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If We Are the Body...
But if we are the Body
Why aren't His arms reaching
Why aren't His hands healing
Why aren't His words teaching
And if we are the Body
Why aren't His feet going
Why is His love not showing them there is a way
(From: "If We Are The Body," by Mark Hall)
People tend to forget that God has a role in salvation, and that part of his role is to guarantee that the changes which accompany salvation will be present. This is called the "fruit of salvation." We don't work for salvation, and we aren't saved by works; but when God saves a person, the works ("fruit of salvation") will be present. It is a natural part of spiritual life, just like breathing is a part of physical life; and it will express itself in some manner.
This fact is ignored by many, but it is serious enough to warrant being repeated: The "fruit of salvation" will be present in the life of a saved person, because God guarantees it will be present. So if we claim that we are "saved," even though the "fruit of salvation" is not a part of our lives, we are making God out to be a liar.
It is not our purpose to evaluate the theological perspectives of the author of the above song, but to consider how we should respond to what the song says.
First of all, the key word in this song is "if." Scripture teaches us that the genuine "body" of Christ will do those things - reach, heal, teach, go. So if people aren't doing them, and don't start to do them (working as a group, since each member has different gifts and abilities), then they're not actually part of the "body." It's as simple as that.
When we hear a song such as this, it is not a "neutral" activity; for we must respond to it. Furthermore, we will someday be held accountable for the way we respond to it. When a genuine member of the body of Christ hears it, he will reflect on the words of the song, and will examine himself. If he discovers that he is lacking in those things, he will repent of his sins and return to Jesus. The others - the fakes - may get "good feelings" from hearing the song, but they won't change. They will continue to not do those things. Or they may have a temporary "spurt" of energy that dies out after a while.
The fakes may claim to be part of the body (and may declare it very vocally), but that will not cause them to be part of it. They can become indignant and offended, when a person warns them that the changes caused by salvation are absent from their lives. They can arrogantly demand that God bend his Word to fit their choice of lifestyle. They can treat God like a pet, and command him to perform miracles and tricks for them - such as saving them without changing them. But it doesn't work. Nobody who comes to God with that attitude will survive the Day of Justice.
Philippians 1:6 - ... being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 8:10 - "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days," says the Lord; "I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be their God, and they will be my people."
2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.
Phiippians 2:13 - For it is God who works in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure.
Romans 8:29 - For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Ephesians 2:10 - For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.
Luke 6:46 - "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say?"
Mark 7:6 - He answered them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. ...' "
Galatians 6:7 - Don't be deceived. God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
James 4:17 - To him therefore who knows to do good, and doesn't do it, to him it is sin.
Ezekiel 33:31-32 - They come to you as the people comes, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but don't do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their gain. Behold, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they don't do them.
2 Peter 2:21-22 - For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog turns to his own vomit again," and "the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire."
1 John 3:9 - Whoever is born of God doesn't commit [practice as a lifestyle] sin, because his [God's] seed remains in him; and he can't sin, because he is born of God.
1 John 4:20 - If a man says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who doesn't love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
Acts 26:20 - [I, Paul] declared first to them of Damascus, at Jerusalem, and throughout all the country of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance.
John 8:31-32 - Jesus therefore said to those Jews who had believed him, "If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
James 1:22 - But be doers of the word, and not only hearers, deluding your own selves.
1 Peter 5:6 - Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time;
Dennis Hinks © 2006
Scripture quoted from the World English Bible (public domain).