A few weeks ago I was cleaning out my rain gutters and my porch roof of all the leaves and mostly pine needles before winter set in. I was using a push broom to reach up over the edge of my corrugated metal roof on my porch to pull off several small branches and pine needles down onto my driveway. On my last reach up over my roof, the end of my thumb hit the sharp edge of the metal roofing which cut me very deep. I’ll spare you any further description than that because it makes most people wince.
I was the only one home at the time and I was sitting at my kitchen table holding a paper towel on the end of my thumb over another paper towel that was fairly saturated with blood, when my wife and youngest daughter walked in. The site of this threw them into a bit of a panic.
I got the bleeding to stop relatively quickly despite the depth of the cut and I did not feel the need for stitches, and a tetanus shot never occurred to me, since I’ve never had one in my life. I just bandaged it up and went on with my day.
Needless to say that this thumb, this small body part, was handicapping me greatly in the use of my right hand, and consequently my arm because of the injury.
It was about three weeks later that I was thinking about this, and came to a realization and subsequently a lesson learned. Paul says in Ephesians 5:30 that we are “members of His body”, and in Colossians 1:24 he says that the Church is His body.
Think about it; when Jesus dwelt amongst us in the flesh, His Spirit was in that body of flesh. Now His Spirit is in us, His Church, His bride. We are His body!
If there is just one saint in the local assembly that is spiritually injured and not in a right relationship, the body as a whole is affected, and at least partially crippled or handicapped.
We often think that our Spiritual failures, or sins only affect us, but that is far from the truth. In relationship with the Church, your local assembly, our failures in this area have an effect on the Church. If the local expression of the body of Christ is not whole and is crippled in some way, it affects our ability to be used effectively for His purpose.
In the case of our families, especially with the head of the family, if we are not doing right, our entire household and family can and does pay a price for that. Sin comes with a price.
Ephesians 5:30* For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
Colossians 1:24* Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:
1 Corinthians 6:19* What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1* ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2* ¶ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3* Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4* There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5* One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6* One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7* But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8* Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. 9* (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? 10* He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11* And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12* For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13* Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14* That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15* But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16* From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 17* ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18* Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19* Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20* But ye have not so learned Christ; 21* If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22* That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23* And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24* And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25* Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. 26* Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27* Neither give place to the devil. 28* Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. 29* Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
My thumb is doing very well. It is being healed and is being restored. While it is not completely there yet, I am seeing great progress and am very pleased. I did not lose my thumb, nor as some predicted, did I even lose the nail. It is amazing the way the body has of healing itself, when a member is not cut off or damaged beyond restoration.
What separates us from God is the same thing that separates us from the body. . . sin! There is a sin unto death as stated in 1 John 5:16. James 1:15 says that “sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”. Sin is a severing action caused by our own selves, separating ourselves from God, and from His body.
Hebrews 3:12,13 “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
My thumb was injured, but was not cut off completely. It continued to be given, and receive life giving blood and nourishment from the body. Notice that I said it continued to be given and receive.
Let me ask you a question; What would happen if my thumb became completely cut off or severed from the body and was no longer receiving the healing and life-giving nourishment that it needed? Would it not perish?
What if when this happened I did not put the thumb away from me, but rather clung onto it, not wanting to lose the thumb? Perhaps I might tie a string around it and hang it about my neck. Would it not whither there and begin to look unsightly to all that beheld it, and me. Would it not also begin to stink?
Several months ago in prayer, I believe that God gave me a glimpse of His body as a lame man walking. Sin cripples the Church! The sin of fornication, which includes sins involving pornography, the sin of adultery, of stealing, of lying, of covetousness. Also the sin of gossip, of backbiting, of slander, of haughtiness, a sower of discord, and a false witness all of which stem from pride.
God desires to do a great thing in His Church. I believe that it is not us that are waiting on God, it is God that is waiting on us. We need repentance, we need revival, we need oneness!
Ephesians 4:14-16 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.