The Body of Christ | Jay Fesperman (2/3)
“Get plugged in!” Heard anyone say that recently? It’s applicable. As I sit here, I see a lamp which is not plugged into the wall socket nearby. I know there’s plenty of power in the wall, but it’s not helping one bit to light up the room! Getting filled with the Holy Spirit doesn’t necessarily make you a blessing to God or the church. You may throw off a few sparks, but you won’t produce much in the way of life for the body of Christ. So God is working a great coming together among the Spirit-filled people of this generation – a joining together where the works of the Holy Spirit can be fulfilled. Paul says in Ephesians 4:11-13 that we are “being prepared for WORKS OF SERVICE so that the BODY OF CHRIST may be built up until we all reach UNITY in the faith“.
If you know anything about the state of the world today, you know we are just on the verge of the greatest spiritual warfare we have ever faced. But in the same letter Paul says, “through the CHURCH, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the RULERS and AUTHORITIES in the HEAVENLY REALMS“. It is the church’s call – in the plan of God – to establish the message of the GLORIOUS VICTORY right in the midst of ALL spiritual powers! The KINGDOM OF HEAVEN to be established in the midst of the kingdom of darkness. Hallelujah!!!
As we read about the resurrected body of our Lord Jesus, we sense there was something mystical about it. But I am sure Jesus had it under complete control. He walked the Emmaus road, because He wanted to. He appeared in the room where His followers were gathered just exactly when He chose. Now, in our day and in our [lives] we are blessed to read, “Because you are SONS, God sent forth the Spirit of His SON into your hearts“. God is MAKING out of US His family, establishing us in UNITY as a BODY.
I guess that most of you who read this have already had much of the blessing of God, as you have come into worship and fellowship with other Spirit-filled members. You have seen and experienced the flow of the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit [that] Paul lists in 1 Corinthians 12. You have probably also been exposed to a lot of good teaching from the Word of God. You have seen many miracles of healing and deliverance, heard prophetic utterances, [etc.].
But what I believe we need to look for now is the OPERATION of the spiritual GIFTS which are listed in Romans 12. Where are the GIFTS of service in operation, or the GIFTS of encouragement or showing mercy? That’s a SPIRITUAL GIFT! And how about the SPIRITUAL GIFT OF contributing to the needs of others? We who are MANY form ONE BODY! Each member belongs to ALL the others! We don’t have to be in a meeting for these GlFTS to flow. In fact, most of them won’t flow – can’t flow – while we are in the meeting. They have to flow when we are in our “natural” state, in a neighborly way! Obviously, these GIFTS were working in the first New Testament church. “All the believers were ONE in heart and mind“(emphasis mine). That’s UNITY! “No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had“. That’s contributing to the needs of others!
From Jay Fesperman’s “Letters of Exhortation”, Number 15, October 1981.