The Church is a Body
The church is compared to the human body. A body is the physical structure or form of a human that includes bone, flesh, and organs. These intricate components are assembled in such a way to give the body strength and flexibility. King David marveled at the human form and rightly praised its designer. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” (Psalms 139:14-15 NKJV) Genesis records how God created mankind. “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27 NKJV) “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7 NKJV)
The whole of our body is controlled by the head. Decisions are made continuously for the preservation and wellbeing of our bodies. Likewise, Christ serves as the head of the church. The church will be saved under His direction. “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23 NKJV) Christ holds this esteemed role by virtue of His resurrection. The One who defeated death is best suited to preserve the church. “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.” (Colossians 1:18 NKJV)
The church is comprised of many members who join the body by baptism. “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. 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. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” (1 Corinthians 12:12-14 NKJV) The brethren at Corinth were more interested in the prestige that came from their assigned spiritual gift than in their spiritual growth. The Apostle Paul stressed to them the importance of every member. Ultimately God determines the function of each member. ‘But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.” (1 Corinthians 12:18 NKJV) If all our parts were the same, then we cease to be human.
Although different in appearance and purpose, every part of the body is necessary. This makes the weaker and less attractive parts of the human body just as valuable as the highly visible parts. God did this to avoid division. He causes all parts to share in both honor and suffering. (1 Corinthians 12: 19-26) Dependence on all our parts means we are concerned for the wellbeing of each one. “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.” (Ephesians 5:29-30 NKJV) The analogy applies to the church also. “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NKJV) Some were apostles while others were prophets or teachers. Most members had gifts that aided them in helping, serving or in edification. (1 Corinthians 12:28-31) Each member has a purpose that serves the good of the whole body. The Apostle Paul understood this obligation and was willing to suffer on behalf of other members. “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church. (Colossians 1:24 NKJV)
Jesus eliminated the boundaries between Jew and Gentile “that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Ephesians 2:16-18 NKJV)
You are important! Do your part. Care for the whole.