The Body of Christ

When a person receives a cut or grows feverish in one part of the body the rest of the body will share nutrients to that area for healing.  Likewise, it seems that as parts flourish and are strengthened the remaining parts are also strengthened.  The church is living organism and it is made up of many individuals and local congregations.  Christ is the head, and the Spirit gives us life.

DIVERSITY OF THE BODY (I Corinthians 12:14-17)

The church is made up by many “members” (vs. 14).  Not one person can claim to be the entire church within themselves.  It is a community that bears the likeness to that of a body of Christ.  The body is made up of many systems, organs, and cells.  Diversity is within the church as numerous as the parts of the body.  Therefore it is impossible to state that members of the church that have different gifts and skills are “not of the body” (vs. 15, 16).  If we were only an ear, we would not be a full body.  If the church had only feet, then we would not be a “whole body” (vs. 17).  There has to be diversity in the body.  Diversity comes from our gifts, our cultures, ethnicities and ever our preferences.

UNITY OF THE BODY (1 Corinthians 12:18-26).

God’s will, Christ’s atonement, and the indwelling Holy Spirit all create a bond within the body that is unquestionably diverse.  God has “set the members” (vs. 18) throughout the body of Christ in the world and across time to grow His church.  We cannot be one part, or else there won’t be “the body” (vs. 19) because we cannot deny the vastness of its members but in the multitude the church is “one body” (vs. 20).

It is also impossible to say that different people and churches are more important than others.  There is no way that one could say they have “no need” (vs. 21, 22) of another.  We may place greater value on certain offices in the church and gift sets, but God has given the less desirable “abundant” (vs. 23) usefulness.  This is how God has “tempered” (vs. 24) or put together the body.  To be equally useful and needed throughout the whole church.  Church splits and fights between members over usefulness creates “schism” (vs. 25) or tears apart the body.  We must get along together because the body is designed to take care of itself through the membership.

The Spirit indwelling in each member connects believers together not only to the body as an organization but as a having their feelings and emotions together.  The church body is not just a corporation (like a business) but truly a corporal (as in corpse or flesh).  We feel the pains of other believers that “suffer” (vs. 26) just as real as the joys of those that are celebrated.

A BODY BUILT TO GROW TOGETHER (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)

It is clear that we are just as much a full body as we are “particular” (vs. 27) or individual members.  We do have a personal relationship with Christ but in the same mind bring our gifts, not our advancement but to the church as a whole.  No person exists solely for themselves but for the benefit of others.  This is why God has given so many offices within “the church” (vs. 28).  Through others, we can grow as a body.

We do not have to look very far to see that there are many different ministries in the church.  This naturally happens because not all are preachers and teachers.  Not all are “teachers (vs. 29) or speak in “tongues” (vs. 30).  Diversity is key to growth but so is working together towards unity.  We may seek to be loners that have many gifts and are not for our talent the “more excellent way” (vs. 31) is unity.