THE BODY OF CHRIST
God has always purposed a people of His own and began forming a nation from Abraham, both natural and spiritual nations. The natural descendants of Abraham and His wife Sarah were, Isaac, whose son was called Jacob. Jacob had twelve sons who became the tribes of Israel. The Spiritual seed of Abraham is Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all the promises of God, and has gathered together all who believed as one through the new birth.
God's spiritual purpose was to have a holy nation to Himself, to be His witness in the world, to bring His gift of Salvation which leads to Eternal Life to the peoples in the world through Jesus Christ. The union of God and His people has been a type of mystery, hidden in the heart, purposes and plans of God and revealed by The Holy Spirit. This type of mystery is a truth which was concealed and kept from mankind until a time appointed and chosen by God.
The Body of Christ is a spiritual nation of priests, set apart and is a combined people of God. This realm is also called The Kingdom of God.
The Body of Christ is a Living Temple made of living stones, and is also called The City of God, The Holy Jerusalem.
The Citizens of this Body are true born-again believers, a spiritual Jew with the circumcision of the heart. If a person belongs to Christ then they are spiritual seeds of Abraham. A true conversion results in a change in character, functions, a spiritual change from sinfulness to righteousness.
A person relinquishes (gives up) their earthly citizenship and all
that is identified with it to become citizens of the Kingdom of God, to
become a holy nation, called apart for God, through Christ.
|Several mysteries have been revealed in
The Word of God about Christ and His Church.
* that The Church is The Body of Christ of which Christ is the Head, and His people are a spiritual priesthood unto God.
* that The Church is The Bride of Christ, and each member is to be faithful and loyal, single minded and totally committed to putting into action the works and characteristics that Christ exemplified.
* that Christ's incorruptible seed indwells each citizen, each being an instrument or vessel through which Christ can work.
* that in Christ dwells the fullness of The Godhead and in Him believers are complete.
* that through Christ, godliness is restored to mankind, who is made righteous before the Father, and reconciled to Him.
* that there is a counterfeit nation (called Babylon, the worldly system which is against all matters of God) that opposes the true Body of Christ and all who belong to God are not to take part in the compromising of God's Word. This means commitment, faithfulness and loyalty to Jesus Christ.
* that God, the Father draws people by The Holy Spirit to His Son, Jesus. The Holy Spirit reveals the works of Christ in their hearts.
* that Jew and Gentile are united together in Christ, by the new birth of The Holy Spirit.
Members of The Body of Christ must be united to Christ alone and not depend upon themselves. They respond to the conviction of The Holy Spirit, of righteousness, sin and of judgement by repenting of sin, knowing, confessing that Christ died in their place, gained for them atonement, and in obedience submit to water baptism, which is the identification of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
All Christians submit to the Headship of Christ. Jesus is Lord of a believer's life in every area. The Body of Christ, a living body, represents Jesus to others as His Work is continued on earth, as living letters to be read of all. Christians within The Body of Christ are to have a close loving relationship between members, to love and forgive each other, and to use their gifts, natural or spiritual to serve and minister, not just to each other but to those who have not yet known of God's eternal love and gift He has for them.
Christ is The Bridegroom, The Church
Christ is The Good Shepherd, The Church His Sheep.
Christ is The Head, the Church His Body.
Christ is The Foundation stone, The Church His Living Temple.
Christ is The High Priest, The Church His priests.
Christ is The Vine, The Church His branches.
Christ is The Firstborn, The Church His Firstfruits.
The Body of Christ is a Holy Temple.
The Body of Christ has a mission.
The Body of Christ is a builder.
As the people of God, The Body of Christ is both local and universal, united to Christ in Grace by a gift of faith and through baptism. Believers are one body in Christ, governed and sustained by Christ. Christians belong together as the Family of God.
The Church is also known as the Bride of Christ, for the oneness of husband and wife is used to understand the oneness of Christ and the Church. Christ allows His disciples to share in all the benefits and riches that result from Himself and His Work. Believers are righteous in Christ Jesus before God.
Just as the first sheaf (Christ) of the harvest was an indication
of the following harvest, the early Christians were the beginning of a
great number of people who would eventually come to belong to The Body
of Christ. Pentecost, the Day of the Harvest Festival of the Firstfruits,
was the Day the early Christians received The Holy Spirit and His gifts
available to all believers in The Body of Christ. The Body of Christ would
be the harvest dedicated to God as a down payment of their inheritance
As the elect, The Body of Christ is assured justice, protection and a place in the world to come.
The Body of Christ is corporate rather than individual and solitary. God's people include Jews and non-Jews, who are born again of The Spirit of God.
The requirements of the people in The Body
of Christ are to obey God's Word, and to commemorate their redemption.There
is declared strongly of one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, faith, baptism,
one God and Father of all.
The purpose and ministry of The Body of Christ is to praise and glorify The Father. It is to proclaim the Truths and Knowlege of Christ thoughout the world, to do good to all. Christ wants His disciples to grow in unity and maturity and be a fruitful plant in a fruitless world, to be salt in an insipid world. Believers are urged by God's Word to maintain The Truth and to contend for the belief of it. The Body of Christ are to refute false teachers.
Jesus Christ alone is Head of The Church. God builds The Body of Christ.
Christ governs the Church and directs His people towards the fulfilment of God's promises. All power and authority with The Church comes from Christ, as the Head. Christ rules the universe in the interest of His people, and they owe obedience to Him. Jesus loves all in The Body of Christ, He cares and judges them, He will present His Body of believers, blameless before God.
A citizen in The Body of Christ has the status
of belonging to Heaven, a heavenly citizenship of living with God throughout
The Holy Spirit is given to The Body of Believers and He seals them as marked and set apart for God.
Every member of The Body of Christ, like every part of the human body has individual functions and activities to perform. The Body as Christ as the Head exists in a living unity together. Christians are called on to demonstrate the power of Christ in every area of their lives and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Different gifts of the Holy Spirit through grace are among memebers under Christ. Every member has been given gifts for service. Every member has a ministry. All individuals are of equal importance to God in the Body of Christ.
God has called apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to encourage believers to continue on to know Him. Those in the Body of Christ have been forgiven of their sins by God. Christian unity can be damaged by mistrust, gossip, anger, holding resentment and bitterness among members.
The Body of Christ locally meet together for devotion to Jesus Christ, to worship Him and seek others to become his followers, so that they too can know what Jesus has done for them and to receive their gift of redeemption and gift of eternal life.
The Body of Christ is seen as God's new creation, people become new persons, bearers of light, fighters of evil, opposers of satan.
Those in the Body of Christ are described as brothers and sisters, the elect and heirs of God. They are His remant people.
All members are called saints, the faithful, and the household of God. Christ established the church and the foundations for its existence is His redeeming death and the demonstration of God's power in His resurrection. Jesus taught His disciples that they were involved in an Eternal Kingdom.
The Body of Christ is God's vine, God's flock, God's inheritance, God's family, citizens of God's kingdom.
|SCRIPTURES John 4, Romans 12;4, 1 Corinthians 10;16,17, 12;27,
QUESTIONS 1] How are believers members of The Body of Christ? 2] Do believers receive spiritual growth through The Body of Christ? 3] Do all have different gifts? 4] Who governs The Body of Christ?
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