Functions of a cell to build the Church

2020/05/31

Functions of a Cell the builds the Body of Christ
A parable for Church Life that will endure any pandemic and ensure the future growth of the church by Apostle Aje Pelser, preached for HRC Cape Town 31st May, 2020
Medical introduction by Dr Stefan Wever

When Apostle Paul wrote that he taught publicly and from house to house in Acts 20:20, the early church was facing unprecedented challenges. As we enter a new phase of church, our challenges are different but the functions of the church cell remain the same.
Cells are the smallest structural unit containing all the fundamentals molecules of life and of which all living things are composed. As cells mature they specialize and become the building blocks for larger multicellular organisms such as humans. Although cells are much larger than atoms they are still extremely small. It would require about 10,000 human cells to cover the head of a pin. Every human being contains more than 30,000,000,000,000 cells.

The principal structures of a human cell and their functions:
1. Cell membrane: A double layered membrane enclosing the cell’s contents. It regulates passage of molecules in and out of the cell.

2. The cytoplasm of the cell contains all the specialized structures within the cell. It is the fluid within the cell.

3. Nucleus: The two main function of the cell nucleus is: storage of the hereditary material in the form of DNA and managing cellular function i.e. growth, metabolism, protein synthesis, reproduction. Within the nucleus are the following structures:
a. Nucleolus: Membrane-less organelle produces ribosomes (the cell’s protein producing structures).
b. Nuclear envelope: double layered membrane enclosing the contents of the nucleus. The envelope is perforated by tiny holes called nuclear pores that allows passage of molecules between the nucleus and the cytoplasm.
c. Chromatin and Chromosomes: Chromatin is packaged DNA to ensure that the DNA (3meters in length if uncoiled) fits into the nucleus. Chromatin fibers are further coiled and condensed to form chromosomes.

4. Endoplasmic Reticulum: Network of sacs acts as a pipeline between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Ensures transportation of materials throughout the cell.

5. Golgi apparatus: Processes and packages the cell’s chemical products (built up in the endoplasmic reticulum) to be released from the cell.

6. Mitochondria: Supplies energy to the cell by using oxygen and nutrients.

7. Ribosomes: the sites for protein synthesis are found adhered to the Endoplasmic Reticulum or free in the Cytoplasm. These proteins are for the cells own use as well as to be transported outside the cell. These proteins include enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters functioning as the major communication vehicle in the body including the brain, GIT, growth, repair, muscle function etc

8. Lysosomes are microbodies containing digestive enzymes to break down cellular waste products. These waste products are then used as new cell-building materials.

9. Peroxisomes are also microbodies that detoxify dangerous substances within the cell.

References
https://www.britannica.com/science/cell-biology
https://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cells/nucleus/nucleus.html
https://www.abcam.com/epigenetics/chromatin-accessibility-and-architecture
https://hypertextbook.com/facts/1998/StevenChen.shtml

Let’s apply functions of a human cell to a household church group or home cell, and see how those functions will build the local body of believer up!

Spiritual applications of the functions of a cell to build the church:
1. The Door – cell membrane – regulates passage of molecules IN & OUT. Jesus is the door – filter everything through Him and His work on the cross. Joh_10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

2. Flow of the Holy Spirit through our living water. Cytoplasm – Specialized Structures - Liquid – flow – living water. Joh_7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

3. Seeking the Centre. Nucleus - Centre - DNA – storage of hereditary material & managing function. Pro_4:23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.

a. Functions include: Growth; metabolism, protein synthesis, reproduction (multiplication) Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, Inner Configuration of the Cell – structure within –

b. There are protein producing structures: ribosomes in the nucleolus –Jesus said in John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

c. Nuclear envelope: passage of molecules between sections of the cells – protocol. When the apostolic council of Jerusalem heard the Saul had been converted they couldn’t believe it. Barnabas had to bring Saul into the inner circle or nucleus of the church for them to receive him. Act 9:27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.

d. Chromatin and Chromosomes: packaging of DNA – 3 metres if uncoiled. How we package and simplify things is important in this age of information. The task of wisdom is to navigate through the data and package it carefully to ensure the hereditary material and managing functions of the cell are maintained and so also the entire body is affect through the tiniest DNA of a household serving the Lord! The continuation in apostolic doctrine, breaking of bread, fellowship and prayers was the DNA of the early church. It was packed tightly through the pressure of persecution and tested in the baptism of fire. It was protected by a nucleus of believers who then duplicated what Jesus gave them in others. We have the same DNA today by faith in Jesus name.

4. Vessels of Honour. Endoplasmic Reticulum: Network of sacs act as a pipeline between the nucleus and the cytoplasm. Ensures transportation of materials throughout the cell. Vessels of honour make sure they are clean vessels so that power and nutrients can flow through them to others. Discipleship is essential for the effective communication between members of the cell and indeed the body of Christ. When Jesus broke the bread he gave thanks to God and handed it to his disciples in whose hands the multiplication took place! We also like to break bread that way by sharing a message with our trusted faithful leaders who are able to teach others also and so the word grows mightily and prevails! Transportation of materials through the cell – resources – Endoplasm Reticulum While the function of the nucleus is to act as the cell brain, the ER functions as a manufacturing and packaging system.

5. Meditation and revelation packaging. Golgi apparatus: Processes and packages the cell’s chemical products (built up in the endoplasmic reticulum) to be released from the cell. This is the energy and chemicals for outreach! What the nucleus produces and releases needs to be processed before it goes out. When we diligently work through the Bible seeing Jesus Christ in every scripture, we have to pray it in and work it out before passing it on – Smith Wigglesworth.

a. “The Bible is the Word of God: supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in valor, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on. Truly it is the Word of God. It brings into man the personality of God; it changes the man until he becomes the epistle of God. It transforms his mind, changes his character, takes him on from grace to grace, and gives him an inheritance in the Spirit. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him.” Smith Wigglesworth

6. Spiritual Energy build up through prayer and praise. Mitochondria: Supplies energy to the cell by using oxygen and nutrients. As we pray and use our breath to praise and worship God it releases spirit and truth into our cell!
a. Joh 4:23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

7. Ribosomes: the sites for protein synthesis are found adhered to the Endoplasmic Reticulum or free in the Cytoplasm. These proteins are for the cells own use as well as to be transported outside the cell. These proteins include enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters functioning as the major communication vehicle in the body including the brain, GIT, growth, repair, muscle function etc
a. The thanksgiving and testimonies that are released from the synthesis of doctrine and lifestyle can both build the cell and go out to help the greater Body of Christ function.
b. Eph 4:16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

8. Lysosomes are micro bodies containing digestive enzymes to break down cellular waste products. These waste products are then used as new cell-building materials.
a. Counselling and deliverance, repentance and personal ministry in cells helps to break down the old waste in our souls, it gets converted into new energy to serve God and all things work together for good, for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

9. Peroxisomes are also micro bodies that detoxify dangerous substances within the cell. When we are all in line with the Word of God, the anointing inside of us acts like micro bodies that detoxify dangerous substance.

a. 1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

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