What is the Body of Christ?

Discussion in 'Doctrinal Discussions' started by Marilyn C, Nov 8, 2015.

  1. #1 Marilyn C, Nov 8, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
    We use this phrase `the body of Christ,` but what does it actually mean.

    `Now you are the body of Christ, & members individually.` (1 Cor. 12: 27)

    What are some aspects that you see tell us about the Body of Christ.

    (Could you please use scriptures, & write them out as it helps to understand what is being said. Thank you)

    5Wolves likes this.
  2. This refers to true worshippers (John 4:23-24) true born again Christians through water and Holy Spirit baptisms becoming spiritually
    integrated into Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit... becoming the temple of God with Jesus and the Father residing in us by the Holy Spirit:
    the Body of Christ is the Spirit-filled church [Pentecost or Apostolic] we are members one with each other (brothers and sisters) by the
    Holy Spirit in Christ Jesus. One body, no schisms = one original gospel = one Church as read and explained in Acts and the Epistles.
    Hence the need to be charitable, kind, patient, loving, generous, supportive, considerate, visiting and given to hospitality...
    Rom 12:4-10
    For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
    5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
    6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
    7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
    8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence;
    he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
    9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
    10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
    Ephesians 1:22-23
    And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
    Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
    Ephesians 2:5-6
    Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)
    And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
    this can only be accomplished by the indwelling Holy Spirit -
    Ephesians 2:21-22
    In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
    In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
    Ephesians 4:3-6
    3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
    4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
    5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    Ephesians 5:29-30 Actually all of chapter 5 is worth reading for study
    For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
    For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
    Colossians 1:18
    And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
    Colossians 1:24-27
    24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church:
    25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
    26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
    27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
    1Corinthians 12:3
    Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:
    and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
    1Corinthians 12:12-14
    12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body,
    being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
    13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free;
    and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
    14 For the body is not one member, but many.
    1Co 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
    1Corinthians 12:25-28
    25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
    26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
    27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.
    28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles,
    then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
    CCW95A and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  3. The church is represented as the body of Christ .That means that it is one.

    1 Corinthians 12:27..........
    "For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Chris."

    It is Christ who sustains to it the relation of Head.

    Ephesians 1:22-23..........
    "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

    As the "head" is the most important part of the body, it may be put for the whole body; and the name "Christ" here, the head of the church, is put for the whole body of which he is the head; and means here the Christian society, or the church. This figure, of a part for the whole, is one that is common in all languages.

    Romans 12:4-5. ...........
    "For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

    Therefore, the church, in union with Christ, the head, is but one general assembly, and church of the firstborn written in heaven, though consisting of the various persons of God's elect, who are closely united one to another, and their head Christ; and therefore are denominated from him, and called by his name.

    Romans 9:3. .......
    "For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh".
    Cturtle likes this.
  4. Hi Waggles,

    Thank you for your reply & good comments. Yes I agree that it is by the Holy Spirit we are `set` in the body of Christ.

    `But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.` (1 Cor. 12: 18)

    And the attitudes you described I also agree & believe that they are the proof of the outworking of the Holy Spirit in our lives, revealing the Christ nature within.

    `...partakers of the divine nature.....giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, ......knowledge.....self-control....perseverance...godliness....brotherly love.....kindness love, for if these things are yours & abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ` (2 Peter 1: 4 - 8)

    Cturtle likes this.
  5. Hi Major,

    I appreciated your comments also. You brought out the great truth of Christ the Head of the Body - how He sustains us & brings us in unison with Himself. Reminded me of the scriptures in Colossians.

    `let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility & worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, & not holding fast to the HEAD, from whom all the body, nourished & knit together by joints & ligaments grows with the increase which is from God.` (Col. 2: 18 & 19)

    Cturtle and Major say Amen and like this.
  6. The wonderful revelation of the Body with Christ as its Head portrays to me the closest of relationships outside the Trinity. It shows that the Body is not alongside Christ but is actually in Christ.

