06/03/2017 - What/Who Is the Body of Christ? (Part 2)
“…to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up…” Eph 4:12.
Last time I started to write about the “body of Christ.” This week I will continue with this topic. I will try to answer questions like, “Who is the body of Christ? Is important to join an organized church after baptism, or is it enough to just have a vertical relationship with God if you are baptized?”
So, what/who is the “body of Christ?”
The Bible tells us about three aspects of the expression “the body of Christ.” First, it is about Jesus’ body, “And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” Hebrews 10:10. Another aspect of “the body of Christ” is what the Apostle Paul mentions about the Communion bread, “And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” 1 Cor 11:29. And the third aspect of “the body of Christ is the church as we can find in Col 1:24, “I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”
The Bible tells us that the church is Jesus’ bride, and He loved her so much that He died for her, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her..” Eph 5:25. When the Apostle Paul had the dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus, Jesus explained to him that He identifies Himself with the church. “Actually – Jesus wanted to say – you, Paul, when you persecute My church, you persecute Me” (See Acts 9:4-5). My question is, “Was the church perfect when Jesus sent Paul to the church to be trained for his new ministry?” Read 1 Corinthians chapter 3 and you will find quarreling, jealousy; read chapter 5 and you will find immorality and so on. Our church today is still the body of Christ. It is not perfect; it is still fighting, struggling, needing to be rebuked, and needing repentance, but it is still the body of Christ. Don’t listen to the voices that have a message of separation, accusation, condemnation. This is the “body of Christ.” Jesus doesn’t have two bodies. Laodicea is just one. The true and faithful Witness has a tough message for her, but Jesus still loves his bride because He died for her. Nobody could convince Him to abandon her, to divorce her. Does Jesus still love the church and have a message for His “bride?” “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent” Rev 3:19. “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches” Rev 3:6.