Friday, February 13, 2015

The church's brain

brain tree
TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a

TO CHEW ON: "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." 1 Corinthians 12:13


In our physical bodies, there is one organ, I would submit, that is more important than all the others. It is the brain.

The brain is the body's command center. It is only through a properly functioning brain that we see, hear, taste, smell, move about, and think. There is a section in the brain where even our seemingly automatic functions like breathing and heart beating are controlled. We can live minus a hand or foot, eyes or even without our heart and lungs (if we're hooked up to artificial ones) but we can't live without the brain. When someone is "brain dead" the line between death and life has been crossed.

In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, where Paul likens the church to the body with all its members having differing, complementary, mutually beneficial functions, I think we could say that the Holy Spirit is the brain. He is the life-giver and coordinator of the body of Christ, the church. Here are some things for which the Holy Spirit is responsible:

  • He gives life - John 6:63. Through Him we become part of the body - 1 Corinthians 12:13.
  • The baptism of the Spirit is for each one - Acts 2:3; 10:44; 1 John 2:20.
  • The Spirit gives us assurance that we are part of this body - Romans 8:16.
  • Life in the Spirit is for each one - Galatians 4:6; 1 John 3:24.
  • We are intimately connected to Him - John 14:17.
  • He teaches us - 1 John 2:27. The promise is that in a time of pressure, He'll even give us the words to say - Mark 13:11; Luke 12:12; John 14:26.
  • He guides us into truth - John 16:13.
  • He orchestrated the movements of the Apostles in the early church - Acts 8:39; 10:19,20; 16:6.
  • He appointed individuals for specific tasks - Acts 13:2.

Just like the smooth functioning of a body part is impacted when its connection to the brain is damaged or severed, so our use to the church body is impacted when our connection to the Holy Spirit is interrupted by:
  • Lying to the Spirit (see the story of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5).
  • Blaspheming against the Spirit - Mark 3:29.
  • Resisting the Spirit - Acts 7:51.
  • Grieving the spirit - Ephesians 4:30.
  • Quenching the Spirit - 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
  • Insulting the Spirit - Hebrews 10:29.

We are probably unaware of our brain activity—though essential to life. Similarly we may be unaware of the Spirit's work in and through us. But like we sense something amiss in our physical bodies when that connection to the brain is broken or damaged, we may sense something is wrong spiritually when our connection to the Holy Spirit is damaged.

The good news is, this connection can be re-established. It's done not through medicine or surgery, but by confessing our sin and turning from it - Psalm 51:1-11; Ephesians 4:25-32.

PRAYER: Dear Holy Spirit, help me to preserve a healthy connection to You, so I will be a functioning and useful member of the body of Christ on earth. Amen.

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Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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