    `For He is Himself our peace,….so as to create in Himself one new man….` (Eph. 2: 14 & 15)

    We are to put on the new man & to mature to a perfect man

    `..you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness & true holiness.` (Eph. 4: 24)

    .`…till we all come to the unity of the faith & the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the statue of the fullness of Christ.` (Eph. 4: 13)

    Complete, Cturtle and Waggles says Amen and like this.
  7. Hi Waggles,

    It is good to see you bring up the important point of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we can think that it is man who has to organize the Body of Christ, with leaders trying to control people & make them accountable to their rules & regulations. Whereas if we look how the Lord is building His Body we see that He is quite capable to administer to its needs by the Holy Spirit. For example –

    The Apostle Paul says - `…by revelation He made known to me the mystery ….which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles & prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, & partakers of His promise in Christ….` (Eph. 3: 3 – 6)

    `For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free - & have all been made to drink into one Spirit.` (1 Cor. 12: 13)

    `God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.` (1 Cor. 12: 18)

    `Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit…..the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all;….the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. ` (1 Cor. 12: 4 – 11)

    `the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things,....` (John 14: 26)

    Waggles and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  8. Bringing a personal perspective to this answer.
    I think the body of Christ are the indwelt believers as individuals.

    God is a spirit, the scriptures say. God must be worshiped in the spirit and in faith by each indwelt believer. Therein we all comprise the holy spirits presence manifest on and within the world even though we are not part of it to its end.

    Cturtle likes this.
  9. Hi 5Wolves,

    I so agree with you. Good point.

    I also believe an important point regarding the Body of Christ is that every person in the Body is not only placed there by the Holy Spirit but is filled with the Holy Spirit. This was not possible prior to the Lord`s ascension & seated at the Father`s right hand. We know that He told the disciples that He had to go so He could send the Holy Spirit.

    `Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. `(John 16: 7)

    It is the Holy Spirit`s task to make us like Christ. This was not possible before this & makes the Body of Christ unique, & different from Israel & the nations.

    `His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life & godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory & virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great & precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, ….` (2 Peter 1: 3 & 4)

    Would anyone like to comment on the `precious promises?` What specifically are these?

    5Wolves and Cturtle say Amen and like this.
  10. Given that your scripture verse is from 2nd Peter, I believe that Peter is referring to his previous epistle where he outlines the blessings and
    rewards of being a true believer of the gospel and being born again by water and Holy Spirit baptisms...
    1Peter 1:2-9
    Elect [chosen] according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and
    sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a
    lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
    4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
    5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
    7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire,
    might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
    8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
    9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
  11. Hi Waggles,

    Great scriptures there. Now would you like to expound, with other scriptures on this part -

    Looking forward to your comments. Marilyn.
  12. `To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.

    Matthew 25:33-34
    And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
    Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father,
    inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
    Acts 20:32
    And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up,
    and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
    Act 26:18
    To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God,
    that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
    Galatians 3:17-18
    And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after,
    cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
    For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.
    Ephesians 1:
    10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven,
    and which are on earth; even in him:
    11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things
    after the counsel of his own will:
    12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
    13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed,
    ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
    14 Which is the earnest [pledge] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
    Colossians 1:
    12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
    13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
    14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
    Hebrews 9:14-15
    How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God,
    purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
    And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions
    that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
    1Peter 5:4
    And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
    1Corinthians 9:24-25
    Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
    And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
    2Timothy 4:7-8
    I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
    Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day:
    and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
  13. Hi Waggles,

    Good scriptures there for encouragement. However the Matthew 25 scripture I believe tells us about the Lord talking to the people of Israel concerning their future. We see that the nations are gathered before the Lord (not the Body of Christ) & that they are judged upon what deeds they have done to protect & look after the Jews during the tribulation. The prophet Joel also confirms this.

    `I will also gather all nations, & bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat: I will enter into judgment with them there on account of my people, my heritage Israel,.....` (Joel 3: 2)

    Otherwise I agree with the wonderful promises you laid out for us.

  14. #14 Complete, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
    'I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
    beseech you that ye walk worthy
    of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
    With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
    Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit
    in the bond of peace.
    There is one body, and one Spirit,
    even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
    One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
    One God and Father of all,
    Who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
    But unto every one of us is given grace
    according to the measure of the gift of Christ.'

    (Eph 4:1-7)

    Praise God!

    Hello there,

    The full title of 'The Church which is 'His' Body', is found in Ephesians 1:22b,23:-

    ' ... ... And hath put all things under His feet
    and gave Him to be the Head over all things
    to The Church which is His Body -

    the fulness of Him that filleth all in all'
    (Eph 1:22,23)

    This is the subject of the revelation that God gave to Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, when He, as 'The Lord's Prisoner', was incarcerated in a Roman prison. He was given the role of Administrator, or Steward, of this new dispensation. It is by means of the epistles that he wrote from prison, that we have knowledge of it today, those epistles were written to the Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon.

    This truth cannot be found anywhere else in Scripture, either in the Old Testament, the epistles written by Paul previously, or in the other writings of the New Testament, because it was, 'Hid in God', until made known to Paul.

