FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST

ADDITIONAL DESIGNATIONS FOR THE BODY OF CHRIST – LESSON 2

Additional information concerning the real properties of the “Body of Christ” can be found in what the Body is said to be; using the terms the Apostles of Christ illustrated with.

The Body is the Bride of Christ –

The Apostle Paul emphasized the relationship between Christ and the “Called Out” (the church); by using the marriage relationship. This will become the primary context for this particular lesson.

Ephesians 5:22-32 “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.”

As an important note, although much can be learned from Paul’s instruction concerning the marriage relationship and how to achieve a blissful marriage; Paul is speaking clearly concerning the relationship of Christ and the church (Vs. 32); however, such clear understanding is given about marriage between man and women, Paul insists they follow this as well (Vs. 33 – “Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”).

There are some universal marriage practices that were common practice that also plays into this instruction:

First, before a man married, he bought his wife (paid a marriage dowry). In Genesis 24, Abraham sent his chief servant with gifts to purchase Isaac a wife (10 camels with rich gifts on them). Jacob purchased Leah and Rachael (only supposed to be Rachael) with fourteen years of labor (Genesis 29). David was to receive the daughter of Saul as wife for killing Goliath (1 Samuel 17); later Saul promised his daughter for the lives of 100 Philistines instead of a dowry (1 Samuel 18).

Second, after a woman had been bought, she was betrothed or engaged to her man, and the betrothal was as binding as the marriage itself (Deuteronomy 22:23-24; Matthew 1:18-19). At the end of the betrothal, there was a wedding feast (Matthew 22:1-4), and after the wedding feast the couple were joined as one!

Now let’s make a comparison to this understanding of the practice commonly observed.

The Lord came to earth to pay the dowry in order to claim a bride!

First, the Father purposed her to be the bride from the beginning –

Ephesians 3:8-11 “To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; 10 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, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord”

Second, Jesus purchased the church with His own blood (see: Vs. 25 of our text in Ephesians chapter five).

Third, the body and Christ are referred to as husband and wife (or bride) – Ephesians 5:27.

Fourth, as an added portion of information; should the body, church, or bride be unfaithful to the Head, which is Christ, it will provoke the Husband against her –

2 Corinthians 11:1-4 “Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. 2 For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 3 But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!”

Galatians 1:6-10 “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

2 Timothy 2:19 “Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

Hebrews 6:4-6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.”

With the information provided by the Apostle of Christ; here is a quick Q and A:

First, does Christ have more than one bride? Is He a polygamist?

Absolutely not! The term Bride is singular and supports the understanding that there is only one body – Ephesians 4:4.

Second, whose name should the bride wear? Would the bridegroom care about this?

Just as the “Body of Christ” can only be known by its singular designation, the bride can only wear the name of her husband. The fact of the matter is that there is no greater name for her to wear!

Philippians 2:9-11 “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Third, since the dowry of the “Body of Christ” was His own blood, what is the value to Him?

It is the fullness of Him – Ephesians 1:23; and His eternal purpose – Ephesians 3:11; and He loves it as His own body – Ephesians 5:28.

Fourth, who is the head, the Husband or the wife?

Beyond argument, there is only one with preeminence; Jesus Christ the Lord – Colossians 1:18. This demands that we follow only the Head, the Groom in all things!

In addition, the Husband and bride are to be one flesh (Genesis 2:24), as such the bride can do nothing without the Husband, she is bound to Him, directed by Him, and can only do that which brings Him reverence (no matter how smart we think we are)!

Fifth, what should the bride of Christ be concerned about?

To “be submissive to her own Husband” – Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:1. This is made easy through the doctrine of Christ – 2 John 9. The “Body of Christ” is subject to Christ; period – Ephesians 5:24.

Next: “The Body is the Temple of God!”