Along with other books, I’m reading Romans and it’s the entire chapter 10 for me. It’s how as the church, we can zealously call on the name of the Lord and not realise that we ourselves still need saving… saving from a lot, including that “us versus them mentality”.
“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal.
As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.”
But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.” And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.” But regarding Israel, God said, “All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.” — Romans 10:1-2, 11-12, 18-21 NLT
It’s honestly baffling how we can’t see that in dubbing ourselves “Speck Savers” we unknowingly try to veer people off Christ’s saving grace… His grace that’s given to us in spite of us, not because we were saved in the first place. We are all sinners saved. Not saved saved.
About the Body of Christ and parts God appointed for the church, there is a reason Paul said “some parts”, and not “all parts” before listing out apostles, prophets, teachers, people who perform miracles, heal, lead and speak in and interpret unknown languages. In neglecting the “some”, we’ve projected that the Body of Christ and parts God appointed to the church is strictly for those in the church… “For Christians Only”. When really, Paul put that forward because Jesus’s assignment was more importantly for those outside what we now call the church, of which the church really is inclusive of the lost, blind, broken-hearted, sick, captive — all both physically and spiritually speaking.
“Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.” — 1 Corinthians 12:28 NLT
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord has anointed and commissioned me To bring good news to the humble and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up [the wounds of] the brokenhearted, To proclaim release [from confinement and condemnation] to the [physical and spiritual] captives And freedom to prisoners, To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance and retribution of our God, To comfort all who mourn,” — Isaiah 61:1-2 AMP
Yes, there’s a place to equip the church, but more importantly, the equipping of the church is incomplete if the world isn’t equipped. If we keep focusing on equipping the church while telling the world “you can’t sit with us till you’re perfect” when we ourselves are far from mature… what are we actually doing???
Who better to proclaim a prophecy to than someone who is unable to spiritually see ahead? Who better to preach the Good News and push the Kingdom of God to than someone who has no awareness about both? If we just prophesy to prophets, teach teachers, preach about the Kingdom to those in the Kingdom, perform miracles to those who should be miracle performers themselves — all as enabled by Holy Spirit —; are we even really doing a thing? Meeehhnnnn!
Allow me to enabledly put it to you that the remainder of the parts God appoints for the church — who also make up the Body of Christ — are actually in and off the world. They just need to be translated into not being of the world like we ourselves were — and still are being — translated. We focus on us being the only parts and think we’ve done a thing. 🤦🏾♀️
“But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary. And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.” — 1 Corinthians 12:18-20, 22-26 NLT
Again, it’s not about “us versus them”, it’s about Christ and there are no separations with Him in the picture. He is in the entire picture. He didn’t die just for parts, He died for the whole. He is our binding factor. His Spirit is our binding agent. Christ lives in us all. His blood was shed for us all whether we’ve come to know Him or not. Holy Spirit is poured on all flesh whether we’ve invited Him in or not. Christ’s Body was broken, shared — prior to Him being sacrificed might I add, not after —; and is both for the sinner and the saved, Gentile and Jew, lost and found, bound and free — *insert whatever those spectrums translate to in today’s age*. These are the glorious riches we have in Him.
“This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” — Colossians 1:26-27 NLT
“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. — Colossians 1:26-29 MSG
Holy Spirit, You are doing a thing in our hearts… several makeovers. Thank You as you enable us let go and divorce our preconceived notions and inclinations to try to keep the law, thinking it makes us right with our Father. Thank You for bringing us all into alignment with our Father’s way of making people right with Him… whether or not it “sits right with us”. Give us the patience to extend the same grace Christ extends to us.
May we allow You rummage through, demolish, extract and evacuate every misunderstanding of Christ — every misinterpretation of God’s Word. May we trust You as You reveal and flood all God’s Truth into our hearts.
It’s through Christ I pray.
Scriptures for further understanding
1 Corinthians 12:12-27