Even MORE Revival – Hallelujah!

Earlier I posted the Tweet below on FnBook and Twitter. The song America by Chris Tomlin came to mind. I also posted the lyrics below.

As I’ve been posting, only God can save and restore our nation and for Him to work we must turn to him! Ask yourself, why should God restore our nation if we continue in our sinful ways?

The time for revival has come. Praise the Lord!


God, we cry out for Your mercyWe cry out for Your in our landAnd really see You as You areThat Your glory would fill this placeLet Your kingdom come and let Your will be doneLet Your kingdom come to America
Let Your glory flyLet Your glory flyLet Your glory flyLet Your glory fly
If My people will humbly prayTurn from sin and their wicked waysThen I will hear them and heal their landAnd show my glory and power again, yeah
Lift your eyes upLook to the skyThe Lord is coming, coming to AmericaCan you feel the fire?Can you see the wind?It’s blowing throughComing to America again
Go and tell them the blind will seeThe lame will walk and the slave is freeShout the news that the lost are savedIn the name of Jesus the dead are raised, yeah
Lift your eyes upLook to the skyThe Lord is comingComing to AmericaCan you feel the fire?Can you see the wind?It’s blowing throughComing to America againCan you see it coming?
Let Your glory flyLet Your glory flyLet Your glory fly
Let Your glory flyLet Your glory flyLet Your glory fly
Let Your glory flyLet Your glory flyLet Your glory fly
Let Your glory flyLet Your glory flyLet Your glory fly
Lift your eyes upLook to the skyThe Lord is comingComing to AmericaCan you feel the fire?Can you see the wind?Blowing throughComing to America, yeah
Lift your hands upTo the skyThe Lord is comingComing to AmericaCan you feel the fire?Can you see the wind?It’s blowing throughIt’s coming to America, again
Can you see it coming?Can you see it coming?Can you feel it coming?
I lift up my eyes to the hillsFrom where does my help come?My help comes from the LordMaker of HeavenI lift up my eyes to the hillsFrom where does my help come?My help comes from the LordMaker of Heaven

Asbury University Revival and Beyond

Yesterday marked the end of the Asbury University revival. Strangely enough, while it began spontaneously, the end was planned. However even the end offered some deeply spiritual connotations.

The way I heard it, the revival began after a regular chapel prayer. The students lingered. One stood up and started listing his faults. Things snowballed from there to gain international attention. It all ended yesterday, February 23, 2023 as the college hosed the National Collegiate Day of Prayer. That Asbury University hosted this was no last minute detail – it had been scheduled two years previously. But that’s not the only oddity.

Back in 1970, there was another spontaneous revival at, you guessed it, Asbury University. For those with long memories, 1970 was remarkable for yet another historical landmark, a secular one. The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl. Yes. They. Did. What does it all mean? I don’t know.

What I can say with absolute conviction is God’s hand is evident in this outpouring. Of this I have no doubt. I see no other logical explanation. As for what it means, well, I suggest we each ask God what it means to us, personally. Surely this has touched the lives of every person who heard of it in one way or another. Just like anything else, each of us takes away something different, something intimate.

My hope is this will spark revival across the globe. It need not make the news as long as it touches hearts and brings those of us who claim Christ closer to him as well as our Heavenly Father. Additionally my hope is it will bring new believers to Christ, as happened in Asbury. The world needs Christ now more than ever and Christ needs his body to come to him, for us to shed our differences and turn our eyes and our hearts to him.

As for myself, I can only hope those things Asbury has stirred in me is just the beginning. You may have noticed my posts have slowed a bit lately. This week I’ve been struggling to write something I felt worth sharing. It’s not “writer’s block”, I don’t believe in that nonsense, but I cannot seem to find a satisfactory finish for those thoughts I’ve put down. I started to wonder if I was indeed finished. I don’t think so but as I prayed about it, God has shown me where I need to gear up. That something is prayer.

It’s not to say I haven’t been praying but I’m sensing the need to expand upon those things I pray for and pray more for those things I already lift in prayer. So I will pray for those around me, for those is positions of power and authority, for those willing to lay down their lives for others and their families and for the families of those who have laid down their lives. Of course I’ll pray for revival and for my nation, and my brethren in Christ. No doubt the more I pray the more I’ll find to pray for.

None of this means my two regular readers (or anyone else for that matter) should give up hope of new posts. I’ve not been given any guidance, much less clear guidance that I am to stop writing and posting. So I’ll continue to post as I have something to share. Hopefully this will happen on a regular basis – at least once per week. If you think of it, say a prayer for me now and then.

Calling the Body of Christ to Unity!

