Living in the Body of Christ

Set a wicked man over him, and let an accuser stand at his right hand.”  (Psalm 109:6)

Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”  (Revelation 12:10)

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”  (1 John 2:1)  

The recent publicity around the Zimmerman trial is a timely reminder of the power of prosecution and defense lawyers.  Scripture tells us that Satan fills the role of accuser (prosecution) and that the Lord Jesus is our advocate (defense).  The blessed news is that our advocate defends us on His merits alone, and our hope rests on this alone!

Closer to home, we may see ourselves taking the role of accuser or advocate in our family, work, or church relationships.

This temptation seems to be acute where we carry our expectations for perfection to those closest to us.  Much of this can be clothed in righteous reasoning that we care about the other person’s sanctification.  In reality, our “concern” is often motivated by our own wants or a desire to distance ourselves from the otherʼs sins.

It is convenient to think that we are distinct from othersʼ sins.  Their sin is their problem, and that is why they need correcting, right? As a father, I know that my sin is as connected to my wife and children as theirs is to me.  Paul’s analogy of the “body” of Christ (1 Corinthians 11) extends this connectedness to all believers.  My wife or children’s problems are my own and vice versa, and the same applies to my brothers in Christ.  This point of view transforms the role we are likely to play in our relationships with a sinning brother or sister.  If I see myself as connected, I will readily “come along side” like the Holy Spirit to lift this brother, sibling, child, or parent up.  If I see them as distinct and singularly at fault, my default will likely be that of the accuser. 

Are you “connected” to those around you?