The Body

The church is described as being similar to a human body.  As our bodies have many members with different functions, so the church has members with different functions.  1 Corinthians 12:12-27 “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.  If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body?  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?  But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.  And if they were all one member, where would the body be?  But now indeed there are many members, yet one body.  And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’  No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary.  And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.  And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”   

Would you want to do without an arm or a leg, an eye or an ear, a foot or a hand?  Of course not.  In the same way, we do not want to do without members of the spiritual body, the church.  Each member of the church is important for the functioning of the body.  A member should never say – “because I am not a leader in the church, I am not an important part of the body.”  Nor should any member think – “because that other member is not performing an important function, we have no need of that member.”  No.  Each member is important.  When you stub your toe, your whole physical body feels the pain; when you have a headache, your whole body suffers.  In the same way, when a member of the church suffers, the whole body should feel the pain.  When one member sins or falls away, the whole body should feel that pain too. 

No Christian should feel too proud of the position they fill in the church.  Romans 12:3-5  “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.  For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” 

As a Christian body, the church members should be working together to supply the needs of the body and cause growth and self-edification.  Ephesians 4:15-16  “But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” You may not be a member of a local church body; maybe you don’t think it is important for you to be part of the church body.  The body needs you and you need the body.  To voluntarily seek to exist outside of the body would be contrary to God’s plan.  Or maybe you are a member but you choose to contribute little; the church needs more from you for its growth and edification. 

Understand your relationship to the other members of the church as God has designed it.  You are important.  Draw closer to the other members in love.  Perform whatever function you can for growth and edification of the church.

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