Our school teachers used the illustration of an apple pie cut into eight pieces.
This would assist us in comprehending fractions.
Every piece of the sliced pie would become 1/8 of the pie.
Four pieces would be equal ½; seven pieces would be 7/8; and the eight pieces together would make the whole of the pie.
The fullness of the Lord in the Christian which results in His manifested glory is very similar.
The church is the apple pie.
If one member in a local congregation demonstrates the fullness of the Lord, the assembly will manifest 1/8 of his glory.
I know that it is an unsophisticated example, but it holds true.
If half of church’s members hold to their duty to be filled and minister the Spirit of God by their spiritual gifts, that local church will manifest 1/2 of God’s glory.
Displaying the fullness of the Lord takes the active participation of every member in a local church employing his or her spiritual gifts
Many of our church approaches are erroneous in that they encourage many to remain the passive onlooker, and few to contribute to the Holy Spirit’s ministry.
Tragically, only a small fraction of the Lord’s glory is displayed in our churches and in the world.
The church should function as a human body, since it is the body of Christ.
Our body is made-up of two hundred bones attached by tissues and ligaments. The circulatory system makes use of the blood as it is drawn through the heart’s right chamber making its way through the lungs.
The lungs supply the blood with much needed oxygen, send it back to the heart via its left chamber, and drive into the main artery or aorta.
The aorta’s blood branches out into smaller and smaller places.
The first are arteries, designated as arterioles, which ebb into the furthest recesses of our bodies through minute capillaries.
Our immune system fends off unfriendly proteins, and infectious microorganisms, with the one two punch of antibodies. A left uppercut by the immune system makes holes in the foreign cells, and a swinging right hook swallows and digests foreign matter.
Our digestive system begins in the mouths. The food is broken into fragments by chewing and is mixed with saliva. It then goes down through the esophagus and into the stomach. The digestive process is intensified by the aggressive activity of gastric and intestinal juices. The digested nutrients are sucked into the small intestine. The remains of unassimilated foods, and waste substances from the liver, are passed into the large intestine and magnificently expelled from our bodies.
Our skin is a big living organ. It protects us from drying up, controls the loss of fluids, and shields us from harmful substances. Its sweat glands are our body’s air conditioning, the skin receptors distinguishing the levels of body temperature and pain, and finally our fat cells insulate us. (Excerpts are taken from Microsoft’s 1999 edition of the Encarta Encyclopedia.)
In our body, every member knows with accuracy what its function is, and holds itself accountable to accomplish them.
Our bodily members do it with great effectiveness. They do not take glory or attention upon themselves, and work at peak performance.
Every member of our body is active, and it is correspondingly offensive as it is defensive in its roles.
The church as Christ’s body should operate along these same lines but does it?
The great responsibility of church leaders is not to run a one man show but to facilitate and mediate these great processes, under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit.