1 THE BODY OF CHRIST PART 8
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 RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CHURCH’S MEMBERS
The relationship between the church’s members are family related. Church members are brothers and sisters in Christ. They are God’s children in His kingdom and are to be a holy nation, a peculiar people when compared to this world. God’s children are to be united, forever building each other up, and encouraging one another when they fall short.
Church members are first called to have a relationship with Jesus Christ as his or her Lord and Saviour and become more like Christ. They are also called to assemble themselves together. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV). If we do not assemble together, how are we to stir each other up in love, good works, or exhort one another? The assembling of the saints is important and helps us grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in oneness.
Jesus prayed for us to be one with Him as the Father is one with Him. “The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, that the world may know that you sent me and love them even as you love me” (John 17:22-23 ESV). We are called to be like Christ, to be one with Him, that we may become perfect in Him in all things. Jesus is our example as the Head of the church; we need to find scripture and become more like Christ. “There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, on faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:1-6 ESV).
Jesus also admonished His disciples and religious leaders when they were not lining up with the Kingdom’s principles. Galatians 6:1 tells us, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (NKJV). Church members have a responsibility to admonish their brethren in love, so we can continue to walk in right relationship with Jesus and each another.
God has ordained us to be the body of Christ in unity. At the very least, He has given to each of us the ministry of reconciliation and a measure of faith. We can see that God equips the body with leaders (1 Corinthians 12:28), the Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:8-11), and Jesus gives the church the five-fold ministry to equip us for His ministry, so we can grow into the fullness of His stature.
The church is a living organism which is growing into the oneness of God to fulfill His mission by growing in Christ and reaching out to others to advance His kingdom (1 Corinthians 10:17, 12:12; Galatians 3:28). We should expect all Christians with the foundational beliefs to come together and work toward God’s purpose, to put down our minor differences, focus on the major needs like to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). God, “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4 KJV) should be our state of oneness. We can bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to every creature throughout the earth on a larger scale by joining together for Christ’s sake. Then as church members, we need to disciple them with Biblical truths, teach them to become more like Christ, and reach others where ever they go.