THE BODY OF CHRIST PART 1
When looking at the body of Christ or Christ’s body, we are looking at the church, which is the body of Christ. I will be comparing the relationship of the church in the following ways: the church’s mission and its purpose, the church’s relationship to Jesus Christ, church leadership and the authority in the body, the church’s relationship to the Christian and Missionary Alliance, and the relationship between the church’s members.
1.1 THE CHURCH’S MISSION AND PURPOSE
Our purpose as the Church can be seen in many forms throughout the Bible. We are to be the salt and light of the world to draw others to the Gospel and to disciple others so they can do the same. We can only do this if we truly believe in God and His word because we only do what we believe. The church must have an intimate relationship with God through prayer, Bible reading, devotionals, and fellowship. When the church has an intimate relationship with God, it will know what it needs to say and do in the world for its Saviour.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11 KJV). When we revere God as worthy to receive all honor, glory, and power; we have a holy fear of God (holy reverence or a wholesome righteous fear of not displeasing Him). When we realize we are created for His good pleasure then we can find our purpose in Him. We were created to be well pleasing to God by being in the right relationship with Him, and our purpose is to become more like Christ. If we become more like Christ we will be well pleasing to God; we will honor Him, give Him all the glory, and acknowledge His power and authority. “And lo a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17 KJV). Jesus came to show us the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), and we are to be like Christ, well pleasing to God, our Father.
The Churches mission and purpose can be seen in Ephesians 3:10-12 “to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (NKJV).
Through the Church the manifold wisdom of God is to be proclaimed according to the eternal purpose which God accomplished through Jesus Christ, so we can all be reconciled back to God. The church’s mission is God’s mission, to actively seek and save the lost. Jesus is working with us; Mark 16:20 says, “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with [them], and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Jesus also said in John 5:17, “My Father is working still, and I am working” (RSV). The church is to be about God’s business, working to further the good news.
If the church is going to be more like Christ, it must go as we are commanded in Matthew 28:19 -20, to teach all things that Jesus commanded. Did not Jesus send out the 12 and the 70? Then we should also send out others to teach all things that Jesus commanded. Therefore, the church’s purpose should include mission awareness and to go.