God's Invisible Presence
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3. God's Invisible Presence

Holy Spirit Body

The Holy Spirit within the Body of ChristThe power behind the Mystical Body is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit unceasingly animates us through Christ. Christians can uniquely say, "Immanuel" or "God is with us" for God's invisible presence moves within the personal Body of Christ. This indwelling in the individual remains the one absolute difference between Christianity and every other faith system. No other religion dares to claim that God or the Holy Spirit lives within them! The Holy Spirit is not only alongside but within the Body of Christ today. Through the Holy Spirit, the presence of Jesus is the one essential element at every level in the Body of Christ. An angry mob in a Western Province of China once pursued a missionary who escaped by leaping into a wide river. A friend later asked him, "What verse from the Bible came to your mind as you were fleeing from the spears of that murderous mob?" "Verse?" the missionary replied in surprise, "Why, the Lord himself was with me!" Is the Lord himself with you today?

Head Body Christ

Guide Dog PuppyJesus himself is the head of the Body of Christ, and as its guiding brain directs the limbs and organs. As the head of the body of Christ, Jesus guides and leads individual Christians. He works to mature followers in and through their lives of prayer, study, and action. In a human body, the head affects what the person thinks, hears, says, and ultimately does. "God requires only one thing of his cells, that each person be loyal to the head," comments Doctor Paul Brand (1914-2003), a pioneering Christian doctor. Probably the earliest Christian creed simplifies this agreement by affirming simply, "Jesus is Lord." These three words mean total and utter control of the Christian and the Christian church by Christ himself.

Body Emanations

Poland Statue of Body of ChristThe head of the body takes control of the mystical body at its many levels. An individual Christian is guided by the God who dwells in his or her human frame. In the household body, united by a common faith, Jesus combines many individuals' gifts and skills to influence the world powerfully. In the corporate entity, the head of the body orchestrates a multitude of parts to produce intricate harmonies of praise and witness. Across the globe, Jesus in himself smoothes out denominational differences and brings unity between races and nationalities. In the Heavenly courts, paved with shining gold, Jesus is the focus of worship from all the members of his eternal body. The mystical body extends back in time to before the Creation and forward to Jesus' triumphant return and beyond. When two or three people pray together or two or three thousand people sing along, or countless millions worship together around the throne of God in Heaven, Christ binds them together as the head of the body. Jesus, the body's head, controls every different emanation of the Body of Christ.

Body Head

Jesus of NazarethThe all-controlling head of the mystical body is Jesus himself. There are no janitors or chief executives there. Jesus Christ has complete, and sole leadership. Jesus' brain directs and empowers the church. Christ is the only Mystical Body Head. The Mystical Body resides in the church and does not belong to its clergy, leaders, or even congregations, for Jesus Christ describes the church in Matthew 16.18 as "my church." Though some Rectors would like to be "rulers" (which is what the Old English word means), the Body head does not allow a hierarchical or even a democratic government of the church. It must always be theocratic, a form of government in which Christ alone is in complete control.

Christ Controls

X-ray picture of a human skullNo one person, whether bishop overseer, deacon or elder, can rule over the Mystical Body, and no elected lay representative can control her. Only Christ can rule. Woe betide any individual who seeks to lead God's church without listening to and obeying the Head! Like a human brain, Christ directs every single one of the Body parts. The limbs flex under a network of tendons, muscles, and nervous system connections, but only when the brain says so. Jesus, the Mystical Body Head, orchestrates every heartbeat and breath. Therefore, no one part of the Body of Christ is more important than any other. Though the various individual segments, like an intricate hand or a focusing eye, are amazing in themselves, Jesus as Mystical Body Head empowers each one not because they are superior but because they belong to his body.

No Janitors

JanitorThere are no janitors and no chief executives in the Body of Christ. All members are unique and special, not because of what they do, but because they are obedient to Christ's head. The head himself lights up all their gifts irrespective of gender, age, or ability for the Body's good. Saint Paul writes in Ephesians 4.15, "we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is Christ." You and I truly find ourselves when Christ as the head takes control of us. "There are two great days in a person's life," wrote Professor William Barclay (1907-1978) "the day we were born, and the day we discover why." The Apostles and disciples miraculously revive at Pentecost into an ecstatic, fearless, and dynamic community despite being miserably depressed after Jesus' humiliating death. Jesus' energy as the brain of the body soars through all those he connects. Saint Paul explains in Ephesians 1.22, "God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body." Because Jesus Christ is also her brain, loyal citizens obey him, and he transfigures them by that fantastic relationship!

"God's Invisible Presence"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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