The previous two posts dealt with the body of Christ and how we are members of that body. These are important concepts. How do I know they are important? GOD wrote us letters about these things! God doesn’t do fluff, therefore everything He tells us is important. Now I’m about to delve into how these important concepts apply to us as Christians today.

You should know already that God chose you to be a member, part of the body of Christ. You should also know your part in God’s plan is important. Remember, God doesn’t do fluff, so you are not fluff. Look. I can relate to how some of you might feel. As a writer, I tend to cringe when I see authors with 10, 20, 40 books to their names. For many of them, publishing books is just a sideline. Me? Not so much. Writing has rarely been my day job. I’ve been a working stiff all my life and those jobs I’ve held, well, they were just jobs. When I’m being honest with myself, I have to admit I failed to understand the concepts I’m revealing here. That said, lemmetellya, among the humans in this world, there are few who can claim to be as lowly and inconsequential as a writer. Anybody who reads is a critic. Anything we publish is open season with no bag limits. No wonder so many of us writers are quivering blobs of insecurity. Whatever your lot in life, I feel you.

Now that my pity party is over, I should point out God does not see me like that. I cannot tell you how He DOES see my walk in any detail, but I know all those menial things I’ve done in my life add up to something. How can I say that? Because God doesn’t do fluff. Even when I can’t see the value in my life, God does. Who am I to argue with the Creator of the universe?

So let’s talk about this unity thing. First I have to fess up. The word “unity” only appears in the KJV twice. Both instances are in Ephesians, in the same chapter no less. Each of those instances refer to something different. Go figure.

Ephesians 4:3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

There you have it – the unity of the spirit and the unity of the faith. No way, no how, these two can refer to the same thing. But wait a minute. The Greek word for “unity” is “henotes”. That word is derived from the Greek word “heis”. That Greek work heis? It means one. Oh.

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,

2 with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love;

3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling;

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.

God talks a lot about “one”. We are all one body with one Lord, Jesus Christ, who is the head of this one body. Now consider the second use of the word “unity” below in context.

Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

8 Therefore he says, “When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”

9 Now this, “He ascended,” what is it but that he also first descended into the lower parts of the earth?

10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

11 He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, shepherds and teachers;

12 for the perfecting of the saints, to the work of serving, to the building up of the body of Christ;

13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

14 that we may no longer be children, tossed back and forth and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error;

15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ;

16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.

Whew! I know. It’s a lot to take in, but do take it in. Let it sink in deep into you. This is important. You are important. You are a member of THE body of Christ. It doesn’t matter if you run the company or if you “just” empty the waste baskets, you are where the Creator of the universe Himself placed you. He didn’t just place you in your job but He also placed you in your city, with your family and in your church and so on. In short you are exactly where you are supposed to be in God’s plan for you. This is something I’ve often realized at certain points of my own life – far too often to my disappointment. You read that right – to my disappointment.

The question that should have come to my mind then and your mind now is: was I right to be disappointed? Well, yes and no. “Yes”, in respect to the idea I knew then and I know now that I was capable of doing better. I was underachieving. “No”, because, upon my realization, I should have thanked God profusely for said understanding, then asked, okay, now what?

What took me so long to understand is God is ever gracious to forgive our sins and overlook our shortcomings, but even more importantly, He always meets us where we ARE.

Philippians 3:13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,

14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Now I don’t think for a moment Paul was stretching forward into next year, next month, or even next week. He wasn’t look ahead to tomorrow. Rather, he was reaching for what God put right in front of him. What else is there?

By this time you may be wondering what all of this has to do with “Calling the Body of Christ to Unity”. If you’ve ever tried to herd cats, or watched someone else attempt do do so, you may want to keep that in mind for the rest of this post. You need not go far into scripture to realize, compared to humans, herding cats is a breeze. Let’s start with Jesus, shall we?

Matthew 9:1 He entered into a boat, and crossed over, and came into his own city.

2 Behold, they brought to him a man who was paralyzed, lying on a bed. Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, “Son, cheer up! Your sins are forgiven you.”

3 Behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man blasphemes.”

4 Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?

5 For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven;’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk?’

6 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” (then he said to the paralytic), “Get up, and take up your mat, and go up to your house.”

7 He arose and departed to his house.

Here it was the scribes complaining. In the next passage, it was the disciples of John. Later on the Pharisees and then the Sadducees chimed in. Someone was always complaining no matter what Jesus did. Nor did it stop after they killed Jesus and God raised him from the dead.

Acts 6:1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.

Signs, miracles, and wonders followed Jesus, and the twelve apostles, and the 70 sent out after that. Did Jesus’ detractors stop complaining? No. they found new ways to find fault. Even after Jesus died and God raised him from the dead, the complaining didn’t stop. The apostles and other believers continued demonstrating the power of God via signs, miracles, and wonders. It wasn’t enough. What does all this complaining – the murmuring lead to?