    So, to quote any Scriptures other than those found within those epistles, to explain the Church which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all, is not going to present a perfect picture of what this wonderful Church is, or it's glorious hope, it's blessings, or the sphere in which they will be enjoyed in resurrection glory.

    With love to you all,
    In Christ Jesus
  15. Hi Complete,

    Yes what you say is so true & is not known so much. People have for too long been taught that all the scriptures, especially the gospels is about us, whereas God`s word is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, for instruction in righteousness, but it is not all about us. We learn from what others (OT) did - murmuring, sexual immorality etc wrong behaviour -

    `Now all these things happened to them as examples, & they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come.` (1 Cor. 10: 11)

    However, as you so rightly point out the revelation of the Body of Christ was not known or revealed to those writers of the Old testament or the gospels. Thus it is not there that we learn about the wonderful revelation of the Body.

    May God continue to enlighten us, that -

    `the eyes of (our) understanding being enlightened; that (we) may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,.....` (Eph. 1: 18)

    Complete likes this.
  16. Amen, Marilyn.

    Praise God for His wondrous grace.
    In Christ Jesus
  17. These are also wonderful promises to the Body of Christ.

    Promise of a heavenly calling.

    `Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling,..` (Heb. 3: 1)

    Promise of a heavenly hope.

    `We give thanks to the God & father of our Lord Jesus Christ,….because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven,…` (Col. 1: 3 - 5)

    Promise of a heavenly inheritance.

    `Blessed be the God & father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance in corruptible & undefiled & that does not fade away reserved in heaven for you.` (1 Peter 1: 3 & 4)

    Promise of a heavenly citizenship.

    `For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we eagerly wait for the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.` (Phil. 3: 20)

    What astounding promises. Marilyn.
  18. Hello Marilyn,

    Yes, the members of the Church which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all, are indeed blessed wonderfully, in Christ Jesus. In fact we are blessed with ALL spiritual blessings, aren't we? Not just one or two, but ALL!! Praise God!

    'Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
    Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
    in heavenly places - in Christ:'


    The sphere where our blessings will be enjoyed in resurrection life is in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus.

    Praise His Name!

    Within His love and grace.
  19. #19 Donald Spatos, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
    Interesting and difficult topic. Difficult because every member of the Body of Christ (the body) must be walking by faith when joining the rest of the body, like at a Sunday service. If not, that member is not only useless to the body but makes it ill, (if you would allow extending the analogy). Outside of the body, such as when its members are not together at a church service, the body is vulnerable to all sorts of ailments. Notice I only include my own Church members when referring to the Body of Christ.

    At times, Im astounded by independent pastors that permit visiting speakers into their congregation having little to no knowledge as to the speaker's current faith status. My church brings in guests on occasion who are members of our same body eliminating any threat of false doctrines. This is one of many benefits I found in this church body and it was not easy finding this church but I managed.

    So what when the body is together and everyone is faith-minded? This being the ideal situation, the body keeps to its regular duties to keep things organized and flowing along. Teaching and meditating on a sermon followed by the body praying, is health to the body. The goal of every church service should be a Spirit-filled body. This moment i believe occurs when the whole body prays fervently. At times I see it during worship but here only when the whole body is like-minded. In prayer, nearly everyone is like-minded. I understand many churches do not lead their congregations in fervent prayer and perhaps the idea is new to some. Others make a call to prayer at the end of sermons. My church does the latter; everyone approaches the front of the church and kneels to the call. Prayer time is anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. Its true health to the body. I sense nearly everyone acting in unity, as One, John 17. As specified in Romans 12, there is harmony, brotherly Love, truth and its spiritual. We are to worship in Spirit and in Truth. Surely the Lord is present and the feeling is intense.
    RDKirk likes this.
  20. Hi Marilyn.
    I have always been partial to 1 Corinthians 12:
    14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.

    15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16 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? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19 And if they were all one member, where would the body be?

    20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 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.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 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, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

    This really speaks to unity and how we must rely on others. Also our responsibility to our workings as others rely on us. If I am an eye, I need to see. If a nose then I need to smell, and so on.

    Many worry about our perception that the body is not active enough. Questions would include:
    1. Are the members failing or slacking?
    2. Is the Spirit not active enough for our tastes? Are we impatient?
    3. Is there a figurative injury or disease affecting or infecting the body?
    4. Is the body malnourished? If so, what is the food or remedy?
    5. Do too many members who should function as other parts of the body, only desire to be, for instance, the hands? Or mouth?
    I am sure there are many more.
    RDKirk likes this.

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