In this series, we will be looking at the HINDRANCES affecting the general growth of the Body of Christ, the church. We will be studying each of these hindrances (it causes and effects) and then conclude on the solution.
The Purpose of this series is to enlighten believers (The Body of Christ) about these LIMITATIONS and then to STRENGTHEN THE BODY OF CHRIST.
Before going into full details of the topic, we will be considering the definition of the key words in the Topic above: Limitation, body, Christ.
Limitation is the act of limiting or restriction(a bound beyond which one may not go). The quality or state of being restricted.
In its simplest term, limitation also means *restriction“. It is a restriction that limit something or value.
According to the Oxford dictionary: Body means the whole physical structure of a human or an animal.
– It is also a group of people who work or act together, often for an official purpose, or who are connected in some other way.
Christ comes from the Greek word “CHRISTOS” meaning anointed one. Jesus is the Christ, the anointed one. Matt16:16.
We have carefully looked at the key words in our topic, we will be looking into the meaning of the “Body of Christ”
Body of Christ is the Church which means the coming together of the saints to make a complete form of the Bride of Christ on earth and forever. As human beings we have different part of the body i.e ear, eye, leg, hand, nose etc. They are mutually dependent. Likewise the body of Christ (the Church). It has different members. Different gifts are being given to each member according to the grace of God. For one is given the spirit of wisdom, to another knowledge, to another faith and so on. (1cor12:8-10). The Scripture made us understand that all this gifts work as one.
1 Corinthians 12:12
“For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)” (AMP).
If you are simply a believer, you can act as you please, but if you are a member of the body, then you must allow yourself to be limited by the other members. Here, we find the necessity of the cross. The cross leads to the body, and the cross operates in the sphere of the body. If I am quick and another is slow, I must not insist on keeping my own pace; I must allow myself to be limited by the slow member, if I’m a prophet, then I must give way to the Evangelist when it comes to the matter of preaching to the unsaved.
I should not feel the need to do the work an Evangelist is supposed to do because I have the gift of prophecy.
“To each one of us grace was given according to the measure of the gift of Christ”
It is essential for the development of the BODY that we each recognize our measure and not go beyond it.We will carefully consider the Hindrances or limitations in the Body of Christ.
Between a man and a woman, there can be some shortcomings that can affect their relationship. When there is unity in the relationship, it is said to have peace if there is no peace then we can ask ourselves, what can cause lack of peace in a relationship. We will check them out briefly.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” KJV
Agreement is important in a relationship. According to the scripture we read, if there is no agreement between a couple, disagreement will surely occur and it will eventually lead to disunity. As a bride (the church) to the Groom (Christ), there is always an agreement that should be between both in a relationship. We will carefully look into what can cause disagreement between the bride (Church) and the groom(Christ) that is the body of Christ.
What is Disunity?
Disunity is lack of unity or agreement or cohesion. When we talk about disunity, we are talking about the lack of oneness and situation in which there is diversion in a particular organization, relationship, family or community etc. Diversion cause lack of understanding and having different belief and orientation that can not be agreed on. Lack of understanding between two or more people can cause chaos. Confusion can occur as a means of disunity. All these are fruit of disunity.
We were made to understand in 1cor12:14 that the body of Christ is not one member, but many members. Every members in the body of Christ has its own uniqueness. There is a need for us to be in unity In other to do exploit for God.
“For the body is not one member, but many” (KJV).
Disunity can limit the body of Christ. When there is oneness and every members work together there will be positive result.
CAUSES OF DISUNITY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST.
It is fairly common in discussion about Church relations to cite Jesus so- called high priests prayer (John 17) and his concern that they should be one. Jesus himself connects the unity of his followers with the oneness of God himself, and in both Christians and Jewish contexts, this is a fundamental truth about the nature of God.
What is less common is to cite the cause behind either unity or disunity, and Jesus also make these unequivocally clear when he prays that;
“Sanctify them by your truth, Your word is truth” (NKJV).
And this sanctification in truth is what leads to unity. The early church in Jerusalem increase daily and grows mightily because the world saw a selfless and unified Church and they were attracted to it according to the book of Act 2:47;
“Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (KJV).
The Phrase “having favour with all the people” refer to those on the inside looking at the Church in unity. The following may cause disunity in the body of Christ.
1). Lack of Prayer
A church that lack prayer, lack fire. Act 2:1-4, reveal to us that praying together of the apostles in one accord in one place according to verse 1, shows the presence of unity which call down the Holy Spirit.
“Again i say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my father which is in heaven” (KJV).
Mark the words “If two of you shall agree ”; Agreement in what? In prayer as touching Matthew 16:19; And i will give unto thee the key of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Lack of prayer as the bride makes you subject to the authority that’s below your husband. You have the same right with your husband but you must sacrifice as your husband also do. Without prayer you’re powerless.
Lacking the agreement of prayer cause disunity in the body of Christ, if the apostles refuse to pray together in one accord in one place at the upper room, the promise of the father will not come down which will hinder the growth of the church.
2). Adopting a hypocritical lifestyle
Hypocritical Christians are the set of people who deceive people to be saint and part of the body of Christ but they are not. Jesus took time to warn them in Matthew 7:5; Thou hypocrite first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the note out of thy brother’s eye.
This means some Christians are deceiving themselves and to save them seems bit difficult to save them and they are spiritually blind. Can the blind lead the blind? Definitely Not, so this can also cause disunity in the body of Christ.
3). Low expectations
Many churches have no clear guidelines on what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. If you expect little from members, that’s exactly what you’ll get and some of them will use the idle time to gossip, criticize and tear down.
4). No discipline among the believers
Some Christians has misquoted this particular verse of the scripture for there own good.
Rom 5:20; Moreover the law entered that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.
Haven’t you read, Rom 6:1-2 and verses 15-16?
Grace has not given us license to sin but to flee from sin. If you’re not discipline, you’re not born of God according to Gal 5: 22-23 where he talks about self-control and will cause disunity in the body of Christ.
5). Failure to be evangelistic
Jesus commanded in the scripture in Matthew 10:7; And as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of God is at hand.
And also in Mark 16:15; And he said unto them, Go ye into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
Now as a Christian, disobeying that commandment given to us by the Groom (Christ) hinder the growth in the body of Christ which will limit the expansion of the church to the world.
To cap it all, Disunity can cause a lot in the body of Christ. It is expedient that the issue of disunity is solved in order not to affect the Church more.