Posted by: Harry Sasnowitz | May 28, 2015

Not “Me” but “We”

When I first came to faith in Jesus Christ, I was fortunate enough to have found a faith community that taught me about my identity in Christ, and that Christ lived in me by His Spirit. Certain scriptures were sown into my heart early on and have served as an encouragement to me, especially during those times when I was feeling discouraged.

During such times, I have periodically declared things like:

  • I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
  • I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3)
  • I am the temple of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:16)

Yet later in my faith journey, I began to see that many of these scriptures didn’t so much pertain to me individually as they did to the Body of Christ as a whole. This is no insignificant detail. In fact, when Paul speaks of our identity in Christ, he almost exclusively speaks in the plural, within the context of community.

It’s not about “me.” It’s about “we.”

For example, to be true to the scriptures, let’s take a closer look at what Ephesians 1:3 actually says:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed US in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.”

In and of myself, I am not blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. But, as a community living under the lordship of Jesus Christ, we are indeed blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ!

Each individual member of the Body has been blessed with certain spiritual gifts, but no one member possesses all of them. We need one another! Where one member is lacking, another member can come alongside and provide that which is needed for the moment; perhaps wisdom, or discernment, or encouragement, or the gift of healing, or even the meeting of a material need. And this dynamic being lived out within the context of community is a much more accurate description of what it means to be “complete in Christ.”

It’s not about “me,” it’s about “we.”

Finally, Paul says that we (not me) are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and on this same line, he makes one of the most astounding statements in all of the New Testament, stating that we (the Body of Christ) are “the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Ephesians 1:23)

Wow!

But what exactly is this “fullness of God” that Paul is speaking of? He defines it in his own prayer for the Body of Christ in Ephesians 3:16-18:

“I pray out of His glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know (experientially) this love that passes knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulnless of God.” (emphasis mine)

Do you want to experience the “fullness of God” (otherwise known as revival) and have it overflow to the world around you so they can taste and see the love of God… that the Lord is good? It will not happen apart from the love of God in Christ being received and embraced, and that love being expressed one to another within the context of community.

“By this all men will know that you’re my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (John 13:35)

There are so many things within Christianity….. peripheral things that we allow to take preeminence over Jesus and His love. There are those who bounce from meeting to meeting or conference to conference, seeking “signs and wonders.” Others travel from place to place, seeking the “latest prophetic word” for their lives in order to “fulfill their destiny.” Others become consumed with dreams and visions. Still others focus on Bible study or “deeper revelations & mysteries” thinking that through these they shall experience more of God’s fullness.

We are masters at putting the cart before the horse. We want to do exploits, have great wonder-working faith, have deeper knowledge.

But the question is, do we have love?

“If I speak in the tongues of men or angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give my body over to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

There are many who speak of a specific “template” to follow in order for the Body of Christ to grow. The institutional church tends to mirror marketing ploys indicative of this world to attract more people. Those in home fellowships tend to think that starting more home fellowships is the “missing ingredient.” Personally, I’m not big on “templates.” Speaking of such misses the heart of the matter.

When we read the book of Acts, we see a people who were touched by Jesus in a very real way; they received and were deeply impacted by His love, mercy and forgiveness extended to them through the redemptive work of Christ. And this love was expressed to one another (and to the world) through a life empowered and compelled by this love.

They didn’t have the cart before the horse, but the horse before the cart. They didn’t need a template, they WERE the template. From a foundation of grace and love in Christ, they lived in community, truly caring for and loving one another in tangible, practical ways. And it was impossible for this love not to have an impact on their culture. As far as all the things that Christians in our society are so wanting to experience (the “prophetic,” dreams, visions, power, healing, faith, etc….), the early church had no problem experiencing within their midst. Such is the result of a faith community that is centered on the Person of Jesus, receives His love, and expresses it one to another through the power of the Spirit.

And if we think “revival” will come any other way, we’re just fooling ourselves.

Thirsting for this reality within the Body of Christ? You’re not alone.

But what are we willing to lose to find it?

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Responses

  1. EXCELLENT! This is truly the heart of our Father! That we be ONE as the Trinity is One… We are not fragments. We are a BODY. We were not created to live in isolation, either physical or isolation of the heart. What a BEAUTIFUL DESIGN is the BODY of CHRIST! Thank you Harry for sharing!
    Tasha

    Like

    • Thanks, Tasha! Looking forward to experiencing this very dynamic tomorrow evening when we all come together. It will be a wonderful time together in Him.

      Like

  2. Love, love, love this!

    Like

    • Hi Diane, I’m glad you were encouraged! And thank you for spreading the word through your blog.

      Regards,
      Harry

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Devo Mom and commented:
    It’s not about me?!?!?!?

    Like

  4. Love this!! We all have a part to play in the “body” of Christ.

    Like

    • Glad that you found the post an encouragement. The Body, as a reflection of Christ, is a beautiful thing as we let go and allow His life to live through us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amen… to walk as He walked. That is what He desires for us.

        Like


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