Is The Church the body of Jesus Christ?

Question by Edward N: Is The Church the body of Jesus Christ?
Do Christians “identify” with Jesus? Do they become members of His body when they are confirmed?
Are we “saved” by The Name and blood of Jesus? Did Jesus suffer, bleed and die on the cross or did The Trinity?
Then why do we invoke the titles of The Trinity instead of His Name when we are baptized?

When a bride marries she takes the name of her husband, identifies with him and becomes part of him as his Mrs. Likewise when a newcomer is baptized, he takes the Name of Jesus, identifies with Him and becomes a member of His body which is the Church. Both “family” and “Church” are cut from the same pattern. The first is the foundation of civilization and the second the means by which God and man may reconcile.
What am I missing?
Do you think God will allow us to claim the blood of The Lamb while denying His Name?
@Truthbea… Try Matt 28:19. Parroted during most baptisms. Consider the word: “Therefore”. It relates to the preceding vs!

Best answer:

Answer by weepingprophet15
Too many questions.

But yes, the Church is the Body of Christ.

Give your answer to this question below!

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The Church As The Body Of Christ ? Which Means What?

The Church As The Body Of Christ ? Which Means What?

The church of the New Testament is in the scriptures referred to under several different designations or appellations one of which is the body of Christ.  “And he put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:22-23 NKJV)  “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.” (Col. 1:24 NKJV)  Paul says, in speaking to the church (see 1 Cor. 1:2) at Corinth, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” (1 Cor. 12:27 NKJV)  To those in Rome he says, “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” (Rom. 12:5 NKJV)

The body of Christ, the church, is of course a spiritual body.  Peter describes the church as a building but what he says is applicable here for he says, “you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house.” (1 Peter 2:5 NKJV)  The church is spiritual made up of men and women and boys and girls of accountable age who each in their individual spirits have submitted to Christ in both faith and obedience.  “You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you.” (Rom. 8:9 NKJV)  “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14 NKJV)  “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body (the fleshly physical body we each possess – DS), you will live.” (Rom. 8:13 NKJV)  It is thus spiritual beings, having the Spirit of Christ within them, who make up the church, the body of Christ.

In the description the Holy Spirit gives of the church as a spiritual body, the body of Christ, it is compared to a physical body in order to provide us with some lessons of its nature and what it is to be.  He (the Holy Spirit) says, speaking through Paul, “for in fact the body is not one member but many” (1 Cor. 12:14 NKJV) and then begins discussing the foot, the hand, the ear, the eye, the smelling (the nose) with the idea being that each member of the body has its function to fulfill for the profit of the entire body and that each part of the body, each member, contributes to the well being of the body and is needed. (1 Cor. 12:15-22)  With the physical body we readily see this need.  Remove any part of the body and to that extent we become handicapped.

This is a lesson the church needs to learn – the value of every single member and the fact they each contribute in one way or another whether we see it or not.  Too often the member that has standing is the one with speaking talent, or the one who is a church leader in one capacity or another, or one who is well thought of in the community while the poor widow with but two mites to cast into the collection plate (Luke 21:1-4) is left out of the social interaction of the membership.  The church that is what God would have it to be is egalitarian.  Too often the church is divided into cliques based on social/economic status or perceived superiority.   This is nothing less than shameful and disgusting.  It stinks to high heaven.  If such behavior cannot be hidden from men how can it be hidden from God?

But the reader should not make more of what I have said than what I stated for I do not mean to imply this is a common practice but if it is found even once it is once too often.  Every congregation is different and the whole body of believers should never be judged on the basis of what one might find in a particular location.  Do we think it would be fair to judge all of the congregations that belong to Christ based on the church of Sardis as described by Jesus himself in Rev. 3?  I think not.  

Here is the body of Christ, the church, as God would have it be – “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.” (1 Cor. 12:25-27 NKJV)  “By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV)

The church being what it ought to be starts with each individual being what he ought to be in his relationship both with Christ and with his fellow brethren.  We cannot set back as observers and see how it is going and say the church is not what it ought to be in its love for each of its members when we are, as stated, just setting back and watching and not becoming actively involved ourselves.

John says, for example, “Whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?” (1 John 3:17 NKJV)  We say that is the church’s duty, the church’s responsibility, to care for the needy.  Now be honest, is that what the passage says that it is the church’s obligation?  It says it is my obligation if I can help at all to step in and help; the church being what it ought to be as a body begins with me in friendship, in fellowship, in caring, in sharing, in sacrifice, in the depths of love as measured by God’s word.  Besides if we do not care about one another who will care about us?

How many bodies does Christ have?  That is a foolish question on its face.  How many bodies do you have?  It makes as much sense to ask one as to ask the other.  Besides, even if we were that dull, Paul tells us, “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling.” (Eph. 4:4 NKJV)  There is an idea held by many that each of the individual denominations is a member of the body of Christ and that taken collectively they make up the church.  Talk about an absolute perversion of scripture and utter nonsense!

