THE BODY OF CHRIST PART 3
When looking at the body of Christ or Christ’s body, we are looking at the church, which is the body of Christ. In this report 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 Relationship to Jesus Christ
Christ said that He would build His Church upon the fact that He is the Christ and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. The church will never be destroyed by evil forces (Mt.16:18). The Church is the assembly of believers in Jesus Christ our Saviour. This is a relationship that bonds believers to their Creator. The Church or the assembly of believers in Jesus Christ our Saviour to Jesus Christ can been seen in many ways; some are the temple, the body, and the bride.
1.1.1 The Temple
The church can be looked at as a building where believers fellowship. The Old Testament Tabernacle in which God instructed Moses to build (Hebrews 8:5) was filled with His chosen priesthood and surrounded by His believers. God’s presence dwelled in the Most Holy place, the heart of the Tabernacle. The priesthood served God night and day as God commanded them to serve. The priests where not only an integral part of the Tabernacle in serving God but they were also to intercede for God’s people.
Today’s New Testament church of believers in Jesus Christ worship God in the Church building and are to serve and intercede for God’s children both inside and outside the church. The Old Testament priesthood interceded for His people, but now Jesus Christ the High Priest intercedes for us directly. We have become the priesthood for God to both serve Him inside and outside the Church building’s walls. Inside we serve God through ministries and fellowship. We believe where two or more are gathered in His name, there He is in the midst; therefore, the presence of God is there. Outside we are to reach out to God’s children as Jesus reached out to us.
We are also the temple of God (I Corinthians 3:16, 17 & 6:19, 20), a living temple built upon the living Cornerstone, Jesus Christ our solid foundation. 1 Peter 2:4-5 say, “Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (NKJV). We are God’s living temples in which He indwells. The presence of God the Holy Spirit abides in each true believer.
Jesus spoke of the temple being His body (John 2:20-21). Paul also proclaimed this truth in 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 and 6:19, 20. We are the temple of God and His presence abides in us.
Christians must see themselves as God’s temple. Paul proclaims in 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (NKJV) We are a living temple in which the Holy Spirit abides. Temple here is the Greek word “naos” which is a well decorated shrine or temple. Can you imagine a well decorated temple with crystal clear water in the baptismal, stained glass windows depicting the gospel, beautiful wood pews, and the presence of God abiding there? This is what you are. We are to be sanctified and have a responsibility to keep our temple pure and holy (2 Corinthians 7:1).