Ten qualifications for the rapture – Part 6
“Be In The Church”
(1Cor 12:13; Eph 1:20-23; 4:4-6; 5:27; Col 1:18,24)
“For by one Spirit we were all baptised into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.” (1Cor 12:13).
“By one Spirit we were baptised.” The baptism “by one Spirit” refers neither to water baptism nor to Christ’s baptism of the believer in the Holy Spirit, such as occurred on the day of Pentecost (see Mark 1:8; Acts 2:4). Rather, it refers to the Spirit’s baptising believers into Christ’s body, uniting them in the body and marking them spiritually one with other believers. It is a spiritual transformation (i.e. regeneration) that occurs at conversion and puts the believer “in Christ” (see the article on Regeneration).
“which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,21far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.22And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” (Eph 1:20-23)
1:20-22 Having been raised from the dead, Christ is now the head of the church, the ultimate authority over the world. Jesus is the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, the One Israel longed for, the One who would set their broken world right. As Christians, we can be confident that God has won the final victory and is in control of everything. We need not fear any dictator or nation, or even death or Satan himself. Paul says in Romans 8:37-39, that nothing can separate us from God and His love.
“Fulness,” (Gk plērōma) occurs three times in the book of Ephesians (1:23; 3:19; 4:13). Here, the fullness of Christ resides in the church as His body. The church potentially may partake of all that Jesus Christ is and possesses for the purpose of continuing His ministry and mission in the world (cf. Paul’s prayer for “fullness” in Eph3: 16-21). Paul further indicates that the church is on a journey to spiritual maturity “till” she realises her full potential “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (4:13) in life, ministry, and mission.
That God the Holy Spirit comes in fullness to reproduce the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus through the church is one of the foremost theological keynotes of the book of Acts. Fullness refers to Christ filling the church with gifts and blessings. The church should be the full expression of Christ, Who Himself fills everything (3:19). When reading Ephesians, it is important to remember that it was written primarily to the entire church, not merely to an individual. Christ is the head and we are the body of His church (Paul uses this metaphor in Romans 12:4,5; 1Cor 12:12-27; and Col 3:15 as well as throughout the book of Ephesians). The image of the body shows the church’s unity. Each member is involved with all the others, as they go about doing Christ’s work on earth.
We should not attempt to work, serve, or worship merely on our own. We need the entire body.
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph4: 4-6)
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