In my last post in this series I will briefly address the role of the body in exercising discernment. This of course requires being rooted in and drawing on the scriptures.
So how does the body work? The first requirement is that we need to be part of one! When we are born again we are made part of His body universal by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13). What happens after that depends on how we engage with His body here on earth, our fellow believers. Whether we are meeting regularly with a handful of believers or are part of a large congregation we need to embrace accountability to one another for our walk. The answer to Cain’s question in Genesis, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ is yes. We are responsible for one another. That is a key point of the verse below.
25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV)
A primary purpose of the body being gathered is not simply to listen to sermons, though they are important, it is to get to know one another and exhort and encourage one another in our walks. This requires a minimal level of vulnerability and openness to correction. The scriptures also say,
17 As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)
If you use a file to sharpen a saw it takes off the rough edges. We all start our walk with Jesus with rough edges. A major function of His body is the removal of those rough edges. Sometimes there is a bit of screeching and squealing as metal pieces rub together! Yet the goal is clear.
15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ – Ephesians 4:15 (NKJV)
He has called us to maturity and this requires a mutual submission to one another and a corporate discernment.
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 1 Corinthians 14:29 (NKJV)
21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:21 (NKJV)
So, let us get to know and encourage and challenge one another to grow in Jesus. Jesus is the head and we are the body. If we aren’t properly connected to His body we can never be rightly connected to Jesus as head. Our Father’s goal is to use everything in our life to shape us to look like Jesus (Rom. 8:28-29). Shouldn’t that be ours as well?