Life in the Body - Part 1
The Body. It is one of the most vidid titles in the New Testament for this thing called the Church. The Church is called "the Body" for a several reasons, but I’ll just give two of them: #1 - The Church is the Body because Christ is the head (Colossians 1:18). The all-sufficient Christ is both the Savior of the Church and the Sovereign ruler over the Church. #2 - The Church is the Body because each individual member has been given a gift by God that is absolutely essential to the life of the Church (1 Corinthians 12:4-7). In other words, each child of God has been given a gift that is designed to “build up the body of Christ” or in simple terms, to make the body function in a healthy manner.
The sad reality is, so many Christians believe the lie that Christianity is both personal and private. They have removed themselves from the Body of Christ, thinking that they can live for Jesus on their own. However, this could not be farther from the truth. Without question, Christianity is a personal faith. No one becomes a Christian by proxy or association. The only way to become a Christian is to “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” or “to repent and believe the Gospel.” But, Christianity was never intended to be a privatized faith. No one is redeemed to become a Christian island or spiritual hermit. This is a biblical oxymoron. Every child of God is part of a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9).” These are all communal entities that we simply refer to as “the Church,” which Paul refers to over and over as "the Body."
Here’s the deal, every Christian - like it or not - is a part of this spiritual Body, the Church. Not only are you part of it, but you desperately need it. Just like a physical body is interdependent, so this spiritual Body is interdependent. Each part cannot live on its own, but it absolutely needs the other members to maintain life. God has given this Body spiritual gifts that each one of us cannot live without - Paul calls them "parts" or "members." If you try to live your life detached from the Body of Christ, you will be spiritual anemic. You will not be able walk with God as He desires. According to Hebrews 3, you may even "fall away from the living God" because you have removed yourself from the Body, the Church.
So - even if you don’t fully comprehend this thing called “the Body” and maybe you don’t know what spiritual gift you can possibly have, believe the Word of God. Know that you need the Body and know that the Body needs you. Know that you were saved to be part of a redemptive community called the Church. Know that apart from the Body, you cannot grow as God desires you to grow. Then, as one faith family, lets be committed to “in love…building up the body of Christ.”
Eager to build up the Body of Christ -