Body Of Christ
Body Of Christ - The Definition
The Body of Christ is a common, yet complex term used in the Christian faith. Some may initially think we are talking about the physical body of Christ, as in His human form on earth. But the term "Body of Christ" actually refers to the members of His church, throughout history. Who or what is the body of Christ? The body of Christ is the Church, made up of all those who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Each Christian, then, is a part of the body of Christ.
The first biblical reference to this body was made by Jesus during the last supper. Mark 14:22 says, "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take it; this is my body.'" This symbolic act is the beginning of the communion service which Christians accept as a remembrance that they are a part of the body of Jesus Christ, due to Jesus' death on the cross.
Body Of Christ - The Unit
The Body of Christ, like all bodies, is comprised of many parts. There are limbs, organs, and various members that, when left alone, are useless, but when assembled make up the entire body. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14 describe it like this: "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body - whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free - and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many." This means each Christian is an equal part of the body of Christ!
There is organization to the body of Christ, as described in Ephesians 1:22-23, "And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way."
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 also says, "Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues." Every Christian possesses a gift and is called to use it in service within the body to build up the body of Christ, to strengthen the body and to carry out its purpose within the world. Each member of the body of Christ is also called to serve the church through his or her natural gifts and abilities. This service is offered out of devotion to Christ for the sacrifice He made on the cross, providing them with eternal life in heaven. The diversity of gifts, each supporting the other, makes the body strong!
Body Of Christ - Personal Application
As a part of the church, what can you do to enhance the body of Christ? The body is a holy entity and is to be respected and treated with complete honor and care. The Bible provides several action principles for building up the body of Christ:
- You are called to promote truth and unity - Ephesians 4:25 says, "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body."
- You are called to service - 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 outlines the importance of using your God-given spiritual gift. Your gift is unique and equally important. It is essential to the body that you use your special gift in service to God.
- You are called to share Jesus - Romans 1:16 says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…" As part of the body of Christ, you are to share your life-changing story with others!
- You are called to worship - "It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night" (Psalm 92:1-2).
- You are called to love each another - "1 John 4:11 says, "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
"Heavenly Father, Thank you for making me part of Your body. It is my desire to be an active part of Your church by serving, promoting unity, and sharing my faith with others. Give me opportunities to accomplish these things for Your glory! Use me LORD. In Jesus' name I pray, amen."
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