Members of His Body

Ephesians 1:22-23 And He subjected all things under His feet and gave Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fullness of the One who fills all in all.

Romans 12:5 So we who are many are one Body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

In His ascension, Christ is the Head of the Body of Christ, which is the church (not figuratively, as in the president or leader of the church, but literally). You see, there is a Body in this universe which is the Body of the incarnated, crucified, resurrected, and ascended Christ. Finally, let’s see how this wonderful Head relates to us! 

By believing into Him and receiving Him into us to be our life, we, (yes, that’s you and I!), become the many members, the parts, of this universal Body of Christ.

Prayer: How awesome it is, dear Lord Jesus, that You are now our life, and that we are the members of Your very Body! – Amen!

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Calling on the Name of the Lord – The Way to Call

2 Timothy 2:22 But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Zephaniah 3:9 For then I will change the language of the peoples / Into a pure language / That they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, / To serve Him with one accord.

Psalm 81:10 I am Jehovah your God, / Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt; / Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

We should call on the Lord out of a pure heart, seeking nothing more than God Himself. We can call on Him loudly or quietly, but the best way is to call out, to call audibly. God gave us a mouth to call on Him. Romans 10:9 says, “That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Furthermore, we should call on the Lord’s name daily and even moment by moment. This is just like our breathing. Calling on His name is the simplest and sweetest prayer. By calling on His name throughout the day, we can pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 says, “Always rejoice / Unceasingly pray / In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

We encourage you to read this short excerpt on The way to Call
https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/THE-WAY-TO-CALL.HTML

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Calling on the Name of the Lord – Breathing and Drinking

Isaiah 12:3-4 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day you will say: “Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted.” – NKJV

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

We are the lovers of Jesus and are learning to breathe and drink Him in. Singing hymn 1340 below is a great way to enjoy what He is to us! 

Therefore with joy shall ye draw water
Out of the wells of salvation.
And in that day shall ye say,
Praise the Lord.
 (Repeat the above four lines)

Call upon His name,
Declare His doings among the people,
Make mention that His name is exalted.
Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion:
For great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

If you have time, read this great excerpt on breathing and drinking by calling on the name of the Lord:
https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/BREATHING-AND-DRINKING-BY-CALLING-ON-THE-NAME-OF-THE-LORD.HTML

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Calling on the Name of the Lord – The Name Which is above Every name

Philippians 2:9-11 Therefore also God highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 And every tongue should openly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

A sister named Margaret E Barber wrote the song below. When we sing it. It fills us with an appreciation for the Lord’s name.

1
Glorious, mighty Name of Jesus,
Into Thy dear Name I flee;
“Set aloft,” I praise and worship,
For Thy Name is victory!

2
Blessed Jesus! Mighty Savior!
In Thy Name is all I need;
Just to breathe the Name of Jesus,
Is to drink of Life indeed.

3
Glorious, mighty Name of Jesus,
Heav’n and earth its pow’r proclaim;
But forgiven sinners only,
Know the balm of Jesus’ Name.

4
Jesus! Jesus! Name most precious,
Balm in pain or mighty sword;
In Thy Name, we live and conquer,
Blessed, glorious, coming Lord.

If you have time, read this short biography on the author of this hymn, Margaret E. Barber:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_E._Barber

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Calling on the Name of the Lord

Acts-2-21-And-it-shall-be-that-everyone-who-calls-on-the-name

Acts 2:21 And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

Acts 22:16 And now, why do you delay? Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Download Printable Gospel Tract

 

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Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

These verses strongly show us that the believers call on the name of the Lord to be saved. Before the apostle Paul was saved, he persecuted the believers. He actually traveled in search of believers to drag them to prison. One way he was able to identify them is that they called on the name of the Lord, and he could hear them. This persecutor himself eventually became a captive of Christ, a believer and a caller of Christ’s glorious name. He later told of his conversion experience and his baptism. The dear believers whom he had persecuted charged him at the time of his baptism, “Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name.”.

In your personal time with the Lord, practice calling on His name. You can say, “Jesus!”, “Oh Lord Jesus! Oh-Lord-Jesus!”. Just practice this. Call from deep within and each time, try calling deeper and deeper. The Bible says that the Lord “is rich to all who call upon Him.” (Romans 10:12).

