*Be sure to read What is the Body of Christ (Part 1) as we are examining the fruit evident from a church working for the Lord. Part 1 contained the first five fruits. Today’s post will look at the next 5.
The body of Christ is…
- INSTRUCTING (“I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” -Romans 15:14) One of my favorite acts of service within the body of Christ is teaching. All Christians should pursue wisdom so that they may instruct others in the knowledge of Christ. We all should take every opportunity to study God’s word, not just for our own spiritual growth, but for the benefit of the whole body.
- FORGIVING (“ bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. ” -Colossians 3:13) Part of being in a family is learning to live with one another. The harsh reality is that it’s not always easy. Just as Christ has borne with our difficulties, we should bear with one another. Just as Christ has forgiven us through the shedding of his blood, we too should forgive others of their trespasses against us.
- ENCOURAGING (“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11) How do you feel when you are encouraged? How much more determined are you when people are cheering for your success? My guess is that you’re greatly uplifted by the encouragement from others and others find strength in the encouragement you provide them. The body of Christ was made for circumstances such as these because we will always be more effective together than apart.
- HONORING (“ Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” – Romans 12:10) Christianity is not about bringing honor to oneself, but striving to bring honor and glory to God. One way to make that happen is by loving and honoring one another and treating the needs of others as greater than our own. Jesus himself exemplified the heart of a servant, and we too should be zealous in our attempt to honor each other in the body of Christ.
- COMFORTING (“ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7) If you take an honest inventory of the blessings God has provided you, you will most likely find that you will never reach the end of his goodness. One of those blessings is the comfort that God provides us. The most logical response to that blessing is to extend the comfort we have found in God to others, and especially those of the body of Christ. Life is tough sometimes, and we need one another to fall back on in times of trial and affliction.
Be sure to return tomorrow as we look at five more fruits that the functioning body of Christ should show.