THE BODY OF CHRIST PART 4
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.
1.2 THE BODY
Jesus Christ is the Head of the body which is the church or the assembly of believers. Colossians 1:18 says, “And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (NKJV).
In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 Paul proclaims that we are the body of Christ. “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NKJV). He also says that the body has many members and just like our own bodies we cannot say to another part of our body, “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’,” (verse 15). The body has many members and each helps the body function so that it can have a purpose or fulfill a purpose. When we see Jesus as our head, we follow after His truths; His truths are in His word. God has given the body gifts through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and put them into operation. Jesus has given some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). The Holy Spirit also enables the body of Christ with the gifts of the Spirit as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:1-11) and God appoints the individuals of the body into the operation “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues” (1 Corinthians 12:28 NKJV).
The church is well equipped to fulfill God’s purpose when it operates in unity. God, the Father, puts the fivefold ministry (which Jesus gives to individuals in the body) and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit into operation. When we know what our gifts are and listen to our head, Jesus Christ, we are able to operate unity. We become a living organism instead of an organization. Ephesians chapter 4 tells us we are called to walk worthy of our calling or vocation. Our vocation is to minister the Good News of Jesus Christ by following our Head. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us what the purpose of the five fold ministry is; it is to equip the saints or the individuals in the body “for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 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” (Ephesians 4:12-16 NKJV).
The church can be seen as a living body where Jesus is the head and we are the body. We are living temples for God (Ephesians 2:20-21; 1 Peter 2:4-5), and as the body of Christ, we must see ourselves as His: body, hands, feet, knees, mouth, arms, back, et cetera. We are to walk in unity with our head, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31; Ephesians 1:22) to fulfill His will and purpose.