IMPERFECTIONS of the Body of Christ

Monday, March 10, 2008

Imperfections Of The Body Of Christ
Pastor David L. Burns
Mar 4, 2008

The imperfections of the Body of Christ seem to bother me more than most Christians. It is not that I am legalistic or a crusty, mean ole Christian judging everyone I meet. Rather, after having studied the Scriptures for three decades, I have come to realize that we, as a Body of Christ, can be what the Word of God calls us to be.

Sometimes I wonder why the LORD has allowed me to see so many imperfections because other Christians and pastors seem blind or oblivious to this deficiency of holiness. I believe that the LORD has opened my heart to be bothered by the sins of His people so that I might preach against it and encourage the Body of Christ to live a holy life as prescribed in the New Testament and to pray for the Body of Christ.

What is really unique though is that He has blessed me with a perfect church. Okay, not really...But the closest I’ve seen. We all know there is no perfect church because people are not flawless. We all have our weaknesses and flaws and those enter into the Body of Christ. Yet, as I have sought the LORD about my own congregation’s growth, purity and maturity, I believe the LORD has shown to me that it is possible for every church to become healthy and strong, to turn from sin, and to avoid even the appearance of evil.

I believe if I had never observed a congregation's growth and health like this, then I might think it would be impossible and find the work of a pastor hopeless.

Words are powerful and have great influence. The Word of God is just that...Words from God have power to influence us to change from living unholy lives and move us to live our lives to please God. This is why I preach and teach the Word of God. I really believe with all my heart, soul and mind that by proclaiming the LORD'S Word that hearers will be set free from sin and rise up in the power of the Holy Spirit to live a victorious life in Christ. I really do!

Yet, I believe that the Body of Christ cannot live a victorious life until she has truly repented of sins, and has decided to live 100% for Jesus. When the Body of Christ is unequally yoke...living for Christ and for the world...well Jesus said, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money" (Matthew 6:24).

Paul said, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?" (2 Corinthians 6:14-16).

I heard yesterday that only 7% of Christians hold a Christian worldview. This means that 93% of the Body of Christ is in the world and of the world. Someone has to preach and teach to this great need. 93% of the Body of Christ has not been transformed by the renewing of their minds and are still living according to the patterns of this world (Romans 12:1-3).

So yesterday in my prayer time I, once again, became burden for those perishing without Christ. I begin to pray for opportunities to preach to the lost and speak the Truth in love to the Body of Christ. I thanked God for allowing me the privilege to see beyond the surface of the Body of Christ, and see shortcomings, sins and disobedience, and for giving me the strength to speak His Truth, encouraging the Body of Christ to truly be prepared for His soon return.

It is like this, if all of my six children were in the kitchen and one of them burned their hand on the stove, the first thing I would do is attend to the child that was hurt. But soon, I would gather all six children together and warn them not to burn themselves. The one who did get burned might say, "Hey, you’re talking directly about me!" Not really, but having seen what can happen, does it not make sense to warn the Body of Christ. All through the Bible, time after time, we see this, how someone fell into sin, and others were warned not to do the same thing.
Paul warned Timothy to hold on to his faith and endure to the end so that he would not fall away from his salvation like Hymenaeus and Alexander did.

"Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith. Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme" (1 Timothy 1:18-20).

I believe proclaiming the Word of God makes the difference between whether someone ends up in Heaven or hell. If I fail to warn the Body of Christ and fail to preach the whole counsel of the LORD, many will go to hell having not heard the Word of the LORD. Many false converts may never truly be saved. So I stand with confidence in the LORD, preaching, teaching, encouraging and warning in Jesus’ Name. It’s who I am.

Dear Heavenly Father, what a joy it is to serve You, to preach Your Word and to encourage the Body of Christ. I pray that You will continue to use these daily teachings of Your Word to perfect Your Body, so that we can enjoy a healthy and strong Body of Christ. In Jesus' Mighty Name, AMEN!

Re-arranging my life for Christ,
David L. Burns
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