The nature of the church-The body of Christ!
Last week we started a series on the church, why the church matters. It matters because it belongs to Christ, he bought it with his own blood. We learned that the church is made of those people who profess faith in Christ, they recognize Jesus as their Lord. Jesus promised eternal destiny for his people, the church.
The church of Jesus Christ is global (universal) because is made of believers in Christ at all times and places. The church also refers to a group of believers in a determined location. It is local. As it is the case in I Cor.1:2, 1 Thess.1:1, Rev.1:11
When Christ comes back for his church, he is coming for believers in all parts of the globe, He is coming for his global church.
The Bible uses many metaphors or images for the church in order to help us understand its function and mission on earth while it waits for Jesus.
The church is known as the body of Christ. Ephesians 1:23; 1 Cor.12, Romans 12:3-8
It is Christ’s body because it is to accomplish His mission. Christ came to seek and save the lost, to save sinners. The church’s mission is the same: to seek and save sinners. To make everyone a disciple of Jesus Christ.
What does the Bible teach us about the church with the metaphor of the body?
I Corinthians 12:12-27
The body has many members and all members of the body form one body. They are connected.
The body of Christ, the church, is made of many members. V.14
-Diversity in members; and function (not all the members of the body have the same function)
So it is with Christ. We all have been baptized in one Spirit into one body. Jews, Greeks, slaves or free. Gal.3:28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
God is the one who placed the members of the body where he wanted them.v.18-27
-each member of the body is placed exactly where God wants it.
-The members are to fulfill their function and not desire to do something they were not created for. (Can you picture a body where the hand decides it doesn’t want to be hand anymore? The body would be so dysfunctional)
In order for the body to function well, all its members must do what they were called and gifted to do. In the human body, the members don’t fight or are envious of other members’ functions. They work together, even the parts that are weaker or smaller are still indispensable, needed for the body to function properly. (v.21)
There is no division in the human body. There should be no division in the body of Christ, the church. There is no division when each member understands their God-given function.
When there is no division: the members work together; they have the same concern for each other (when one suffers, the whole body suffers. If one member is honored, all the others feel honored also, there is harmony, unity). God wants unity in his body, the church. Jesus prayed for unity in his prayer in John 17:21-22. I want them to be one, just like you and I are one.
V.27) you are the body of Christ and individual members of it. You are part of the body of Christ, the church. You belong to God and you belong to the rest of the body. He placed you in his body to do something for him. You have a role or function to fulfill in the church.
But if we are the body, why aren’t his arms reaching? Why aren’t his hands healing? Why aren’t his words teaching? Casting Crowns.