How is the Church
the Body of Christ?
The world, including the Catholics and the Protestants, thinks about the crucified body of Jesus, with its holes in the hands, feet, and pierced side. They focus on the crown of thorns and the flesh torn by the scourge – but they contemplate little beyond the physical body of Jesus.
It is only the Church of God that comprehends that the Scriptures take the concept of the Body of Christ to a higher spiritual dimension. In fact, the Church of God consists of the true believers who God the Father has called to be a part of the Body of Christ. “You, brethren, are the Body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27)
How are the brethren the One Body of Christ, and where did this belief arise? Let’s go back and look at the very first spiritual lesson that Jesus Christ taught the apostle Paul. Paul readily admits that he was persecuting the early Christians. He put them into prison, compelled them to blaspheme, and caused them to be put to death (Acts 26:10-11).
Paul acknowledge that: “…beyond measure I persecuted the Church of God, and wasted it.” (Galatians 1:13) And I persecuted this way [Christianity] unto the death.” (Acts 22:4)
It is most important for us to notice how Jesus viewed the persecution of Christians. Notice what Jesus said to Paul: “…why persecute thou Me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecute. (Acts 9:4-5)
Jesus did not say to Paul, “Why are you persecuting the Christians?” He said, “Why are you persecuting Me?” The very first lesson that Jesus taught Paul was that when he was persecuting the Church of God Christians – he was in fact persecuting Jesus Christ, Himself.
The only way that is possible is if Jesus considers the Church brethren to be His Body – the Body of Christ!
Another one of the places where we find Jesus connecting the Church brethren with Himself is in His parable of Matthew 25. “…Truly I say unto you, In as much as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me.” (Matthew 25:40)
It is in Paul’s epistles that we find the concept of the Body of Christ being expounded upon. There is no justification for scattered groups to disregard, let alone have contempt for other brethren who are lead by God’s Spirit. "The bread which we break, is it not the fellowship of the Body of Christ? For we being many [brethren] are one bread, and one Body." (1 Corinthians 10:16-17)
Again, it is Paul who develops our definition of the One True Church: “Who [Paul speaking] now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His Body's sake, which is the Church.” (Colossians 1:24) "You [brethren] are called into one Body; and be ye thankful." (Colossians 3:15)
Jesus Christ has only one spiritual Body – the Church of God – the Bride of Christ – the saints – the called out ones who will reign and rule with Him in the millennium. “And [God] has put all things under His [Jesus’] feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all." (Ephesians 1:22-23)
If the Church of God fully appreciated these words we would not be in the scattered state we find ourselves today. Instead we would be growing in perfection unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
We are to be "...speaking the truth in love, [so that we] may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love." (Ephesians 4:15-16)
Brethren, if we as the Church of God would discern who the members of Christ’s Body are, we would not be in the poor spiritual health we find ourselves today (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).
||"How is the Church the Body of Christ?"
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