If you have time, read this great excerpt on Calling on the name of the Lord:
https://www.ministrysamples.org/excerpts/CALLING-ON-THE-NAME-OF-THE-LORD.HTML

Saints

1 Corinthians 1:1-3 Paul, a called apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, and Sosthenes the brother, 2 To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, the called saints, with all those who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, who is theirs and ours: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

A saint is simply a believer, one who has the life of God. The apostle Paul had no problem calling the believers in Corinth saints. The church in that place was one with many problems, yet the apostle still called them saints. Saints refers to those who were redeemed by Christ’s blood. Since this is so, you also may boldly say, “I am a saint!”. This does not mean that God is finished with us. He still needs to spread through all our being, through our mind, emotion, and will.  This process is called sanctification and all the saints are in this process. 1 Thessalonians 4:3 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification.” The first step of our Christian life is also the first step of our sanctification. This happened already when we believed in the Lord Jesus and received His life. This is why the apostle refers to the saints as those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus.

We were chosen by God, predestinated and called– to be holy. We know this from Ephesians 1:4. You might say that this is what the Christian life is all about.  To be holy is to be separated from everything common. It also means to be filled with the One who is holy. Holiness is God’s nature. Only He is holy. God begins the process of making us holy when He comes in to be our life. This happened when we believed in the Lord. He came into our deepest part, into our human spirit. John 3:6 says, “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” We cannot deny that our regenerated human spirit is filled with the life of God, with the One who is holy. 

1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “And the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”. We are sanctified in Christ Jesus in our spirit, and we are in the middle of being wholly sanctified as He spreads to every part of our being.

May we come to Him again and again, and let Him spread. A song that encapsulates 1 Thessalonians 5:23 is God is spreading in my being. God sanctifies us, even as we sing spiritual songs like these.

This is another great song that conveys the burden found in the introduction to 1 Corinthians.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2LSMXNq7gw

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Regenerated

1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has regenerated us unto a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

1 Peter 1:23 Having been regenerated not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, through the living and abiding word of God.

1 John 5:1a Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been begotten of God

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

From these verses, we can see that regeneration is to receive Christ, who is the life-giving Spirit, into us as our life. To receive this life, we need to repent to God and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

To say that Christ is our life now is not a figurative statement. Christ being our life does not merely mean that we are now completely focused on Him. Rather, this means that we have literally another life, a new life, which we didn’t have before. Humans have the human life, dogs have the dog life, cats have the cat life, and believers have God’s life! The following short quotation emphasizes that by regeneration, we obtain God’s life.

Regeneration is having God enter into us as life—having the life of God in addition to our human life. This is the second life, the second birth; hence, it is called regeneration. In man’s first birth he is born of his parents, thereby receiving Adam’s life. In his second birth he is born of the Spirit and of God, thereby obtaining God’s life. Regeneration is to be born of God. (Lessons for New Believers, Lesson 1, published by Living Stream Ministry)

With this in mind, enjoy reading afresh the following passage from the gospel of John.

John 3:1-8 But there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This one came to Him by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him. 3 Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?

5 Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born anew. 8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from and where it goes; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.

With the human life, if you take away the life from the person, you take away that person. In other words, you cannot separate the life from the person. We also then realize, that just as one cannot be unborn of their human life, a believer cannot be unborn of their new life from God. We cannot be un-regenerated. This is good news! You believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; you have a new life, the life of God, and this life can never be taken away from you. This is what John 3:16 means when it says, “have eternal life”.  

Again, when we believe in Jesus Christ, we receive Him who is the very life of God into us, to be our new life. We are regenerated! The realization of such a fact led the author of hymn 1174 to praise unceasingly.

How mysterious! Yet how real!
Such a man now lives in me.
Into all my heart He’s spreading—
He, my human life, to be.
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
I will praise unceasingly.

(see the whole hymn here: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/nt/1174)

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Confessing

1 John 1:8-9 If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hebrews 10:17 He then says, “And their sins and their lawlessnesses I shall by no means remember anymore.

Proverbs 28:13 He who covers his transgressions will not prosper, / But whoever confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

When we go to the Lord Jesus in prayer, opening our being to Him by calling on His glorious name, “Oh Lord Jesus”, and as we tell Him that we love Him, “Lord Jesus, I just love You, I give my heart to You”, something begins to happen; His light shines upon us brightly, exposing everything in our being. By His light, God shows us who we really are. It is like turning the lights on in a room that was once dark. We cannot hide. We see, sometimes for the first time ever, what is inside of us, including the sins, and all the filth.

