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Tropical Leaves

The Body of Christ is God's Armor

March 29, 2022

I have shared the importance of wearing the armor of God, which is God’s Truth, his righteousness, Jesus’ gospel of peace, having faith in Jesus, our salvation in Jesus, using God’s word to protect us and praying in the Spirit on all occasions. This armor only protects us when we understand its meaning and believe in it to stand against the devil’s schemes that he uses to attack us to lead us away from Jesus.
God’s armor is to believe in the forgiveness of God’s grace, to believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave.
This armor is put in action by loving God by obeying Jesus’ teachings and commandments in the gospels and the letters his apostles wrote for his church to protect itself from the devil’s schemes to destroy the church.
We need to protect the body of Christ because Paul warns in 1 Thessalonians 4 of the rebellion of the church before Jesus returns.
Paul was one of Jesus’ chosen apostles.
1 Corinthians 1: Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

Paul’s 1st Corinthian letter teaches the church the armor it needs to wear to protect the body of Christ. The most important armor that the church must wear is to only follow Jesus because some church members were not but were following church leaders.
1 Corinthians 1: 11 My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Christ." 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?

The church must only follow Jesus, when they are not, they are dividing the body of Christ because Jesus is no longer the head of his church and only through Jesus, we become a member of his body.

1 Corinthians 1: 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God--that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."

When we follow Jesus we receive the wisdom of God, his righteousness, his holiness, and his salvation through the Holy Spirit. Our boasting can only be in Jesus and not in an apostle, a saint, a pastor, a teacher, in a church or in a denomination.

Boasting in the Lord is to give glory to God. So, when you boast in someone other than Jesus you are giving glory to them, crediting them for giving you God’s wisdom or even for saving you or someone, when all these things has come about through God’s will and not by a person or by an environment.

Paul teaches how we should recognize apostles, pastors, and teachers.

1 Corinthians 3: 4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.

Pastors and teachers only plant and water with God’s words and never with their own personal beliefs. They should never seek gratitude for being a servant of Jesus because their teaching is a gift, they received from the Holy Spirit it’s not their own. Paul said when we use our gift according to God’s purpose, we will receive a reward from him in heaven it should never be used for personal gain.

Pastors and teachers pray in the Spirit that God will uses their teaching to make the listener grow which also depends on the kind of soil the listener has.

We must only boast and follow Jesus giving him thanks for the Holy Spirit who teaches us God’s wisdom which will protect the church from false teaching and spiritual death.

1 Corinthians 2: 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: 16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

When you hear teaching or speak what you believe is true to God you must discern that it is true to God’s word. Never agree with a teaching because the teacher is an eloquent speaker or a friend, you must only agree with teaching through your love for Jesus’ teachings and commandments that the Holy Spirit has taught you is true to God’s word.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3: 12, When you build upon the foundation of Jesus’ gospel with God’s truth, they are spiritual gold, silver and precious stones which you will be rewarded in heaven for using, but if you build with things that are not precious to Jesus like wood, hay or straw it will burn up when it passes through Jesus’ purifying fire. You still will be saved because of your faith in his gospel but the useless things you were building with will be burned up and you will not receive a reward from Jesus.

When you follow Jesus, you will have his mind and you will know how to build on his foundation at church.

In chapter 4, God’s armor is to always stand upon the teachings of Jesus’ apostles and follow their examples of living for Christ because they were his servant, and they know the secret things of God.

1 Corinthians 4: 1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.

God’s armor in chapter 5, the church must never tolerate anyone who is sexual immoral, greedy, idolater, slanderer, a drunkard, or a swindler in the body of Christ which must always be kept holy for Jesus as its bride.
1 Corinthians 5: 9 I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not tojudge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked man from among you."

Today you will find that this armor is not used in many church denominations today.

This armor is only for the church and not for believers to use to judge and condemn the immoral in this world.

God’s armor in chapter 6 is for believers who have a dispute with each other to seek counsel and judgement by church leaders and not to go seek the judgment of those in the world who do not know Jesus or obey him. This is only between believers who profess Jesus as their Lord and submit to the same church leadership.

1 Corinthians 6: 1 If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4 Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!

God’s armor in Chapter 7 is for the husband and wife to diligently care for their spouse’s marital needs to protect their marriage from the devil’s temptation to destroy it.
1 Corinthians 7: 5 Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command.

Marriage was created by God for a man and woman to unite as one flesh for the spiritual wellness of their marriage and to raise Godly children.

So, the armor we need to put on to protect the church from the devil is to only follow and boast in the Lord, to obey the teachings and examples of Jesus and his apostles, do not allow anything that is immoral in church, believers to settle their disputes through the counsel of church leaders and for married couples to care for each other’s marital needs.
When a church wears all this armor it will be the body of Christ.

Be safe in Jesus
Ps. Glenn

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