When we became a believer – when we trusted in Christ, we became part of the body of Christ. We joined the church of God, regardless of whether we belong to a specific congregation or not.
When we enter into the body of Christ as a believer we enter into a destiny that God has for us.
I would suggest that we have multiple destinies and while they are connected, each one helps us with the other. The three destinies we have are:
- Our general destiny in the body of Christ
- Our specific destiny as a believer in the body of Christ
- Our specific destiny in our personal context as members of the body of Christ
Let me explain.
OUR GENERAL DESTINY IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
In Christ, our first destiny is secured and finished with. As a believer I am part of the body of Christ which means that should I die today I will go to heaven. This destiny is assured and secured.
This where we should begin because it gives us confidence and security. Regardless of what happens here on earth my future is assured.
OUR SPECIFIC DESTINY AS A BELIEVER IN THE BODY OF CHRIST
While our future is secured, our role here on earth as believers is to point to and declare the greatness of God. We have a role in the church. We have a destiny in serving the body on earth.
Once we understand these too destinies, only then can we begin to look at our third destiny…
OUR SPECIFIC DESTINY IN OUR PERSONAL CONTEXT AS MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST
Romans 12:5 says We are all part of his one body and each of us has different work to do. And since we are all one body in Christ, we belong to each other and each of us needs all the others.
Each of us, as a member of the body of Christ, assured of heaven, and as believer’s whose role it is to declare the greatness of God and point people to Christ, need to work out our role how we serve God in a specific church.
It’s not that the church needs your gifts – it’s that the church cannot be the church without your gifts.
Paul says, in 1 Corinthians 12:27 that you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Hudson Taylor, the great 19th century missionary to China, speaking about the time after his conversion, says:
For what service I was accepted I knew not: but a deep consciousness that I was no longer my own took possession of me….I was not my own to give myself away; for I know not when or how He whose alone I was, and for whose disposal I felt I must ever keep myself free, might call for service.
The question we should ask is not if I am called to serve – but to WHAT is God calling to me to serve in the body of Christ.
The apostle Peter says in 1 Peter 4:10:
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Service is not something which should be forced – but it is part of the transformative nature of being a believer, and so it should be a part of our process, being in fellowship with each other, to help another discover the area, the destiny of service that God has prepared for us.
Matthew 25 has the parable of the talents.
The master gives 5 bags of talents / gold to one servant, 2 to another and 1 to the third – he then goes on a long journey.
The master gave according to the servants ability – the master knew what each servant was capable of and he gave according to their abilities – but he gave responsibility to EACH of them.
God knows our abilities – he knows our gifts – he knows that we may hate speaking in public, but he given each of us some responsibility – he has entrusted to us something for us to do for him.