Division. Division is the opposite of unity. Rather than believe God, the detractors all had their own little inklings on how things ought to be. We know the source of all of this. That has not changed. But I want you to clearly see how even Jesus himself was the target of dissidents. Jesus lived a perfect life. He always did his father’s will. Yet he was crucified because the Jewish leadership would rather cling to their fiefdoms than submit to the authority of God Almighty.

The early church was likewise infected with divisive forces almost from the start. These divisions within the church didn’t really begin to take off, at least as far as scripture records, until believing Jews got wind of Gentiles being invited to the party.

Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

This was a major division in the early church, but it was not the only one by far. According to Corinthians, early Christians were finding numerous reasons to split off.

1 Corinthians 1:12 Now I mean this, that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” “I follow Apollos,” “I follow Cephas,” and, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?

Here Paul all but directly tells the Corinthian church NOT to put him between themselves and Christ. Who are Apollos and Cephas? Cephas is Aramaic for Peter, the most prominent of the original twelve apostles . As for Apollos, his story, found in Acts, is interesting.

Acts 18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures.

25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John.

26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

27 When he had determined to pass over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he had come, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;

28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews, publicly showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.

This passage says much of what we know about this man. He was a powerful speaker and persuasive but until he met Priscilla and Aquila, he “knew only the baptism of John”. It also says he “he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus”. Thus, he surely knew about the resurrection of Jesus and the new birth, though this passage doesn’t say it directly. The next section offers a bit more light.

Acts 19:1 It happened that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples.

2 He said to them, “Did you receive the** Holy Spirit when you believed?” They said to him, “No, we haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3 He said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.”

4 Paul said, “John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus.”

5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the* Holy [the]* Spirit came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied.

7 They were about twelve men in all.


Jesus said as much himself:

Acts 1:5 For John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the* Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

As did John the Baptist:

Luke 3:16 John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the* Holy Spirit and fire,

From these verses and others there is a clear difference between water baptism and being baptized in spirit. On a personal note, I’ve always understood scripture indicates the spiritual baptism was to supersede water baptism, however this is not the practice in a majority of Christian churches today. Apollo was not the only one apparently confused on this issue. I do wonder how much impact his influence had on the early body of Christ.

Once again, we see division in the church. Oddly enough today’s body of Christ seems to be somewhat unified on this point, with most of them offering and sometimes insisting on water baptism while ignoring baptism in the spirit. Even these churches debate between sprinkling, dunking, and full immersion. This is a glaring example of division within the body of Christ. One article states the Baptists separate themselves from Presbyterians due to differences concerning baptism in the name of get this… UNITY!

What does Ephesians 4:5 state?

Ephesians 4:5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

Oh. I wonder which “one baptism” is THE one?

The letter to the Galatians deals with the disputes over circumcision in depth. According to the apostle Paul, there is no question. His contention was back up in full by the apostles in Jerusalem.

Acts 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers.

23 They wrote these things by their hand: “The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: greetings.

24 Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, ‘You must be circumcised and keep the law,’ to whom we gave no commandment;

25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth.

28 For it seemed good to the** Holy [**the] Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things:

29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”

Beyond their stance on circumcision, what strikes me most is what other instructions they gave to these churches… “abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality”. That’s it. They saw no need for a detailed rule book or a statement of faith or doctrine. They kept things simple. Amazing that.

However Paul later wrote of a different vision – unity.

1 Corinthians 3:21 Therefore let no one boast in men. For all things are yours,

22 whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come. All are yours,

23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ.

If you look at all of Paul’s teachings, you will see again and again this sentiment. If every one of us, each member of the body of Christ put aside our differences and instead that we speak the same thing – that we “ be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment”. Also note while Paul encouraged the Corinthians to be followers of him, this was restricted to “as I am in Christ”, thus placing Christ, not Paul, in Christ’s proper place at the head of the body.

1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Philippians 1:27 Only let your manner of life be worthy of the Gospel of Christ, that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your state, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the Gospel;

What an example we would be if we only lived God’s Word! If we set aside our differences, put away the “old man” and put on the “new man”.

Ephesians 4:21 if indeed you heard him, and were taught in him, even as truth is in Jesus:

22 that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit;

23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

24 and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.

25 Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak truth each one with his neighbor. For we are members one of another.

26 “Be angry, and don’t sin.” Don’t let the sun go down on your wrath,

27 neither give place to the devil.

28 Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing that is good, that he may have something to give to him who has need.