It is a wonderful promise from the Lord that if we confess our sins, He will forgive us. The New Testament is written in Greek and the meaning of the word for confess in Greek includes to repeat back what we hear. What God exposes in us by His light– in other words, what we see in God’s light, this is what we repeat back to Him. We might say, “Yes Lord, you are right, I did ‘blank’. Lord, I had those thoughts about ‘blank’.” By His shining, we may even see that we are rotten inside. We should tell Him simply all that we see in His light. “Oh Lord, I see now, this is how I am.” This is to confess our sins. When we do this, He is faithful, and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

His forgiving is His wiping out all of our sins. They are gone forever. Psalm 103:12 says: “As far as the east is from the west, / So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” This is what it means that we are forgiven. If we truly see this, and practice confessing our sins, we shall be beside ourselves with joy, appreciation, and love for our Savior Jesus.

The following quotation talks about what we must do with our sins.

When a believer sins, he should not ignore it or cover it up. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:/but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” When a believer sins, he must confess his sin. Do not give sin a nice name. Do not excuse yourself. Lying is a sin. When you lie, you should confess that you have sinned. You should not say, “I have said a little more (or less) than I should have.” You should say, “I have sinned.” You should not explain it away or cover it up. You should confess that you have committed the sin of lying. You must condemn lying as sin. (IF ANYONE SINS, By Watchman Nee)

Let us practice to have a quality private time with the Lord. Go to Him and open yourself to Him, confessing all the things He shines on. By confessing our sins, we will be filled with the life of God and unloaded of so many sinful things

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Forgiven because God is Faithful and Righteous

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 John 1:7-9 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin. 8 If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Hallelujah that we are forgiven! Forgiveness, however, does not end with our initial experience of salvation. We should experience God’s forgiveness every day of our lives. We want to have a rich experience of forgiveness. For this, we will see now more of why it is that God forgives us, and how it is that He forgives us. 

God actually has to forgive us – not only because He said that He would and He would surely not go against His own word, but because He is even righteously obligated to forgive us. To see this, we must understand God’s righteousness. God required the shedding of blood for our sins. God is righteous, altogether just. He cannot simply turn a blind eye to injustices. He judges sinners righteously, and, because He cannot tolerate any sin, the Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

In His great mercy and wisdom, God made a plan to save us from the wages of sin. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, this One who is God, Jehovah, the Great I Am (Romans 8:24, 58), to die in our stead and to pay the price for our sins. Isaiah 53:5 says: “But He was wounded because of our transgressions; / He was crushed because of our iniquities; / The chastening for our peace was upon Him, / And by His stripes we have been healed.” and verse 8 of the same chapter says that, “He was cut off out of the land of the living / For the transgression of my people to whom the stroke was due”. 

Jesus Christ was the sinless one. He did not have to die for Himself because He had no sin. Yet he paid the price for all the sins of mankind. The debt that we owed was fully paid. By His death on the cross, all of God’s righteousness could be fulfilled. God required the blood, and Jesus’ blood satisfied God’s requirement. Matthew 1:21 says: “And she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.” Had you realized that Jesus was born to come and die for us? How we praise and thank Him! We were supposed to die for our sins, but God gave us Jesus as the provision to satisfy God’s righteous requirement. 

Psalm 116:12-13 says: “What shall I return to Jehovah For all His benefits toward me? I will take up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of Jehovah.”

We encourage you to go to the Lord and spend personal time with Him. Open up to Him and thank Him for all He has done. He is truly wonderful.

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Forgiven

Acts 10:43 To this One all the prophets testify that through His name everyone who believes into Him will receive forgiveness of sins.

1 John 2:12 I write to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you because of His name.

Colossians 2:13 And you, though dead in your offenses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our offenses;

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

A most wonderful way to become a Christian, to receive the divine life, to be saved, and to be forgiven of our sins is to pray:

Oh Lord Jesus, I open my heart to You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I am a sinner. Forgive me and take away all my sins. I believe into You and I receive You. Come into me and be my life. Lord Jesus, I love You.

The following paragraph on forgiveness from lesson 1 of Lessons for New Believers is really helpful.

Surely a redeemed person’s sins have been forgiven. Acts 10:43, 1 John 2:12, and Colossians 2:13 show that as soon as we believe in the Lord and are redeemed, God forgives us of all our sins, and the record of our sins is completely settled before God. All the sins that we committed before God are forgiven and dealt with once and for all, and we are no longer condemned. Since we have been sprinkled by the blood and have thus been redeemed, our sins, regardless of how great, how numerous, how deep, and how serious, are forgiven by God. (Lessons for New Believers, Lesson 1, published by Living Stream Ministry)

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Believing the Gospel

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.

