This article is addressed to born-again Christians – to those who have confessed with their mouths that Jesus is Lord and have believed in their hearts that God has raised Him from the dead. It contains Bible verses. Non-Christians will probably get upset, think it’s foolishness, or simply get bored out of their skulls.
God tells us we’re members in particular of the body of Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:27:
Now ye [plural] are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
I do not believe God made a place for you in the body of Christ.
I believe God made you for a particular place in the body of Christ.
He didn’t just allow you into the body of Christ and find someplace to put you. He needed someone just like you for a particular function or functions so He made you.
God made you who you are. You cannot change that.
But given who you are, you control your choices.
God knows what you will do but you have the choice. You decide what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it.
At any moment you can choose to do God’s Will or not; to fulfill His role, His purpose for you, or not.
Aside from the obvious, the fact that we make our own choices is shown by God giving us commandments. If we couldn’t make choices, how could God require us to keep commandments? We would have no choice but to do whatever we were designed to do.
God knows in advance what people are going to do, and is able to bring about good regardless of people’s choices.
Jesus’ sacrifice was predicted over and over, as early as Genesis 3:15.
Genesis 3:15 (God talking to the devil):
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
We know that our salvation came about by Jesus’ death and resurrection. Make no mistake, the people who tortured and crucified him were doing evil. Remember Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) No need to forgive if they’re doing God’s Will.
But God turned that evil to good, to give us everlasting life.
What if Israel had not crucified Jesus? What if Israel had not rejected the Messiah? God would have known it in advance, of course, and He would have found another way.
Paul and Silas got in trouble at Philippi for speaking God’s Word. In fact, a whole multitude was against them and they were beaten and thrown into the innermost part of the prison with their feet in stocks.
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
I’m sure they thought they were nuts.
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.
And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.
Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
So the jailer and his whole house were saved. God brought about good in spite of people’s evil choices. And, if you read the rest of the record, you’ll see that the magistrates had to completely back down and stop the persecution.
Paul and Silas could have caved. They could have said, “Oh, we’re such horrible people. No wonder we’re in such a mess.”
Paul could have caved because he persecuted the believers (Acts 8:3; 9:1-2). But he remembered God forgave him for that. He knew God put him where He wanted him to be in spite of his evil choices.
God has done the same for you.
It’s always your choice to take your place in the body of Christ. God gave you freedom of will; He will not take that from you.
Your place in the body of Christ is there for the taking anytime you want it. No one else can take it. You are the only one who fits your place perfectly. You don’t have to change yourself in any way. You just have to make the choice to follow God this time, in this minute.
God has fully equipped you to be exactly what He wants you to be. Forget your failures and your shortcomings. (Jesus already died to nullify and remove them.) Just do what God wants you to do now.
God bless you!