29 Let no corrupt speech proceed out of your mouth, but such as is good for building up as the need may be, that it may give grace to those who hear.

30 Don’t grieve the* Holy [the]* Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, outcry, and slander, be put away from you, with all malice.

32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.

Surely some of you are thinking I might as well become a “cat herder”. No way are all the Christians in the world going to give up “their own beliefs” to try unite into a single church. But wait! Aren’t some already attempting this? Isn’t that called “Ecumenism”? The short answer is, yes, and the organization is called “The World Council of Churches” (WCC). This is NOT what I’m talking about. Not at all.

For my part, I know this organization, the WCC, exists and that is about it. From my standpoint, they neither claim nor exert any real authority. In fact, as far as I can tell, the only church I see claiming a hierarchy with direct authority from God is the Catholic Church and they are not a part of the World Council! Oh my. Strangely enough, the World Council apparently insists members “pledge allegiance” to the Nicene Creed in one sentence and then releases any church from the responsibility of adhering to it in the next. Ironically, the Nicene Creed established the doctrine of the trinity in the year 325 A. D. and is the foundational doctrine of, wait for it… the Catholic Church.

Even today, anyone who fails to embrace the doctrine of the trinity is typically declared a non-Christian by most “True Christians” even though nowhere in scripture is the word “trinity” even found, much less any indication that one must accept this creed in order to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. Well, yeah, that kinda makes sense considering the new birth predates the Nicene Creed by over 300 years. So much for unity!

If it is not obvious to you, I’ll state it plainly: I am not, in any way, advocating any “centralized” organization to unify the body of Christ. THAT would be herding cats. I agree. It ain’t gonna work. Nor am I suggesting attempting to formulate any sort of “document” or doctrine we can all agree on. We have both already, it’s called the Holy Bible. Even that is subject to debate as I doubt if any two of us Christians could completely agree as to what it all means.

Rather, what I am suggesting is quite radical. If we each look to Christ as the head we will naturally be one body. How can we accomplish this? We each individually, strive to “put on the new man” as best we can according to our understanding. Meanwhile we accept those brothers and sisters in Christ as they are and do our best to find common ground. The end result is not our responsibility. We need only account for our own walk in Christ.

For me, the most common ground would be… do you accept Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior and believe God raised him from the dead? (Romans 10:9-10) Should someone offer something else, I’m willing to listen, consider, and pray about it, though I don’t anticipate many problems with what I consider to be the least common denominator of our faith.

In the end it is God who determines who is and who is not a member of the body of Christ. How would we then know? I would say either by a right dividing of scripture and/or discernment of spirits. Scripture is very clear when it comes to Romans 10:9-10. I see no ambiguity at all. Either one confesses Jesus as Lord or one does not. One either believes God raised him from the dead or one does not. To this date the only real confusion I see is from those who say Jesus got himself up from the dead. I’m still waiting for an explanation of what “dead” would mean in such a case. Here is another clear verse:

1 John 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God.

Many versions render “remains” as “dwells”. While I prefer the latter rendering – either way, is there any doubt that confessing Jesus is the Son of God is the litmus test here? Why try to apply rocket science? Once one’s credentials as a born again believer are established, what else do we need? Certainly some things such as a brother or sister in Christ practicing sin should not be glossed over. The scriptures provide for such cases. As for other “doctrinal” differences? Should I refuse to fellowship with siblings in Christ because they sprinkle rather than dunk? Or whether they do believe or do not believe in water baptism? Should I shun a church depending on whether they believe in speaking in tongues or not?

Granted there are some commonly accepted practices or beliefs I may not be able abide by. I’m just as sure there are some things I accept that other believers cannot abide by. The answers to these contentions are always addressed in scripture if the contentions are valid. In such cases we should be seeking clear understanding of the pertinent scriptures. Those areas that remain unclear cannot (or should not) be issues serious enough to cause a rent in the body of Christ.

The bottom line as I see it is we have clear guidance as to our we should live our lives as members of the body of Christ. By far the most importance guidance is to walk in love.

Ephesians 4:15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ;

16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.

Ephesians 5:2 Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

Colossians 2:2 that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,

Is it any wonder that wonderful passage in 1 Corinthians 12, dealing with us as members of the body of Christ, is followed by 1 Corinthians 13, a treatise on love?

1 Corinthians 13:13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

Romans 13:9 For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not give false testimony,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other commandments there are, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

10 Love doesn’t harm a neighbor. Love therefore is the fulfillment of the law.

God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but have life eternal.

Jesus so loved us, he laid down his life for us.

John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

1 John 3:16 By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.

I cannot tell you how many times someone has preached the doctrine of love to me, not to mention how many times I’ve read and studied these scriptures and contemplated these topics on my own. Thinking about love and vowing to do better is one thing, practicing love in the real world is another.

