What do you think of when you hear the word “church”? Some think of immaculate and sacred buildings with stained-glass windows. Others think of upbeat worship music and a sermon. The fact is, much of what we think of about the church is man-made tradition. We need to look at what the Bible says about the church and build according to the pattern of heaven.
We have been discussing the need to go back to our apostolic roots and restore the church to its New Testament pattern. Last week we looked at the church as a family. In this post, I want to look at another aspect of the church that is outlined in the New Testament: The Body of Christ.
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.
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.
-1 Corinthians 12:12
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
-1 Corinthians 12:27
The church is the body of Christ. We must first and foremost be connected to the Head (Jesus) and then connected properly to each other. What are the implications of the church being the body of Christ?
Unity- we are all interdependent parts of the same body and we are unified by our connection to the Head. Unity based on anything besides Christ (such as doctrinal bent, political beliefs, culture, race, gifting, etc.) will be superficial unity.
Diversity- although we are part of the same body, we all have different functions and gifts. The purpose of the eye is totally different from the purpose of the hand. But both are critical parts of the body. We must recognize that we need each other and that we complement each other with our gifts.
We can only function correctly as the body when we are properly connected to each other–a brilliant unity among diversity that displays the nature of Christ as each member functions in their role. It is very similar to a symphony. There are many different types of instruments and each musician has a different part to play. Each member of the symphony must follow the conductor’s lead and play the part that has been assigned to them. Each part by itself is not very impressive, but as they join together a beautiful array of sounds come together to play one song.
We too must look to our Conductor and play the part that has been given to us. We must assemble ourselves together and contribute our part–and the structure of the church must allow for every member to contribute their part.
We have created a church system that is conducive to spectators instead of participators. Church is not a place to go..we ARE the church! It is time to become who God says that we are: the very body of Christ in the earth.