John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name. 

Ephesians 1:13 In whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, in Him also believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of the promise. 

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

John 3:16 and John 1:12 show us that…
1) to believe in Him is to believe into Him
2) and to believe in Him is to receive Him into us

Ephesians 1:13 tells us that our faith in the Lord is through our hearing the word of the truth of the gospel.

Have you heard the word of the truth… the gospel of your salvation? Well, let’s practice the following declaration together… Lord, I believe into you! Lord, come into me!

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Repenting

Acts 20:21 Solemnly testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance unto God and faith in our Lord Jesus.

Mark 1:15b Repent and believe in the gospel.

Acts 26:20 But declared both to those in Damascus first and in Jerusalem and throughout all the country of Judea and to the Gentiles that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

As used in Mark 1:15, the word “repent” literally means to think differently afterward, that is, to have a change of mind. To repent is to have a change of mind with regret for the past and with a turn for the future.

So, on the negative side, we repent not only of sins and wrongdoings, but we also repent of the world and its corruption that usurp and corrupt us; we also repent of our God-forsaking life in the past. On the positive side, to repent is to turn to God in every way and in everything for fulfilling His purpose in making mankind. This is a “repentance unto God”; it is to “repent and turn to God”.

Now we’re going to ask you to consider these very personal questions for yourself… What are you living for? Are you living for God?

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Redeemed – An Eternal Redemption

Hebrews 9:12 And not through the blood of goats and calves but through his own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, obtaining an eternal redemption.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

What is this redemption? The word redeem means to purchase back something which originally was yours but which had become lost. This redemption is exactly what Christ accomplished through His death. We originally belonged to God. We were His possession. However, due to our involvement with sin we all became lost. Nevertheless, God did not give us up. He paid the price to have us back, repossessing us at a great cost. The shedding of Christ’s blood on the cross has obtained eternal redemption for us.

The best news of the day is… That today, when we believe into Christ and confess our sins, we receive a full forgiveness of all our offenses that we may return to God.

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Redeemed – Christ’s Death Has Destroyed Satan and Released the Divine Life

Hebrews 2:14 Since therefore the children have partaken of blood and flesh, He also Himself in like manner shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who has the might of death, that is, the Devil. 

John 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it abides alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

Hebrews 2:14 indicates that in His humanity and through His death in the flesh, Christ destroyed Satan, the one who has the power of death. On the negative side, Christ’s all-inclusive death has solved the problems of sins, sin, and Satan. He actually also dealt with the old man, the old creation, the world, and the ordinances. It is a wonderful fact that through the death of Christ Satan was destroyed!

How about on the Positive side? John 12:24 refers to Christ’s death. His all-inclusive death released the divine life that was within Him, and this life bore much fruit. God started with a single grain and through the death of Christ, He now has many grains. We’re not going to get into this now, but… Do you know what the much fruit is – which is mentioned in John 12:24, that was produced by the releasing of the divine life?

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Redeemed – Christ’s Death has Dealt with Sin

Romans 8:3 … God, sending His own Son in the likeness of the flesh of sin and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh.

Romans 7:16-21 But if what I do not will, this I do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but to work out the good is not. 19 For I do not do the good which I will; but the evil which I do not will, this I practice. 20 But if what I do not will, this I do, it is no longer I that work it out but sin that dwells in me. 21 I find then the law with me who wills to do the good, that is, the evil is present with me.

Matthew 16:23 But He, [the Lord Jesus], turned and said to Peter, Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.

Fellowship to help us know Christ and pursue Him

We already saw that Christ’s death took care of the problem of sins, plural, but now we see that the Bible also says that His death dealt with sin, singular. An objective problem and a subjective problem. Sin is not merely objective, outside of us; it is also subjective, within us – in our flesh. Outwardly we have sins, which are offenses, trespasses, and transgressions. Inwardly, still, we have the basic problem of sin. Praise the Lord that Christ’s all-inclusive death has not only solved the problem of our sins, but has also judged and condemned the source of our sins, that is, sin!

So, what is sin? According to the passage in Romans 7, we can see that sin is actually the sinful nature of Satan. Satan is the source of sin. Sin is Satan’s invention, and Satan himself is the element of sin. Let’s briefly look at what happened with Adam and Eve. At the time of man’s fall, Satan’s sinful nature was injected into mankind. This means that when man ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he took into him the sinful nature of Satan. 

Actually, in the sight of God, sin is Satan. Can you see this from the verses in Romans and Matthew?

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