We can wake up in the morning praising God, soak our minds in His Word and in prayer, immerse ourselves in inspirational teaching and music on the drive to work and then someone cuts in front of our car. Or you find that fine thing you accomplished yesterday on your desk with REJECTED stamped across it. Or a coworker stops by and drops a bit of juicy gossip. At times like these, we need to redirect ourselves – renew our minds to God’s Word and hold fast to the truth.

In my next post I’ll offer some deeper thoughts on the practical side of living love. Meanwhile, forget about the unity of the body of Christ. In the physical world you need not think about reaching a landmark you can see ahead of you. You only need set your sights on it and take one step after another. Your head sees your goal via your eyes and your body goes where you feet take you. The same is true in the body of Christ. Christ this the head of the body for a reason. He will direct the body. It is not our place to unify the body it is his. Your part is to function as a member of the body. If you are a mechanic then be a mechanic in Christ. If you are a doctor – be a doctor in Christ.

Colossians 3:23 Whatsoever ye do, labour at it heartily, as doing it to the Lord, and not to men;

24 knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance; ye serve the Lord Christ.

May God bless you and keep you in the name of our Lord Christ Jesus


All scriptures quoted today were from the World English Bible (WEB)

Longer note on the article “the” as pertaining to the words “holy” and “spirit”: Regarding the words “holy” (Greek hagion) and “spirit” (Greek pneuma), our English versions tend to insert or omit the article “the” at will with little or no regard to the underlying Greek texts. The verses I’ve noted above demonstrate this quite well. Judge for yourself how including or excluding this article can alter one’s understanding. Those verses where this article “the” with a single asterisk * with an additional [the]* included denote where this second article “the” was omitted as explained below. Verses with the article “the” followed by a double asterisk ** are instances where there was no such article in most, if not all, Greek texts.

* In the Greek texts in these verses, the article “the” precedes both the word for holy (hagion) and spirit (pneuma) so “the Holy the Spirit” is a more accurate rendering and differentiates the Giver (God) who is Holy and who is Spirit from the gift of holy spirit. Given the common, nearly ubiquitous usage of these terms in current Christian circles, I can only ascertain our English renderings tend to follow the doctrines and traditions of men rather than God as pertaining to these words.

** no article “the” in the Greek

Per articles, punctuation, and caps, another longer note: Much confusion stems from seemingly haphazard sprinkling of articles, punctuation, and capital letters in English versions of the bible. For example, the Greek texts had no capital letters at all so one must be careful about assuming authority. I am guilty of this myself where I typically capitalize God and His Word, etc.

The Body of Christ – Members in Particular

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

The above is from the King James. The World English Bible (WEB) renders it a bit differently.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Why quote both versions? To begin with, I understand lots of people don’t much like the KJV. I’m partial to it because I’ve been reading it for so long. Even so, I like to get a different perspective now and then. Too often I find passages I’ve either missed for years or lacked a fuller understanding. The above verse is a good example.

The word “particular” can mean many things in English. Individual is one synonym. Distinct is another. When dealing with the concept of the Body of Christ, it seems quite relevant to take in the parts as well as the whole. You and I are the parts. Christ Jesus, as the head, is also a part. This passage in Corinthians goes to great lengths to emphasize each of us is not just “a” part but an important part of the whole. Surely we would be lost without the head, Christ, but that doesn’t mean your part is not important. Consider another reference to members.

James 3:5 So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! (WEB)

In one verse, James gets to the heart of how one little member can affect much. What is the tongue? Apart from the taste function, is it not mere skin and muscle? Yet how much trouble can it cause? How much havoc can it wreak?

James 3:1 Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.

2 For in many things we all stumble. If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also.

3 Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body.

4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires.

5 So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest!

6 And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna.

7 For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and thing in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind.

8 But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God.

10 Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.

Taking verse one into account, one may ascertain James is speaking directly to teachers. If this is so, does the mean those who are not teachers are excluded? Without a doubt James indicates teachers will receive a “heavier judgment”. The qualifying word “heavier” (rendered more severe and greater in other versions) in no way suggests those who are NOT teachers will not receive judgment. Indeed, we know from other scriptures we will all give an account. So, no, even those who do not teach can take these words lightly.

That said, I am not pointing this passage out to expound on the tongue, as marvelous and terrifying as it can be. While physiologically there isn’t much to it, few can argue about the importance of having one. The same can be said about any part of our physical bodies. Why, then should any member of the body of Christ be considered unimportant or even expendable? (God help us!)

This passage in 1 Corinthians 12 goes to great lengths to make this point.