Denominations did not exist when the New Testament was being written thus when Paul wrote to the church at Corinth talking about these matters of being members of the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12) he most certainly was not talking about that which did not exist.  He clearly was talking to, “those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints.” (1 Cor. 1:2 NKJV)  How do I know he was talking to them – because I just quoted the passage, because he says so.  They, each one individually, each Christian, was the member of the body of Christ to whom he was speaking.  “You are the body of Christ (the church at Corinth – DS), and members individually.” (1 Cor. 12:27 NKJV) 

Christ is the head of the body, the church (Eph. 1:22-23, Col. 1:18), to whom each member of the body is to hold fast (Col. 2:19).  The head always regulates and directs the body using the analogy of the physical body.  The rest of the body follows the decisions the head makes.  In other words the head rules the body.  God never gave man legislative powers in the realm of religion as Christ has all authority.  “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth” (Matt. 28:18 NKJV) were some of the last words Jesus spoke while on earth.  He is the king of a kingdom and not a president of some kind of a democracy.  This being the case, and as Christ the head has spoken and given his will in the pages of the New Testament, why have men not been content to be guided by his will and it alone?

Men have arrogated power to themselves and set up conferences, and councils, and governing bodies and tried to make laws for God and in many cases even overrode his will for their own setting aside scripture and people say it is okay, all is well, God is pleased, we are saved.  In religious bodies that have done these things it is safe to say Christ may be spoken of as the head but it is not taken seriously by those of us who have a New Testament and have read it and studied it and believe it. 

Man may vote and elect a governing body in a club, or a benevolent organization, or a union, or whatever but such has no place in the New Testament church, the body of Christ, which already has its head and governing body in place – Christ himself. 

Christ is the Savior of the body (Eph. 5:23) but scripture says his body is the church (Col. 1:24).  There are an awful lot of people that believe the church does not matter.  To their thinking it does not matter whether one is a member of the church or not for their thinking is a man can be saved without church membership.  If you can be saved without church membership then it does not matter whether or not you are in the body of Christ for the church is that body (Eph. 1:22-23).  If you are in the church you are in the body of Christ, if you are not in the church you are not in the body of Christ.

Now what is it that Christ is the Savior of?  It is his body, the body of Christ (Eph. 5:23).  Name one place in the Bible where Christ ever promised or gave hope of saving any one not in the body of Christ.  I am willing to wait for the answer but it will be a long wait for you will not find it.

Here is what causes the confusion – people do not know the truth about how one becomes a Christian.  They think becoming a Christian is one process and becoming a church member is another.  The truth is that the same process that makes one a Christian also adds him to the body of Christ, the church.  If you obeyed the gospel of Christ in all truth and sincerity you are a member of the church whether any in the church like it or not.  God adds you to the church (see Acts 2:47 NKJV), not men.  He does it when we obey the gospel.  You cannot obey the gospel and not be in the church.

God adds you to the church, the body of Christ, but on conditions.  One condition all agree upon is faith in Christ.  That, however, is only one condition.  While everything else flows from it and while it must of necessity be

Christ the Savior of the Body but Which One ? the Matter of Timing?

Christ the Savior of the Body but Which One ? the Matter of Timing?

In Eph. 5:23 we read where Paul says “Christ is the head of the church; and he is the savior of the body.”  This passage is clear cut and easy to understand save for one thing – what body is it he is the savior of?  Is it the Baptist church, the Lutheran, the Methodist, the Nazarene, or one of the hundreds of others that could be named?  Many would say it is all of them taken collectively.  It is a subject worthy of consideration, an important study, for if we do not get it right we will be found outside the body Jesus’ is saving at the last day.

It is important that we understand that when Paul said Jesus was the “savior of the body” he was talking about the church.  The church is the body, “And he (God the Father – DS) put all things under his (Jesus’ – DS) feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” (Eph. 1:22-23 NKJV)  Paul again in Col. 1:18, “And he is the head of the body, the church.” (NKJV)  The church is thus the spiritual body of Christ which Christ will save at the last day as he is the Savior of the body.  Being a church member then is clearly essential for salvation.  However, we still have the problem of figuring out just which church it is that Christ is going to save as we have hundreds and hundreds of churches today.  Is there any help in figuring it out?  Yes, all kinds of help.

I will start with what ought to be obvious to any and all.  If the church of which a person is a member began centuries after the New Testament was written it is not the church which Jesus said he would save.  The church Jesus established and over which he was and is the Savior was established in the first century on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  Let us say, just as an example, that a church began in the 1400’s.  If a person claims the church of which he is a member is the one which Jesus is the Savior of and yet it was not begun until the 1400’s it necessarily means that for 1400 years Jesus had nothing to save and no one was saved.  If an individual readily admits his/her church was established sometime in the Middle Ages or thereafter they are admitting, like it or not, that their church is not the church Jesus established or built.  They ought to get out of it, leave it.  It is clearly a man made church rather than Christ built.

