Romans 1:6 “And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ” NIV
1. Each Believer belongs to Jesus Christ and each other
If you look at Romans 12:4-5 “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” NIV
A. As Christians we are to have relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and with each other.
B. Why are we called to have a relationship with other believers?
It unites us and allows showing the world we are different. So we can be the light in this dark world.
2. Our union is not in the physical form, but we are all united spiritually
A. Our relationship with other is to be modeled after our relationship with Jesus.
B. Which means that we share the truth, love and possessions 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 States that And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will” NIV
C. This means the relationship is based on us being dependent on each other for support and care
D. What we do as Christians affects us all and may have an affect on the local ministry as well as the a global witness. EX. When a high profile Christian falls in has a backlash effect on the view people have of all Christians.
3. Shared life is a privilege and a responsibility
A. Sharing this life is in the presence of God is worship all call for us to use our spiritual gifts
i. Use of these gifts comes with the knowledge that we are responsible to one another before God Romans 13:10 says Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. NIV
ii. From this verse we can see we are to love our neighbor and take care that no harm comes to them both physically and verbally.
B. As Christians we are also responsible to see that we use our God given gifts one another up and equip the saints to do the Lord’s work
i. This is necessary to insure for the church to grow in godliness.
ii. To not help our fellow believes is a dishonor to Christ. Acts 20:28 says “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
4. Responding in Mercy and carrying each other’s burdens
Is our responsibility and our privilege as Christians. Gelatins 6:2 says 2Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
A. Is is up to us not the government to provide for and care for the body of Christ and even those we know is in need.
B. We must also recognize no matter how deeply a fellow believer falls we are to be there for them Galatians 6:1 admonishes us know if “someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted”
5. Every believer is a member of the body of Christ and must live their life in loyalty to Christ, His Word and be involved in ministry.
A. This work is primarily local but can be expanded to include other areas beyond the local church. Acts 13:2 which says, “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off”. These passages are about Paul and Barnabas being sent out on a missionary journey but they are a clear sign that the church when called to must go beyond local boundaries in or to reach fellow believers and lost souls.
B. Our Fellowship and shared life in Christ should hold no barriers of race, class, culture, ethnicity, gender and geographic location.
In conclusion: We must act on the fact that we are one in Christ and use what ever gifts God ahs given to us to help fellow believers and also to carry the Gospel to the lost.
Ephesians 2:14-16 says, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility
All Bible quotes are from the NIV and were found at www.biblegateway.com