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.

13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all given to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot would say, “Because I’m not the hand, I’m not part of the body,” it is not therefore not part of the body.

16 If the ear would say, “Because I’m not the eye, I’m not part of the body,” it’s not therefore not part of the body.

17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the smelling be?

18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body, just as he desired.

19 If they were all one member, where would the body be?

20 But now they are many members, but one body.

21 The eye can’t tell the hand, “I have no need for you,” or again the head to the feet, “I have no need for you.”

22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.

23 Those parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, on those we bestow more abundant honor; and our unpresentable parts have more abundant propriety;

24 whereas our presentable parts have no such need. But God composed the body together, giving more abundant honor to the inferior part,

25 that there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

26 When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it. Or when one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Consider the above in light of Ephesians 1:4

Ephesians 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love;

We are not simply members of the body of Christ but we were chosen before the foundation of the world to be part of the body! How incredible is that?! It doesn’t matter whether you are a sweeper in some obscure factory or a world leader – GOD ALMIGHTY chose you and put you where you are because only you could live your life. Recently, something Lance Wallnau said made this crystal clear to me.

Lance was talking about an interview he did with Georgia State Senator Mike Crotts who said he died, met Jesus and came back at the command of his wife Phyllis. As I heard the story, Mike says Jesus told him he still had work to do in government as a politician.

Now when I first heard this, one of my first thoughts was, “Senator? I never heard of this guy before. Must be he wasn’t much of one.” Of course I was thinking of a U.S. Senator as I’d expect one who was brought back from the dead to be more prominent. At this point, most of what I really know about the man is stated above. I cannot point to his record as a politician. His world and mine never intersected before Lance Wallnau brought him up. In fact, I do not believe we go directly to heaven when we die. I won’t go into all the scriptures I base my understanding on but they are extensive and far more plainly stated than those suggesting otherwise. So what gives?

First, allow me to give Senator Crotts’ testimony the benefit of the doubt. While scripture does indicate those who are “asleep” in Christ will rise upon his return, nothing in scripture says Senator Crotts couldn’t have seen Jesus when he died. There are others who’ve made similar, credible claims. They all have one thing in common, they lived to tell about their experiences. So even if my understanding is accurate, that does not preclude the possibilities of someone getting a peek at heaven.

So let’s say Crotts did die, he saw Jesus, and was sent back to live out his life as a politician. Okay, fine. Does that make his life any more or less important that yours or mine? Absolutely not! Whatever Senator Crotts did, it was stuff I’d never do. And he could never do what I’ve done in my life. Neither of us can do what you do. The bottom line here is, the events of the world does not, can not hinge on the actions of one person. In light of this…

Have you ever heard of the “butterfly effect”? Simply put, the theory states that the motions of a butterfly flapping its wings in, say, Japan puts into motion a series of events that have a significant impact on us here in America. At least that’s my take on the idea. While we may never know or understand all the nuances of this concept – there are a lot of butterflies out there – we can all nod to the idea that one tiny action we take now can reap some astounding (or horrifying) results.

If just one thing you do today can turn a ripple into a tidal wave, what about everything you do? Surely some actions will cause a greater affect than others, but which ones? On the negative side I can tell you from experience, I’ve seen more grief rain down on me for a single misspoken sentence or word even, than I ever bargained for. And, yes, I have seen some heartwarming results from a well-placed word also. If our lives tallied up to a sum total with the positives on one side and the negatives on the other, what would you want your balance to reflect?

As I indicated previously, these factors tend to be weighted so our lives are not just some game of sums. Every action you take produces fruit. That fruit can either be good fruit or bad fruit. In other words, you reap what you sow. How does all this relate to the body of Christ?

Imagine the impact the body of Christ would have if every member only yielded good fruit. Is this even possible?

Mark 10:27 Jesus, looking at them, said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God.”

Now I cannot say whether this will ever happen. Nor can I say in will not ever happen. This is not for me or you to say. All I can do is sow actions that produce good fruit. I am only responsible for myself. Consequently, you are only responsible for yourself. You do your part and let God be God.

We are all part of the body of Christ, and members individually (or in particular). All of us were chosen before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before God in love. Why?

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

We were created in Christ to do good works. Where? Well, HERE – wherever “here” is for you. When? Whenever possible, in other words, all the time. What is the end goal? What does God have in mind for us? Well… eventually I’m expecting some sort of party in eternity, each of us still has work to do here on this earth. As members of the body of Christ who desire to serve our Lord Jesus and serve God, what should our goal be?

