Christian Universe ™
The Body of Christ
December 25, 2011
Jesus gave His body as a sacrifice for us. The apostle Paul says that we are the body of Christ. As individuals, we are members, or parts, in that body. As a whole, all believers are the spiritual body of the Lord. Since we are the body, we need to put sin as far from us as we can, as befits the body of the innocent one. What is our function, as the body of Christ? To show love to one another, to edify each other, and to grow the body of Christ into a strong body to match its head, Jesus Christ.
The Body of Christ
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 12-25-2011
Presented to Load church of Christ on 01-01-2012
We last studied about the body and blood of Jesus, during which we saw that by eating the bread and drinking the fruit of the vine, we are joined to the body of Christ. He lives in us, and we live in Him. Furthermore, believers who do so become one with our Lord and with our God.
1 Corinthians 10:16 "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread."
Today, let’s take a deeper look at the body of Christ. Jesus gave up His life for His friends.
John 15:13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
1 John 3:16 "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren."
Ephesians 5:29 "For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones."
Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
6 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish."
As we previously studied, we are bought by His blood. We are His body, as apostle Paul states.
Ephesians 1:20 "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."
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."
Since we, the ekklesia, are called the body of Christ, it speaks to how we must regard ourselves.
Romans 6:3 "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin."
We arise from baptism as new bodies in the new body that is Christ. The old man of sin has been destroyed, replaced with a righteous person.
1 Corinthians 6:15 "Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.
16 What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.
18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
As the apostle Paul points out, we are individual members of the body of Christ. Collectively, we are the body of Christ. If Christ is our head, and we are His body, we are obligated to keep sin out of His body.
What is our function as members in, and as a collective known as, the body of Christ?
Ephesians 4:11 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."
In love, we speak the truth. In love, we edify one another, so that the body of Christ will grow mature and strong. We work together to perform the work of God.
John 15:9 "As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another."
1 John 3:14 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?
18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.
19 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him."
Our role is to love one another with a pure heart, fervently. If we each look upon the other person’s well-being, and if we work to strengthen and build up each other, the body of Jesus Christ will be strong and mature. If the strong support the weak, it will be a strong body.
As always, it is all about the love. It comes full circle to the same two great commandments. (1) Love God with all that we are, and (2) Love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
1 John 4:7 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."
Lesson Reason: The apostle Paul declared that believers in Jesus Christ form the spiritual body of Christ. We need to recognize this, and put sin from us as much as is possible. We need to increase love within the body, so that the body may grow.
Lesson Outcome: We need to put sin from us, as much as we can, knowing that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from our sins. The body of Christ, the ekklesia, needs to grow strong and show the love of God, and His son, Jesus, to the world.