Let us become unspiritual for a few minutes and imagine an apple pie. Do your remember in elementary school our teachers using the example of an apple pie cut into eight pieces? They would use this to help us comprehend fractions. Every piece of the sliced pie would now 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.
I describe the fullness of the Lord and His manifested glory in just the same way. The church is the apple pie. If only one member of the church displays the fullness of the Lord, the assembly will manifest only 1/8 of his glory. I know that it is a simplistic example, but it really holds true. If half of church’s members are holding to their responsibility to be filled with the Spirit, that local body will manifest 1/2 of God’s glory. Displaying the fullness of the Lord takes the active participation of every member in a local body.
Many of our present church models and strategies are inaccurate in that they encourage many to become pew sitters, and very few to participate and minister. Truly then, only a small fraction of the Lord’s glory is displayed in our local assemblies.
In a previous study I also discussed how our church should operate as a human body, since indeed it is called, and is the body of Christ. Let us look at a few excerpts from that previous study.
Our human body is made-up of 200 bones fastened together by tissues and ligaments. The circulatory system makes use of our blood as it is drawn through the heart’s right chamber and makes its way through into the lungs. The lungs furnish the blood with much needed oxygen, send it back to the heart via its left chamber, and finally propel into the main artery or aorta. The aorta’s blood branches 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 deadly left uppercut by the immune system makes holes in the foreign cells, and its swinging right hook swallows up and digests foreign matter.
Our digestive system starts up in our mouths. The food is broken into fragments by our chewing and is mixed with saliva. It then goes down the esophagus and right into the stomach. The digestive process is redoubled by the ferocious activity of gastric and intestinal juices. The digested nutrients are then sucked into the small intestine. The remains of unassimilated foods, and waste substances from the liver, are passed into the large intestine and gloriously expelled from our bodies.
Finally, our skin is one 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 human body, every one of its members knows exactly what its function is, and they hold themselves responsible to fulfill them. They do it with great effectiveness. The members of our body do not take glory or attention upon themselves, and they always works at their peak. Every member of our human body is active, and it is equally offensive as it is defensive in their roles. The church as Christ’s body and should operate along the same lines as the human body.