Ephesians 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a full grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Notice the first word “until”. Oh-oh, yeah, I did that – posted just that one verse, even though it seems to be missing context. There is more to all this than what you see above. In fact, God has a whole structure in place to get us all to that point. That said, this is the goal – one fully developed “person” (my rendering) with Jesus Christ as the head and us members as the body.

Already I’ve gone long in this post. Between this post and the previous, I’ve shown where we are the body of Christ and members individually. This was God’s plan from the beginning. As members, we are responsible for our own actions (what we sow) and the fruit we produce. Yet there seems to be something missing. WE are missing something. Let me ask you… ARE we coming to a “unity of the faith of the knowledge of the Son of God”? HAVE we “grown up”? What is the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”?

If you are seeing what I am seeing, we not only are not there, rather, we seem to be drifting further and further apart. WHY? What I’m seeing is this is because we are taking our focus off Christ and turning onto each other.

2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul, myself, entreat you by the humility and gentleness of Christ; I who in your presence am lowly among you, but being absent am of good courage toward you.

2 Yes, I beg you that I may not, when present, show courage with the confidence with which I intend to be bold against some, who consider us to be walking according to the flesh.

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we don’t wage war according to the flesh;

4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds,

5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

6 and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience will be made full.

7 Do you look at things only as they appear in front of your face? If anyone trusts in himself that he is Christ’s, let him consider this again with himself, that, even as he is Christ’s, so also we are Christ’s.

Consider this passage in light of our topic. In the broader context, Paul is specifically speaking of his ministry. Let’s face it, life was not always easy for the apostle Paul. It seems everywhere he went, trouble, i.e. tribulation, followed. He was constantly attacked, beaten, and thrown out of town. Here, he writes of those saying Paul was “walking in the flesh”. He didn’t deny it but he did immediately turn the focus to God.

2 Corinthians 10:3b …“we don’t wage war according to the flesh;

4 for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the throwing down of strongholds,

5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;”

This is the essence of our spiritual battle. While I contend our individual battles must first begin with our own minds, drawing closer to our Heavenly Father and our Lord Christ Jesus in our hearts, we cannot simply ignore those “imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God”. Sure we can limit our exposure to such things but we “must needs go out into the world” (1 Corinthians 5:10 d)

Our goal, however, should be to get those beams out of our own eyes before we try to take the speck out of the eye of our brethren. Let me ask you… what would the world look like if each of us brought “thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”? Personally, I think we would have no need to “police” our brothers and sisters in Christ because we would all be walking in the spirit, in love.

And THAT would evoke the vision of Ephesians 4:15-16

Ephesians 4:15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, Christ;

16 from whom all the body, being fitted and knit together through that which every joint supplies, according to the working in measure of each individual part, makes the body increase to the building up of itself in love.

WE are the body of Christ – with our risen Lord and Savior Christ Jesus at the head, and those of us to confess Jesus as Lord as members individually. Together we make the whole, however the only true head is Christ. To this end, each of us should be “bringing every thought in captivity to the obedience of Christ”. To this end he gave us apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds (pastors), and teachers to bring us all together.

While I can envision how rank and file believers like myself can join with those gifted in ministries such as above to attain the “measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”, I find it difficult to reconcile that vision with what my own eyes see in today’s world – division, bickering, and so forth. Only God can accomplish this through His only-begotten Son Jesus the Christ. I don’t see God herding cats, thus WE must individually seek out and accept God’s Will in our lives. His Will is plainly stated in scriptures, particularly in the epistles to the church – the body of Christ. If we do those things, we shall surely see amazing things come to pass.


Maybe you can tell me how many times I’ve posted WE are the government. If I’d bothered to try, I’d have lost count long ago. Newsflash: WE are also the body of Christ – at least those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. (Romans 10:9-10) The difference between the two statements is one only needs to be a US Citizen to be included in the first group. One must consciously accept Christ to be born again of God’s spirit and become part of the body. So this post is directed at my brethren in Christ in particular.

Romans 12:4 For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don’t have the same function,

5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

1 Corinthians 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.

Ephesians 5:23 for a husband is head of the wife, as also the Christ is head of the assembly. He is Saviour of the body. [“assembly” is the Greek word ekklēsía often rendered “church”]

(For the sake of consistency, I’ll quote from the World English Bible (WEB) today unless otherwise noted.)

Today, “diversity” seems to be all the rage everywhere. Oddly enough there is no one group more diverse than today’s Christians. There is nothing at all wrong with this, in fact, there is everything right about it. “For God so loved the WORLD, He gave his only-begotten Son.” While diversity is fine, there is another aspect that is not at all desirable… division. No scripture advocates division, quite the opposite is true. The verses quoted above stating we are “one body” only scratch the surface.

