The Holy Spirit blood regenerates every cell of the Body of Christ and always pours praise upon Jesus. The Holy Spirit lovingly blossoms lives by his presence and rejuvenates members of the household of faith. The Holy Spirit also whispers that another person belongs to the house of faith when they come into our presence. Saint Paul wrote in Romans 8.16, "The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children." Strangely, we warm immediately on meeting some Christians, but other people leave us cold. It is a mark of the Holy Spirit working within them and us too!✞
What is the household of faith doing now? Is she slumbering, jogging, or being caressed? Is she straining to listen to a song or singing a song?✞
The household of faith can suffer from lack of exercise on the one hand and overeating on the other. A household may constantly feed on God's Word, but it may not be activated. An unknown poet described the dangers of inactivity,✞
How spiritually fit is your household of faith?
How can the wealth of some members of your household of faith "help the body care for itself and fuel its muscular activity in a hurting world?"
Are you a mentor to another Christian? How did that happen?
What "blood clots" in the body of Christ can you think of that prevent the work of the Holy Spirit?✞
The Holy Spirit's work is as the body lifeblood in the Mystical Body. Like real blood, the Spirit re-energizes every member of the circulation system. The body lifeblood in the human is a model of the Holy Spirit's work in the Household of Faith. In 1615, William Harvey (1578-1657), an English physicist, described in detail the fantastic blood circulation system in the human body. This principle is reflected in the ancient Biblical truth of Leviticus 17.11, "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." The phrase "Atonement for one's life" may be translated as "atonement by the life in the blood." Every organ, limb, gland, and piece of tissue depends for its life on the condition of the blood. Persons in the household of faith are like the limbs and organs of a human body. Though the blood is not visible through the layers of skin and fat, we cannot live without it. The Holy Spirit is the lifeblood of the body of Christ within the household of faith. Like blood in the human body, the Holy Spirit works transparently, cementing relationships between different members in the Mystical Body. Without fresh blood, an arm or leg poses a severe threat to the other healthy parts of the body. A gangrenous leg because of a blood clot in an artery becomes a threat to the whole body.✞
Similarly, when Christian people cease loving one another, the Holy Spirit is blocked. When a church becomes a social, historical, or political society rather than a spiritual-biological entity, decomposition begins to set in. The Holy Spirit matures and develops the household of faith. Being "in Christ" means having the Son of God's marks of unity, love, and purpose. By this, God, the Holy Spirit, reassures us that we are his children.✞
The Household of Faith has a Christian maturity objective as humans have fitness goals. Both strive toward spiritual maturity or bodily fitness. The Household of Faith has a Christian maturity objective in a similar way that humans often have a fitness goal. Physical exercise strengthens human muscles and develops subtle limbs. In the same way, outreach, spirituality, and love produce Christian maturity. The necessary protein and nutrients for growth exist in a shared Bible Study group, vibrant worship, love, and active ministry in the community. Wealth, like fatness in the body, is useful in the Household. Doctor Paul Brand (1914-2003), a pioneer in tendon transfer techniques, wrote in "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made," "In the Body of Christ, ownership of property and money is no sin, it is an important function of certain members. And when I liken wealthy people to fat cells, I use the image positively, as an admiring doctor who appreciates the role of fat. Hospitality and generosity are made easier by wealth. Reserves can help the Body care for itself and fuel its muscular activity in a hurting world."✞
Like the individual Christian, no Household of Faith is ever perfect or has reached its maturity objectives! A bumper sticker bears the same sentiment, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven!" The Household of Faith is made up of human beings and is therefore fallible. The critic and second-century Greek philosopher Celsus reproached the church as "a congregation of frogs croaking in a swamp." The English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909), called her "the leprous bride of Christ." Dr. Paul Brand (1914-2003) responded that the Early Church "was no Pollyanna Community. The epistles of the New Testament describe people and groups that experienced fractures and conflict, anger and division, as well as peace and joy." However flawed, this is still the route to Christian maturity.✞
As a child in the early Fifties, I remember two spinsters called Miss Church and Miss Butt, collecting insurance money every week from my parents. They were representatives of an insurance company that offered burial insurance for pennies a month to needy families like ours. As mentors, they gently encouraged me, my brother and sister, into a schoolhouse Sunday school and planted the seeds of my later commitment to Christ and ministry in the church. Another of my mentors as a teenager was George Hoffman. George was a scout leader and prompted me to take part in church and scout activities, though my family was barely able to afford it. On one occasion, George even gave me a pair of hiking socks so that I could go on a trek because he cared. Hiking socks still remind me of this gentle and great man of God whose earthly life ended very tragically for his wife and family in a car accident.✞
I look forward to meeting George again in Glory. He was the kind of household body mentor that I would love to be.✞
A Household body mentor like Saint Barnabas and another George Hoffman with his hiking socks encourage other members of the Body of Christ. We all have a mentor in our lives, whether we realize it or not. A household body mentor operates when their resources in Christ become another person's resources. This process is essential for clergy with household leaders and also for leaders with other members of the household. Saint Barnabas, who encouraged Saint Paul and recommended him to the Apostles, was an important mentor to him. Saint Paul, in turn, was a mentor to Saint Timothy, who advised him and prayed for him. Mentorship has gone on down the ages, even up to today.✞
The best Christian marriage mentor is committed to encouraging the other's activity. They dedicate themselves to support and encourage the couple. A Christian marriage mentor makes a total commitment to the couple being married. Husbands and wives should also help one another by spending time together, holding hands, and talking. They should be mentors to each other. To be a marriage mentor involves a total commitment and is the apex of the mentoring process.✞
In the Gospels, Jesus appears as a masterful mentor who moved among and affected people almost without them knowing. Rather than cloning disciples like robots or trained dogs, he encouraged them to think for themselves. Without realizing it, they invariably embraced his moral and ethical code. Jesus gave us an example in his own life of what we should do, as well as what we should say! The Holy Spirit empowers Christians within the Household of Faith to do this. Saint Paul wrote in Ephesians 3.20-21, "Now to him, (the Holy Spirit) who can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory." The Holy Spirit's "force of God" not only works alongside us but energizes us within, encouraging us to encounter and experience Jesus and to become a better mentor to others in the faith.✞