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

THE CHURCH IS THE BODY OF CHRIST – LESSON 3

The Body of Christ

The Apostle Paul, on many occasions, made reference to the “Called Out” as the “Body of Christ”.

Romans 12:5 “so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”

1 Corinthians 12:12-14 “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.”

Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Colossians 1:18 “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.”

In future lessons, we are going to look into other designations for the “Body of Christ”; however, it is vital that we begin with the one that perhaps best embodies the true nature that the Lord wished for His church to know and understand.

In the points to come, there can be little doubt that what exists in the world today, is not the nature of the body as described in the word (even among many so-called churches of Christ!). Let’s visit some of these points.

Members of the Body of Christ!

One becomes a member of the “Body of Christ” by being baptized into it; thus becoming the “Body of Christ”, a new creature, and a new man. In fulfillment of the Great Commission, given the Apostles of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-49), the preceding verses are a reminder to Christians, saints, and members of the “Body of Christ”, as to what they had done to become members of the body. 

Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

1 Corinthians 12:12-13 “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.”

Galatians 3:26-29For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”


To be in Christ, is to be in His Body, which is the church (“the called out”).

Ephesians 1:22-23 “And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.”

Colossians 1:18 “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.”


When one becomes a member of the “Body of Christ”, one becomes a beneficiary of the blessings of this status or relationship:

An adoption to become true children of God – Romans 8:12-17.

All spiritual blessings “IN” Christ – Ephesians 1:3-14.

Transformation from darkness to light – Acts 28:17-18; 1 John 1:7-2:2.


Christ Jesus is the Savior of the body!

Ephesians 5:23 “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.”

He shed His blood for it!

Acts 20:28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

Is He the Savior of anything else? NO!

In the New Testament writing of the Apostles and prophets, this is demonstrated by the vast number of references of “IN” Christ ( just naming a few places - 1 Corinthians 2:2; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 1:1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13; 2:7, 10, 21, 22; 4:15-16, 32; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 1:1; Jude 1), or the mention of those on the outside (1 Corinthians 5:13; Ephesians 2:12; Colossians 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:12; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9).


Since we become members of the “Body of Christ” in order to be in a relationship with God; as the body, we are subject to the Head. We take orders from the Head and this can be seen in the terms by which the members of the body are referred to:

Disciples – As described by the Lord; not only one who learns; but also seeks to practice that which the Master teachers (Luke 6:40; John 8:31; 13:35; 15:8). This was a term used to describe members of the “Body of Christ”, especially early in the history of the body – Acts 6:1-2, 7, 9:36; 14:20, 22, 28, 15:10.

Christians – An adherent to Christ – Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16.

Servants – In bondage or service – Acts 16:17; Romans 6:16-19; Titus 1:1; 1 Peter 2:16.

His Saints – Set apart to Him – Philippians 4:21; 2 Thessalonians 1:10.

By these terms we learn that people may call themselves many different things, but only the members of the “Body of Christ” do the Master’s bidding; adhere to the Master’s teaching – 2 John 9; and purely demonstrate the Lord’s wisdom in their lives!


Many times, all that looks well is not well with a body. Disease may be at work years before the symptoms appear. Disease in a prolonged state necessitates drastic treatment, even to the point of amputation.

The same is true with the “Body of Christ”. Every time an apostasy has come, all looked well until it was too late. When any member of the body refuses to take orders from the One Head, there is trouble!

This is demonstrated in John’s letter to the seven churches of Asia, wherein he records the Lord’s knowledge of disease in the different specific local bodies of Christ – see: Revelation 2:4-5; 14-16; 20-25; 3:1-4; 15-19.


The Apostles and prophets of the New Testament define the church as the “Body of Christ”. God is the Father, Christ is the Head, and the Holy Spirit is the life essence of the body through the word. Christ without the church would be a Head without a body. The church without Christ would be a body without a Head. This defines “which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all”; used in Ephesians 1:23.

Next: “Additional Designations for the Body!