In Ephesians especially, the apostle Paul revealed the mystery “which in other generations has not been made known to the sons of men” (Ephasians 3:5). What is this “mystery”?

Ephesians 3:6 that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus through the Gospel,

Gentiles were and are anyone who was not of the nation of Israel. Israel was a chosen people. Why were they chosen and not some other group? (Using my best, indignantly snotty tone) Well, somebody had to draw the short straw. It was them. There were two primary reasons for a chosen group. First, the Messiah had to be able to trace his lineage back. Second, somebody had to prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that no one else could possibly fulfill the law. While the Jews performed admirably in this respect, any group could have done the job. Only one man, the only begotten Son of God, born of sinless blood, could perfectly fulfill the law. Now about that “joint heirs” bit.

Once again, we need to look at Israel. They were chosen and they were also promised to be heirs of God. That mystery comes into play because what God did not reveal to them is the rest of the nations, the gentiles would get equal footing in the Kingdom of God by accepting Christ Jesus as Savior. Now, if the Jews had been paying attention, they might have caught on. Jesus told them as much.

Matthew 20:1 “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.

2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3 He went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace.

4 To them he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way.

5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise.

6 About the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’

7 “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ “He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’

8 When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’

9 “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius.

10 When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius.

11 When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household,

12 saying, ‘These last have spent one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat!’

13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius?

14 Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you.

15 Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’

16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

The key factor to note above is everyone got the same pay. In essence, they were “joint heirs”. Just as those who labored the entire day for the same pay as those “eleventh hour” workers got disgruntled, many Jews who accepted Christ after he died as was raised from the dead were put off.

Acts 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can’t be saved.”

Acts 21:20 They, when they heard it, glorified God. They said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the law.

This conflict is arguably the first recorded major division in the new church. With centuries of tradition behind them, many of the new believing Jews decided if Gentiles were to be included, they would have to be circumcised. This didn’t just refer to the act of circumcision itself but adherence to all of Judean law. They simply could not wrap their heads around how Jesus paid for our sins!

Paul understood it and he taught it.

Ephesians 3:3 that by revelation the mystery has been made known to me, (according as I have written before briefly,

4 by which, in reading it, ye can understand my intelligence in the mystery of the Christ,)

5 which in other generations has not been made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets in the power of the Spirit,

6 that they who are of the nations should be joint heirs, and a joint body, and joint partakers of his promise in Christ Jesus by the glad tidings;

7 of which I am become minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me, according to the working of his power.

One should note here that the word “partakers” here means to “take fully”. In other words, everyone in the body of Christ is equal. There is not longer any difference between Jew and Gentile.

Ephesians 2:11 Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision,” (in the flesh, made by hands);

12 hat you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ.

14 For he is our peace, who made both one, and broke down the middle wall of partition,

15 having abolished in the flesh the hostility, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man of the two, making peace;

16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby.

17 He came and preached peace to you who were far off and to those who were near.

Ephesians 2:16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, having killed the hostility thereby.

There you have it. No matter where we started from, as a Jew or as a Gentile, we now belong to the body of Christ. What does this mean?

Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.

19 So then you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God,

Read that again. We both have access by one spirit to the Father!

Access. It’s a big thing. Really. Here it is again:

Ephesians 3:12 in whom we have boldness and access in confidence through our faith in him.

Who is “whom”? Christ Jesus of course. Here it is declared we not only have access but boldness as well. God’s plan all along was to restore man to the original sinless state. In fact, since we were chosen “in him before the world’s foundation, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love”, God had designs on us even before Adam sinned! Furthermore, His intention was never for us to grovel before Him, pleading only after a blood sacrifice. He didn’t “lay down the law” in order to keep us in line and fearful.

Galatians 3:19 What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the seed should come to whom the promise has been made. It was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator.

Galatians 4:7 So you are no longer a bondservant [i.e. under the law], but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

There it is again! We are sons and therefore heirs. The law has served it’s purpose and now, since Christ, is no longer needed.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And again there is that concept of “one”. What’s that all about?

Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to walk worthily of the calling with which you were called,

2 with all lowliness and humility, with patience, bearing with one another in love;

3 being eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you also were called in one hope of your calling;

5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,

6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in us all.

Let this sink in… we were both chosen and called. Remember Matthew 20:16

Matthew 20:16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen

Ephesians tells us we were chosen in 1:4 and called in 4:1. How do I know this? Look at whom this letter is addressed to:

Ephesians 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Summing it all up, we were chosen and called to be joint heirs in one body with Christ as the head. This was no accident but was God’s plan for us all along and this is just the beginning. We are also members. What does that mean? How does this relate to our Christian walk?

I’ll discuss this in my next post.