and liberty to the benefit of the whole body. When joints envy other joints, the effect is similar to arthritis, an inflamation of a particular joint. The whole body suffers when even one joint is inflamed, but when joints are functioning properly, their supply of love and liberty is a constant source of help to the body.

Many problems have been caused by men attempting to form joints that were simply not a good fit. Furthermore, it is unwise for one joint to compare itself to another joint. Joints living in peaceful cooperation provide a freedom of movement and agility to the body; joints in competition are a cause of hinderance and even crippling pain. We must learn to be content to be joined together with those for whom we have been fitted together by our Lord. Those who are being perfectly joined together will share a special intimacy and relationship that will be unique to their joint. We need to learn to rejoice over the intimacy other joints are able to share and be grateful for their contribution to the overall health of the body. The entire body is not one joint, but many joints all working for the benefit of the whole. Envy and jealousy are joint diseases that cripple the body of Christ. Every joint properly connected to the head will supply the body with love so that it may be built up through that love which every joint supplies.

Let us ask ourselves if we have been perfectly joined to other believers in a way that is benefitting the whole body of Christ. Are we fitted together with other believers in a way that is contributing a healthy supply of love? It is possible to become dis-jointed. Accidents and collisions will often cause joints to be adversly affected. If we have been hurt without being healed, we might become reluctant to be fitted together with other believers or we might judge other joints unfairly. Unforgiveness and bitterness caused by conflict are spiritual diseases that fight against the formation of the healthy joints necessary to the body of Christ. The cure for these injuries and diseases is loving others as Jesus Christ has loved us. This will insure that no injury becomes a source of bitterness or unforgiveness that hinders the formation and function of healthy joints.

Heavenly Father, we ask you to continue to raise up apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers for the formation of healthy joints in the body of Christ. Search our hearts and try us to see if there be in any of us a wicked way of unforgiveness or bitterness that is crippling others around us. Heal us O Lord and restore us to a sound connection with our Head so that Your perfect love will flow into us and through us to the benefit of your whole body. Thank you for the many varieties of joints that make up Your wondeful body. Thank You that other joints have a special bond between them that we benefit from. Perfect us in the bond of love so that the body of Christ may bring you the glory on the earth.


_________________
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2010/10/28 11:14Profile
sojourner7
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Joined: 2007/6/27
Posts: 1573
Omaha, NE

 Re: Are we properly jointed? by Alan Martin

Yes, love is what binds, fits,
and joins us together as One
Body in Christ. Where love is
lacking, there is division and
strife instead of unity.


_________________
Martin G. Smith

 2010/10/28 12:14Profile









 Re:

1Jn 5:1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

 2010/10/28 12:24









 Re: Are we properly jointed? by Alan Martin


There used to be a notion in the medical world, that 'rest' was something experienced by the action of tensing flexor muscles and then relaxing them.

By research, it was found that this activity does not, of itself, bring 'rest' unless the EXTENSORS are tensed, and then relaxed. By this action the JOINTS are brought into PERFECT rest, and it is THIS rest which is transmitted to the brain (Head).

Thus, if a 'joint' is in discomfort, the Head registers this also, and immediately longs to instigate whatever action is required to relieve the distress.

When a baby is born, parents are soon informed that most of its 'actions' are reflex (such as hand grip, sucking etc). By about 3 months these reflexes have disappeared, and slowly, the ability to extend an arm or leg by conscious intention, develops.

When I first learned this, and read Ephesians 4:
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, [even] Christ: 16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love', I was in awe of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!

 2010/11/1 7:58









 Re: Are we properly jointed? by Alan Martin

I can appreciate Alan's symbology regarding the body.

 2010/11/1 13:04









 Re: Are we properly jointed? by Alan Martin


Pilgrim, what you've asked Alan is very difficult to answer in writing, as I'm sure you've found out when trying to explain what an open meeting looks and sounds like. Maybe he'll invite you to see for yourself, ;-)

 2010/11/1 13:32









 Re:

Yes, I have found that writing presents many limitations, it takes extra effort to illustrate examples and still, misunderstanding will exist. It is definitely not the same as being there.

 2010/11/1 13:44
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 657
Texas

 Re:

Thank you for this opportunity.

Being connected to the head "only" is abstract unless it looks like bondservice to other believers. I like the way the King James Bible describes this in I Corinthians 16 with the household of Stephanus. They had an addiction - "ministry to the saints." Too few believers ever really develop this addiction. Timothy had it, and Paul said that he had no one else like him, "genuinely concerned about the interest of others" while most all look out to their own interests.

Love for Jesus the head looks like "feeding sheep and lambs." Men who are totally devoted to feeding and tending sheep are called "shepherds" or if you prefer Latin - "pastors". This love looks like pursing hopsitality, opening your home for fellowship meals, sharing your sons and daughters to help build, baby sit, mow lawns, sharing your vehicles, giving away unused portions of your land to those who need a place to live. It looks like buying trailers and fixing them up to give single moms a place to live and homeschool their children. It looks like living within your means so that after your own daily necessities, you use the rest to help others in need.

In addition to this, being rightly joined to other members of the body looks like receiving believers from other churches without predjudice, partiality, or preference. It looks like endeavoring to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace by pursuing only the things that make for peace and mutual edification. It looks like receiving them as the Lord Jesus Himself and benefitting from the mutual giving and receiving of grace to the strengthening of one another's faith. This looks like building a network of friendships in Christ, linked together by love and mutual esteem and honor. It includes writing letters, emails, phone calls, visits and constant prayer for those friendships the Lord has brough about.

Paul described his own bondservice to the Corinthians in this way. "So I will gladly spend all I have and myself as well even if loving you more, you love me less." Self-less sacrificial love for others is evidence of being truly connected to the head - Jesus Christ.

This is what Paul's connection to the head looked like - bondservice to other believers. In fact, he said "I make myself a slave to all men." Let's follow Paul's example as he was following Christ.

I hope that helps. It is but a small description that is much better witnessed in person than described in a short note. Anyone who wants a better look is welcome to come to S.E. Missouri and see first hand what it looks like among a group of believers.


_________________
Alan and Dina Martin

 2010/11/1 14:03Profile









 Re:

I love that verse regarding "addiction to the ministry of the saints".



 2010/11/1 15:32





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