That the church was begun in the first century is so self evident from even a casual glance at scripture I do not want to waste much time on it here.  Many of Paul’s salutations in the epistles establish that fact for he often begins with words like, “To the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Cor. 1:2 NKJV), “To the churches of Galatia” (Gal. 1:2 NKJV), “To the church of the Thessalonians” (1 Thess. 1:2 NKJV).  It is hard to write to a body not yet established, to something that does not exist.  The church was begun on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 commencing with those who responded to Peter’s preaching that day.  In Acts 2:47 the New King James version of the Bible reads, “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”  Much more could be written on the establishment of the church but that is not the purpose of this particular article.

Every denomination that exists today was built many hundreds of years after Christ built his church.  This puts every denomination in a terrible bind.  Only emotion can rescue (?) them for there is no hope that reason can.  How can one claim his church (speaking by way of accommodation) is the church Jesus built when one takes chronology into account?  The church Jesus built had to exist before his denomination otherwise the implication is that no one was saved for the hundreds of years prior to his denomination’s establishment but after Christ’s purchase of the church with his own blood (Acts 20:28 NKJV) which would mean no one at Ephesus, Corinth, Philippi, or any other city mentioned in the New Testament.

If you admit the obvious that your denomination is not the church Christ built then troubling questions arise.  Why does it exist? Who built it?  Jesus built his church but the chronology says your church is not his church so who built it?  Did God go about building a vast multitude of denominations in addition to his church?  If so why?  Was his church insufficient by itself?  If he could not make one church sufficient how could he make hundreds or thousands sufficient?  Why did he build them?  If he did not build them but man did who gave man the right?  Where is the Bible authority for any man to go out and build a church in addition to God’s church?  That is the very thing that has happened if God’s church already existed prior to your denomination.  It was built in addition to God’s church. 

If your church (I am using the words “you” and “your” in a generic sense) is not the church Jesus built then how can it be a friend to Christ’s church?  It surely is in competition with Christ’s church.  If it taught the same thing Christ’s church taught, was the same in organization, work, worship, the same in every respect then it would be his church and not a denomination and yet I have never known a denominational person willing to declare that his church is the church Jesus built.  Why not?  Because that would make it exclusive as Christ built only one.  If your group is it then no other group is but the chronology will not allow you to make that claim for your denomination.  The timing is just not right.  Furthermore,  If that was the case and your body of adherents is indeed the Lord’s church then you would have to declare it the “one body” (Eph. 4:4), the one church Jesus built, meaning the others (all other denominations) were and are a fraud and I know of no denominational person willing to do that – to make that declaration.

I think men generally realize these things, it is only common sense, a little logic, pretty much like two plus two equals four, simple reasoning, and yet it is so troubling to allow our minds to dwell on these things that we quickly shut the thoughts off from our mind.  If we do not see an answer, a way out, our mind seems to say let go of it.  We pretend the problem is not there, it is non-existent, and we refuse to think about it.  Why?  Because it is so troubling and is capable of causing so much worry, concern, and trouble.  But, like cancer, if the problem is there it will not go away on its own and sooner or later, one way or another, we will be forced to deal with it.  It refuses to be swept under the rug and forgotten.  There is a judgment day where we will have to provide answers as to what we did and why in the religious realm of our life (as well as in other areas).

Often the answer that comes up is that all the denominations taken together are the church Jesus built.  We all know deep down that is not true but again we do not like to think about it.  Every one of them was built hundreds of years after the fact by man, not by God.  We also know that they do not teach the same doctrines nor practice the same things.  It is a little hard to see how Baptists who have trouble with Pentecostalism which in turn wants nothing to do with the Episcopalians are all going to be saved and go to heaven.  Their doctrines are as far apart as east is from west.  To get everybody to heaven who just believes in Jesus, as men view belief, means there is no such thing as truth.  In the denominational world one man’s truth is another man’s lie.  Let a Baptist and an Episcopalian get together and talk about homosexuality and see what happens. 

Make no mistake about it if denominationalism with its generally held belief that we are all going to heaven just so we believe is to be accepted a man must also accept the idea that neither truth nor practice matter.  There is just no way in the world of getting around that.  The trouble is (more of those troubling questions I mentioned above) is that when we say that we contradict what the Bible has to say about truth making ourselves out to know more about truth and its importance than the Bible does.  We also condemn ourselves in that if neither truth nor practice matter that much we are guilty of sin for not getting together as one body of believers.  If a Baptist, a Pentecostal, and an Episcopalian, as per my examples, are all going to be saved I guess that means we can be saved in sin for we remain divided when Jesus prayed that we be one.  Paul commanded that we be of one mind (Rom. 15:6, Phil. 1:27, Phil. 2:2) as did Peter (1 Peter 3:8).  Truth does not matter, practice does not matter, and neither does sin under the concept of modern day denominationalism (which makes it clear that none of it is of or from God).

We can answer the question “Christ the Savior of the body but which one” by saying it is none of the denominations but it is the church Jesus himself built.  Having said that there are many, many questions that I am sure this article has brought to mind that have not been answered.  It would be impossible to answer them all in one article.  I will just say I am aware of those questions and hope, Lord willing, to be dealing with them one by one in future articles with this article being only an introduction of sorts, the first of a series.  Thanks for reading. 

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