Look to Your Joints

Introduction

 
Please note there is a powerpoint presentation available here
 
When I checked online last Thursday there were 53 current injuries reported in the Premier League 32 of these were to joints either Knee or Ankle
Not just Footballers either. Forgive me I know this picture looks a little strange. Does anyone know who this is?
Jade Johnson. Again hurt knee
Joints seem to be very complicated
 

Joints are Important

Joints are complicated

If they are damaged they take a long time to heal

Joint

 The Body of Christ

So joints are important joints bring that which is individually good about each and every part of the body together. We are going to come back and look at joints in a minute cos you are going to be thinking I didn’t come here for a biology lesson.
But the Aposdtle Paul uses the image of the Body very powerfully to communicate some essential truths to us. Lets turn to1 Corinthians 12:12-27- READ
Now lets look at that verse 27 just a little bit more carefully
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?
 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” ….
…..If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.
 

 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

 
You are each a part. A very different part but each a part. Christ is the Head.
You as a part of the Body Need to be exercised to do those things that God intended you to do
To be that person you were intended to be
If you are an ear then to be the best possible ear.
This month of teaching seeks to help us be just that –the parts of Christs body we were intended to be- To be strengthened exercised discipled and encouraged. Maybe so that they might begin to look something like this?
mr universe
 

No this is not anything to do with what you look like, or your personality, or what music, or films you like

 
THIS IS ABOUT who you really are. Something more like this
 
 wordle1
Well like all of us on the way to this anyway. YOU as a healthy part of the Body of Christ;

The Church

 

The Joining Places

 
But you know what I haven’t come to talk to you about you as individuals so much how you grow and mature in Christ. No I was led to a very specific verse as I was preparing and I want to share that with you
 
Ephesians 4 but let’s start at verse 11
 
Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
 
Why did Christ give us these Apostles and Prphets etc. So that we might become –Mature.
But more importantly what Paul is saying is for the Church to grow in Love there needs to be strong Joints between the limbs
 
If we are the individual parts of the body how are we joined together
There needs to be joints
Not just any old joints but effective joining places
What have we learned about joints earlier?
 

      Are Complicated –Lots of bits to them

      Need to take a great deal of pressure

      Allow essential nutrients to pass from one part of the body to another

      Allow Information to pass from the Head to the whole body


As it is with the Human body so it is with the Body of Christ the Church.
It is not easy to be joined and many give up being in relationship with people we didn’t choose is always gonna be hard.
What are the Churches Joining places?
But what are the joints where are these joining places in the Church
wordle2
In Ezekial 37 God asks the prophet- Son Of man can these bones live?
The obvious answer is no without being joined together they cannot live AND that is one of the most important points to take from today- You cannot make it on your own so don’t bother trying!
Let’s see how the bones ended up!
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.
He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD? This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone.
I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ”
So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.
 
Two things seem to come together in the joints –apart from the bones that is

1.      The Word of God

2.      The Breath of God.


And they exist in our joining s today- By joinings I of course mean any of those relationships or community life settings we agreed a minute ago.
 
The writer of the Hebrews also seems to hit on something when he speaks of the Lettuces in Chapter 10
 
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
 
I want to leave you with seven essential ingredients for a healthy joint in a Christian community.
Foster these among you and I know that you will not only be strong individually but also the whole body will be strong too. I want to pray God’s word over you now.

 

      Accountability

      Encouragement

      Testimony

      Practical Support

      Walking In the Spirit- The Emmaus Road

      Trust

      The New COMMANDMENT- Love One Another

 

Speak the truth in love, and in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.

So that the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, will grow and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

Tim Blake, 07/08/2011